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HREC is seeking new internal members

Research is fundamental to the OU’s mission to be ‘open to people, places, methods and ideas’ and is designed to have impact, influence policy and practice and change lives for the better.

We are looking for OU members of staff from a broad range of backgrounds and academic specialisms to join the OU Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). In addition, we are particularly looking for at least one new member with research or ethics expertise in biological sciences, medical sciences, health research (including engaging with the Health Research Authority) or the review of applications for projects involving human tissue. This an interesting opportunity to develop your knowledge of research ethics and play a valuable role in supporting research at the Open University. Committee members are responsible for assessing research ethics applications to ensure that the interests of research participants are protected and research is carried out in a fair and ethical manner.

The role

Each HREC member is part of a ‘virtual’ HREC Review Panel which assesses research ethics applications, to ensure ethics issues have been considered. HREC receives applications from OU academics and postgraduate research students on a weekly basis, and dependent on numbers received, each HREC member receives between 2-4 applications to review each month. Members also attend two formal HREC meetings each year, at which policy matters are discussed. Meetings are held in May and October.

An induction and an annual training session will be provided for all members.

Further information about HREC, and the research ethics review process, can be found on the Human Research Ethics website and the Committee’s Constitution is available on the Human Research Ethics Committee page (internal link only).

What you get in return

  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of research ethics
  • Learn about new areas of research
  • Work collaboratively with people from a wide range of backgrounds/disciplines
  • Gain experience of a formal University committee

How to apply

Please send a copy of your CV and a brief personal statement (no more than 500 words) to the Human Research Ethics team.

In your supporting statement, please include the following information:

  • Why you are interested in the role
  • Any relevant experience related to research/ethics
  • Any relevant experience you have from a particular sector/field
  • Any areas of special interest/expertise you have that might make a particular contribution to the work of the Committee (e.g. an interest in online research methods, research involving children, experience of NHS/Care settings or the charity sector)

The closing date for applications is the 6 October 2023.

If you would like further information about the role, please contact the Human Research Ethics team.

The Open University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, which is reflected in our mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. We aim to foster a diverse and inclusive environment so that all our staff can reach their potential. We value diversity and recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and culture, and that this difference brings great strength.

We particularly welcome applications from candidates who are Black, Asian or from minority ethnic groups, or who are disabled, as we currently have an underrepresentation of staff with these characteristics.