The Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB) and the University Health Network (UHN) cancer Research Ethics Board (REB), in collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Action Network, are seeking individuals who are interested in serving as community members on a research ethics board. UHN is currently seeking two or more regular REB community members, and OCREB currently is seeking to establish a pool of substitute members who may eventually become regular members. This invitation is open, but not restricted, to previous cancer patients. Research experience is considered an asset but is not essential. A research ethics board is a body of researchers, community members, and others that is established to review the ethical acceptability of research involving humans. The REB’s primary responsibility is to protect the safety and rights of research participants.
The Role of the Community Member on the REB
The community member is essential in helping to broaden the perspectives of the REB. As someone who is not affiliated with the institution and who does not engage in research or legal work as their primary activities, the community member can provide a unique viewpoint on the research proposals under review. Members who know what it is like to be a cancer patient or a research participant can offer a vital perspective to the REB review process.
To maintain continuity and a diversity of experience and opinion, REB members may serve up to two terms (2 or 3 years per term). Meetings are held once a month in downtown Toronto for approximately 3 hours. Regular members are expected to attend 75% of the meetings. Alternatively, two individuals may share one regular REB member position. REBs may also appoint substitute or alternate members to serve when the regular member is unable to attend. Substitute members are expected to attend a minimum of two meetings per year, as well as additional meetings in the absence of the regular community member. When the regular member’s term ends, substitute members generally become regular members. REB members receive documents for review seven to ten days in advance of the meeting. Members are expected to review the materials in advance and take part in the discussion of the research at the meeting. When preparing for the meeting, the primary role of the community member is to ensure that the process of informed consent reflects the design, documentation, risks and benefits of the proposed research, in a manner that is readily understood by the research participant.
Training & Education
New members receive education on research ethics in addition to an orientation to the REB and training in ethics review processes, policies and procedures. Prior to an appointment to the REB, potential members are encouraged to observe an REB meeting and to meet with the REB Chair.
Interested candidates should submit a resume along with a letter of interest to the individuals listed below. For more information you also may contact: