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RESEARCH CLEARANCE THROUGH GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES
If a research project involves Ministry personnel or facilities, once the research proposal has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for projects involving human participants or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for projects involving the use of plants or animals, the proposal is forwarded along with the ethical approval letter to the relevant Government Ministry.
The proposal must be attached to a completed appropriate Research Clearance Form (CRP\001, CRP\002, or CRP\003). These clearance forms are to be completed for all research projects involving the Ministry of Health (CRP\001), the Ministry of Agriculture (CRP\002), or the Ministry of Education (CRP\003). Some projects may involve more than one Ministry, and in those cases, the clearance forms for all the appropriate Ministries would need to be completed by the researcher and signed by all appropriate officers of all Ministries.
To expedite the process, if a researcher is planning to work with Ministry personnel or facilities, the appropriate officer(s) from the Ministry(ies) should be involved as early as possible in the planning of the research project so they can share their expertise. Appropriate Ministry personnel should also be invited to attend the IACUC or IRB meeting at which the proposal is discussed.
Research Projects involving the Ministry of Health
A Research Oversight Committee (ROC) has existed since 2000 to provide oversight of research projects carried out utilizing in some form the facilities or personnel of the Ministry of Health and those at SGU. The ROC meet as necessary to discuss ethically approved projects. The Provost, Dean of the GSP and the IRB Chair serve on this committee from SGU whilst the Ministry of Health is represented by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the Permanent Secretary (PS) and the Medical Director of the Hospital, Approved projects are those that have form CRP\001 completely signed by all signatories on the form.
Research Projects involving the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
SGU has developed similar procedures with the Ministry of Agriculture for projects by SGU researchers as well as projects emanating from the Ministry using SGU resources. The completed form, CRP\002, should be signed by the IACUC or IRB Chair as applicable. Depending on the proposed research, the director(s) of the appropriate division(s) at the Ministry (i.e., Fisheries if marine research is proposed; Forestry if a project involves the forest, etc.) would sign the clearance form. Upon conclusion of the ROC meeting, the Director of Research at SGU, the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) and the Permanent Secretary would then sign approved research projects. Copies of these forms are maintained by the committee members and the PI and should be presented when visiting the approved research sites as necessary.
Research Projects involving the Ministry of Education
Procedures are in the process of being developed with the Ministry of Education for projects by SGU researchers as well as projects emanating from the Ministry using SGU resources. The completed form, CRP\003, should be signed by IRB Chair and the Director of Research at SGU, and the Chief Education Officer and the Permanent Secretary, in addition to any others deemed appropriate by the Ministry.
Time frame for approval of research projects
PI's and collaborators need to allow a minimum of three weeks for ethical approval and a further two weeks for ROC approval. Projects requiring further information etc by either committee will take longer to receive approval.
Routing of research proposals
Completed project proposals, ethical approval letters and research clearance forms must be submitted to the Director of Research at SGU. All documents must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Appropriate ROC meetings will be convened and the PI will be appraised of the outcome of the research application normally within two weeks of submission of a completed application. Once approval is given the project may start immediately. For further information, please contact the SGU Office of Research at (473) 439-2000 x 3221 or fax (473) 444-4388.
Reporting of research findings and publications
Outcomes of research must be provided to the Office of Research at SGU who will provide copies to the relevant Ministries for their information. Any publications or conference presentations arising from the research should be shared with the Office of Research at a draft stage for distribution to the Ministries for their information. Copies of successfully published work should be provided to the Office of Research for distribution to the Ministries. All conference presentations and publications are listed in the SGU Annual Report and when appropriate in the WINDREF Annual Report. A comprehensive list of past completed research projects can also be found in these reports.