Welcome to our inaugural Annual Report. It reflects a year in which the National Office for Research Ethics Committees was first established, and played a pivotal role in the national research response effort during one of the most significant and unpredictable health challenges in decades. Our response to the pandemic is testament to our values of integrity, transparency and partnership. Key highlights in 2020 included the introduction of an expedited ethics review process for COVID-19 health research, and the establishment of a dedicated National Research Ethics Committee to support immediate, evidence-based decision-making and contribute to global efforts to counter the pandemic. All, while ensuring an uncompromising commitment to protecting research participants and research integrity.
As we reflect on the learnings from the pandemic, our focus now is on embedding the newly established committees into the research infrastructure in Ireland – with the aim of ensuring the highest international standards in research ethics review.