Making an application to an NREC for review of a research proposal

If you are a researcher planning to make an application to a National Research Ethics Committee (NREC), this section of the website provides a range of resources to guide you through the process.

Who should apply to an NREC?

NRECs have the remit to review applications for research proposals in specifically defined areas: currently these are limited to clinical trials of investigational medicinal products, clinical investigations of medical devices and performance studies of in vitro diagnostic medical devices.  Further NRECs will be established in additional health research areas over time.

If you are planning to carry out research in Ireland in an area under an NREC’s remit, you should submit your application to the NREC in question. For all other research studies, you should apply for ethics approval through your local or institutional REC.

If you are unsure of whether your study requires NREC approval, please contact the National Office or your local or institutional REC for guidance.

What does an application involve?

Each NREC has a defined application procedure. Visit the page for the NREC you wish to apply to in order to find out more:

Before submitting an application to an NREC, researchers should always consult with their Research Office or institutional equivalent to ensure the correct permissions are in place to conduct the work locally. It should also be noted that researchers should ensure that in addition to REC approvals, they have the entirety of approvals required for their study – including from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and Health Research Consent Declaration Committee (HRCDC) where necessary – before initiating any human health research.

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