NRECs review applications for clinical trials of medicines and clinical investigations of medical devices from researchers across the full spectrum of health research in Ireland: from clinicians and healthcare professionals working in hospitals and other healthcare settings, to academic researchers based at universities or research centres, to private-sector research teams in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to medical devices.

Ireland has a strong track record in driving innovative health research. Having a robust national system to support research ethics is vital to ensure that researchers based in Ireland can embark on ambitious projects to improve health and healthcare, while safeguarding patients, the public and indeed members of the research teams themselves. NRECs will play an important role in shaping this system, helping to make Ireland a top destination for leading-edge health research on the international stage.

The National Office supports researchers engaging with the NREC system in a number of ways. We can offer advice prior to and during the application process, providing guidance and resources on ethics considerations and practical tips on procedural matters. Our application process is designed to make applying to an NREC as straightforward and efficient as possible. And by publishing details of all NREC meetings, minutes and decisions, we ensure that the deliberation and approval process is fully transparent for applicants.

If you are a researcher and unsure whether your study requires ethics approval, please speak with your local REC in the first instance. The National Office team is also happy to assist with guiding researchers as to the appropriate route for ethics review for their studies.

For more information on applying to an NREC as a researcher, please visit the ‘Apply’ section of our website.

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