Looking back, looking forward: National Office webinar roundup

On 27 October the National Office for Research Ethics Committees held a webinar for stakeholders and all those with an interest in health and social care research ethics. Over 400 people registered to join us as we took a look back at the journey of the National Office and National Research Ethics Committees (NRECs) to date, and looked forward to the evolution of the research landscape in Ireland and emerging trends in research ethics more broadly.

This page compiles video recordings and slides of the webinar content (with apologies for the video quality in places due to technical issues with the recording).

Head of Office Dr Emily Vereker opened the webinar with an overview of the National Office, its role in the Irish research ethics system and strategic priorities into the future (download presentation slides here):


Anne-Marie Seymour, Principal Officer at the Department of Health, shared insights from the Department on the broader legislative background to the evolution of the research ethics system. Presentation slides are available to view here: Presentation by Anne Marie Seymour, Department of Health

Participants were provided with an overview of the work of the NREC for clinical trials for investigational medicinal products (NREC-CT) from Programme Manager Dr Susan Quinn and the NREC for clinical investigations of medical devices and performance studies for in vitro diagnostics (NREC-MD) from Programme Manager Dr Lucia Prihodova (download presentation slides here):


This presentation was followed by a Q&A where Dr Prihodova and Dr Quinn answered questions submitted by webinar participants in advance and live during the event:


The second session zoomed out to look at the research ethics landscape more broadly, providing a platform for discussion on topical issues. We were delighted to welcome keynote speaker Professor David Archard, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, to give an international view on current debates in research ethics (download presentation slides here):


A panel discussion rounded out the event, bringing together voices from across the ethics spectrum to answer questions on topical issues. Chaired by Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board, the panel comprised: Prof David Archard; Prof Mary Horgan, Chair of NREC COVID-19 and Consultant Physician in Cork University Hospital and Professor in the School of Medicine, University College Cork; Orla Lane, Economist, Patient Advocate and Public Representative, NREC-MD; Prof Alistair Nichol, Chair of NREC-CT A and Consultant Anaesthetist & Intensivist, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin; and Prof Barry O’Sullivan, Chair of NREC-MD and Professor, Artificial Intelligence, School of Computer Science & Information Technology, University College Cork, Cork.


Finally, National Office Programme Manager Dr Anne Costello provided some reflections on key takeaways from the day’s discussions:


The National Office would like to thank all of our speakers and everyone who joined us for the webinar. To be kept up to date on the work of the National Office and NRECs, be sure to subscribe to website updates and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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