Shortly after Senate issued the Research Code of Practice [PDF] and the Research Ethics Review Procedures [PDF] in September 2017, the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) launched an online self-assessment form for the use of researchers, using off-the-shelf software. UREC is now replacing this by software written specifically for the UM research ethics review process: URECA.
While the content of the online form has not changed, URECA automates the submission process, eliminating the need for applicants to send emails with attachments. Its backend features facilitate record keeping, review and audit.
As with the previous form, the URECA form enables users to assess ethical and data protection aspects of their research through a series of structured questions, helping them to self-assess as to whether the form should be submitted to the Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) for records or for review. If the researcher is a student, supervisor endorsement is still required but the URECA system streamlines this process by giving access to supervisors to assess and endorse the form.
URECA will become active on 1 October 2021. Further information may be obtained from the UREC website or from the FREC.
University of Malta staff, students, or anyone else planning to carry out research under the auspices of the University, must complete the application on URECA.
**Note** There is a full replica [Word] of the form which can be downloaded. Use this to become familiar with the format and requirements of the REDP Form before beginning your application.
The form on URECA guides applicants through 3 parts:
In part 2, the detailed evaluation questions will be shown only to applicants who flag an issue in the self-assessment checklist. In such cases, applicants must elaborate on the issue flagged and seek FREC permission prior to data collection. In all other cases, applicants must submit the form to FREC for filing and audit purposes, and may commence research directly.
Send any feedback on this form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UM's Research Ethics Review Procedures [PDF] , apply to all those undertaking research on the University’s premises using its facilities, or on behalf of the University, including staff, students, visiting or affiliate staff, associates, contractors and consultants. However, the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) also provides ethics and data protection reviews to non-University of Malta applicants, including commercial entities.
Such external applicants need to contact UREC via email. They will be assigned credentials which they can use to fill in the form on URECA and submit this, together any ancillary documentation, to the appropriate Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC/REC) depending on the area of research, clearly indicating that this is an external application. Refer to the list of FRECs.
A non-refundable fee is charged for this service as follows:
Non-commercial applicants may pay using the online form. A copy of the receipt is to be appended with the application when this is submitted to the FREC.