What is the scope of MIREC?
The Mary Immaculate College Research Ethics Committee (MIREC) has responsibility for all aspects of research ethics insofar as they relate to research projects carried out by MIC staff and MIC research postgraduates where the projects involve human participants.
What is the difference between Research / Data Collection Techniques (MIREC-3 Section 6b(i)) and Research Methodology (MIREC-3 Section 6b(ii))?
A 'methodology' is a set of principles and approaches that guide how a research project is conducted. Techniques are specific means / mechanisms / instruments etc that are used for specific purposes and form part of the methodology, but any one of which does not in it self form the whole methodology.
Can I put the consent form at the bottom of the information sheet?
No. You must have a separate information sheet and consent sheet. It is important that the participant can retain the information sheet. Further guidance on the content of Information Sheets and Consent Forms is available in sections 9.1 and 9.2 of MIREC-2 respectively. There are examples of each document in the examples page.
What do the start and finish dates on MIREC-3 refer to?
The start date and finish date refer to the project overall rather than just the research phase.
Do Psychological benefits count as incentives/inducements?
Psychological benefits don't qualify as 'incentives/inducements' but any pscyhological benefits should be flagged in the information sheet.
What is meant by foresight on page 1 of MIREC-3?
With respect to "Foresight" the explanation given in MIREC-2 is:
"If it is foreseen that the Principal Investigator or another member of the research team are likely to change institutional affiliation during the course of the research project, a summary must be provided showing how the ethical issues will be handled in this situation."
In other words if at the outset there is a possibility that one of the investigators may leave during the duration of the project you should outline how this would be managed e.g. handover of information/ data protection etc.
Common Errors in MIREC Applications to Date include:
• Information note and consent form on the same sheet
• Overly formal and complex language used in information note and consent forms - need to keep "audience" in mind
• Information on the benefits of the study not included on the information note
• Insufficent detail on how participants are to be recruited
Do I need to provide references to literature / research?
Yes and please note that when referencing literature/research provide a full reference in the text or in an attached list of references.