The Ethical Review Board (ERB) of Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) has delegated its power to Institutional Review Committees (IRCs) established at health care facilities, academic institutions and research institutions throughout Nepal.
Every IRC team is multidisciplinary, having at least one female member and one external member not affiliated with the institution. IRCs hold regular meetings and submit semiannual progress reports to the NHRC. The NHRC has developed guidelines for the Institutional Review Committees for health research in Nepal. The guidelines regulate the conduct and define the operating procedures of the IRCs. An IRC is authorized to provide ethical clearance to research proposals from researchers from within the institution associated with a specific IRC, but are not authorized to provide approval to the following research proposals:
Research proposed intended for studies at the national or international level
Externally sponsored/funded research (the term “externally” indicates not only outside of the country but also outside of the particular health care facility or institution)
Clinical trials involving human and/or animal participants
Chitwan Medical College – Institutional Review Committee (CMC-IRC) is amongst one of them. CMC-IRC is approved by national ERB of NHRC. CMC- IRC has been approved by NHRC (Approval of IRC formation) letter Ref no. 1497, on 8th July 2012. Since then CMC-IRC has been functioning well and also have been following the IRC guidelines while approving the research proposals and communicating same with NHRC on regular basis.
This is also bringing to your notice that CMC-IRC has been reformed with effect from 2075/08/06 and carries out their activities regularly as per guidelines of Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of CMC-IRC.
The role of an IRC:
The role of an IRC is to safeguard the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of all actual or potential research participants and ensure that animals, if used for research, are treated humanely.
The IRC should ensure the full review and evaluation of all ethical aspects of health-related research proposals it receives prior to any research being carried out in field and/or laboratory settings, according to national ethical guidelines prescribed by NHRC.
The IRC should provide independent, competent, and timely review of research proposals.
The tasks of the IRC should be executed free of bias and influence (political, institutional, professional, market etc.)
The IRC has the authority to ask for research protocol modifications, and to enforce and monitor the conduct of research projects.
This includes issues of informed consent and right of all research participants (human or animal) and to suspend or stop any health-related research that violates any ethical issues. This type of supervision and monitoring is applicable to those research projects that are approved by the IRC.