Research Ethics Committee

Co-opted independent lay member content

Co-opted independent lay member

The University of the Highlands and Islands conducts a significant amount of original academic research in all subjects in the Arts, Humanities, and the Social, Natural and Medical Sciences across the entire Highland and Islands, Moray and Perth region, in 13 Partner Colleges and Institutes.

To ensure their research is conducted to the highest ethical standards, the university has a Research Ethics Committee (REC), which reviews all research proposals for their adherence and compliance to the strictest ethical standards, prior to the research being given approval to proceed.

The REC’s terms of reference are as follows:

  • To endorse for Research Committee’s approval, and taking full account of available resources, of all elements of the University’s arrangements for research ethics, including the underpinning business processes, scope, and documentation requirements for applicants.
  • To monitor compliance with all elements of the agreed arrangements for research ethics, deliberating on management information and recommending intervention as appropriate.
  • To monitor staff take-up of research ethics training, deliberating on management information and recommending intervention as appropriate.
  • To consider specific and non-standard research ethics applications from time to time, making decisions about them as appropriate.
  • To receive information about best practice in research ethics from elsewhere in the sector, deliberate on this and ascertain ways in which this can be used to inform the development of UHI’s research ethics arrangements.

The REC membership primarily comprises university academics from a range of disciplines. However, an important member is someone independent of the university – ‘The Lay Member’.

Following the retirement of the previous Lay Member the university now seeks a replacement. While it is not essential for the successful applicant to be from an academic background, the nature of the work of the committee requires a familiarity with the academic process.  The discipline background or experience of the Lay Member is unimportant, however it would be helpful if they have a medical or legal background.  The value of the Lay Member is to be able to bring diversity to the committee.

The position is unremunerated, although reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.  The Committee meets 6 times per year, currently on-line. When physical meetings resume these will be held in Inverness, although on-line facilities will continue. Training and development will be provided by the university.

Enquiries about the position can be made to Professor Nick Owens, Chair of the Research Ethics Committee at

To apply for this position please email Professor Owens a letter of application along with your CV.

The closing date for applications is Friday 30 April 2021.