The Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET) was established in July 2020 and is housed at the Center of Excellence for Applied Epidemiology at GHD|EMPHNET which has operational research as one of its mandated areas of work. The IRB protects the rights, privacy, safety, and well-being of all human subjects under research with special attention to vulnerable subjects by evaluating new research proposals to make sure that there is no harm done to human subjects during the research process and that the benefits of gathering information are not jeopardizing the ethical considerations of the individuals included in research studies.
GHD|EMPHNET’s IRB is composed of members from different experiences and backgrounds that cover various areas of health research, including public health, laboratories, veterinary medicine, clinical studies, and community studies. The IRB is chaired by a Senior Advisor at EMPHNET and includes members with technical expertise, a member from community, and a legal representative. The members possess the necessary professional competence to review specific institutional commitments and regulations, applicable laws, and standards of professional conduct and practice.
The IRB includes considerations of race, gender, and cultural backgrounds; sensitivity to issues such as community attitudes; and respect for advice and counsel in safeguarding the rights and welfare of human research participants.
There are three types of IRB reviews.
- Applications for full review
- Applications for exempt review (e.g. secondary analysis of existing data)
- Applications for expedited review
Applying for IRB is a seven-step process which includes
- Completing the IRB application
- Submitting a proposal form
- Signing a confidentiality agreement
- Evaluating the research during an IRB meeting
- Informing the researcher of the IRB committee’s decision
- Providing additional information after conducting the research
- Closing the research
For any inquiries, please contact the IRB coordinator at email@example.com. Proposals will be received by the IRB coordinator to be presented to IRB members during regular meetings. The evaluation decision can only be determined by the IRB and no research should begin until the IRB reviews the protocol and makes the final determination.