Campus Research Ethics Committee - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I start my research before I submit or get approval from Campus Research Ethics Committee (CREC)?
A. No, the Committee will not consider applications which have already started before review and research should not start before receiving ethical approval.


Q. Where can I access the forms for CREC?
A. Forms, guidelines and policies are available here.


Q. Which of the three application forms should I complete?
A. For research which involve drug testing or taking of samples (e.g. blood, saliva) from patients, weighing, any other type of measurement or testing on a patient, the “Application for Prospective &/or Invasive Medical Research” must be completed along with the Consent Form.

 Where your research is strictly retrospective (using existing data) and/or a survey you will complete the “Application for Retrospective & Survey Studies” and the Consent Form.  In this type of research you will not be “touching” the patient in any way to gather data.

For research which combines both types of research, e.g. measuring height and administering a questionnaire then the “Application for Prospective &/or Invasive Medical Research” must be completed along with the Consent Form. 

Research involving only animal species will require the completion of the “Application for Animal Research”.

Please refer to the Protocols and Guidelines for further information.


Q. I noted that the forms are in PDF format.  Will you accept any other format e.g. MS Word?
A. No, all forms must be completed and submitted in PDF format using Adobe Acrobat.  However questionnaires can be submitted in MS Word format.


Q. When using PDF’s only part of the information I have typed is visible.  How do I get to see and print everything?
A.  You can convert the PDF into MS Word (versions 2010 & 2013) using Adobe Acrobat Pro.  This will allow you to expand the fields so that all information is visible and printable.  You can then have the option to save it as a PDF in MS Word.


Q. How should I name the forms and attachments when emailing to you?
A. Forms and attachments should be named starting with the name of the Principal Investigator. For Example: Prof. Jane Doe Application; Prof. Jane Doe Consent Form; Prof. Jane Doe Questionnaire 1


Q. Can I print off and submit hard copies for review?
A. No, hard copies are no longer being accepted as the process is now fully electronic.  Applications and supporting documents must be emailed to .


Q. When should my application be submitted for review?
A. Applications should be submitted at least three (3) months prior to the proposed starting date of your research.


Q. Are there any types of research that are exempt from ethical review?
A. Audits; educational research involving normal educational practices; educational tests and measurements; research with machines without any use of humans or animals, some surveys and interviews; public observations and those using existing data.  Please read pages 11 to 12 of the UWI “Policies & Procedures of Research Ethics” for further details.


Q. What documents should I email for review?
A.  You must submit your application form.  In addition and if required, you will also email the completed Consent Form and up to a maximum three (3) questionnaires.


Q. Can I develop and use my own Consent Form for my research?
A. No, the Committee’s Consent Form (available online) must be used for all research coming to the Committee.  However, for online surveys you can develop your informed consent which must include the question/answer section of the Committee’s Consent Form.  It must be submitted along with your application for review.


Q. How often does Campus Ethics Committee meet to review applications?  
A. The Committee generally meets on the last Wednesday of each month.  No meetings are held in May, June and December.


Q. What happens to applications which miss the scheduled meetings or are submitted during the months when there are no meetings?
A. Late submissions are evaluated at the next scheduled meeting.  Depending on the urgency or at the Chairman’s discretion, applications are also appraised via “round robin” so as not to delay the review process. The Principal Investigator must send the requesting letter to the Chairman if urgent approval is required.


Q. How will I be informed of the Committee’s decision regarding my application?
A. You will receive an email with attached signed letter stating whether your application was approved.  The signed and stamped Consent Form will also be emailed back to you.  As you will no longer receive hard copies by normal mail, you will be required to print off your emailed documents if you so wish.


Q. If my application has been approved subject to amendment, how soon should I respond to the amendments?
A. You should respond by email within two (2) weeks of receiving your letter from the Committee.  Once all amendments have been satisfactorily addressed you will receive a final letter of approval.


Q. What should I do if the original approval has expired or the research duration is more than a year?
A. The Committee normally gives approval for a maximum of 364 days in the first instance. The Principal Investigator must make a formal request to the Chairman for renewal or extension in the form of a letter attached in the email.