This response by the Department is an important measure to accelerate urgent studies clearly positioned to provide significant evidence for national and global efforts to deal with the virus outbreak. The Minister acknowledges the need for expedited and coordinated decisions for those seeking to get COVID-19 research studies off the ground in Ireland in the days and weeks ahead, and this need will be even more pressing as investigators secure additional funding for COVID-19 studies through rapid response funding calls. This dedicated NREC is being established to accelerate the initiation and delivery of COVID-19 research while maintaining international best practice and standards. Staff in the newly established Office for National Research Ethics Committees (housed in the Health Research Board) will provide support for the new NREC and will be the point of contact for the research community.
The Cork Research Ethic Committee (CREC) will be working closely with NREC to transition studies back to them once rapid review has been complete. CREC cannot accept applications related to COVID-19 at this time and are referring researchers to NREC.
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