The Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) formally launched IRB at the University Conference Hall on 2nd July, 2021. The event was graced by the Hon’ble President with formal Khadar Sessions, welcoming all Board Members. An event was marked as one of the important milestones in strengthening research and development in the University.
The IRB is responsible for considering the ethics of human research, whether it be clinical, epidemiological, physical, behavioural, attitudinal, social, economic or psychological. The IRB at KGUMSB is independent of all institutional, faculty, departmental and financial interests. It anticipates in ensuring a quality and consistent ethical review of researches undertaken by and for KGUMSB staff, faculty, students and its affiliated institutional academia. While any research/study involving national policy implications or attentions and require approval beyond the University’s jurisdiction, such as study involving randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of complex interventions, will be cautiously considered in close consultation with the Research Ethics Board of Health (REBH) in the Ministry of Health.
The IRB is expected to deal with all of the ethical aspects of procedures where humans participate in research and in teaching projects; these include confidentiality and privacy issues in addition to the physical and psychological welfare of participants. Therefore, key objectives of the IRB are to:
- Ensure that a participant’s inclusion in a research study complies with the principles of ethical conduct, which mainly includes: Research Merit and Integrity; Justice; Beneficence; and Respect, including the themes: risk and benefit;
and participant’s consent;
- Protect and safeguard the mental and physical welfare, rights, dignity and safety of participants involved in health research. In general, minimizing the risk of harm arising from research studies involving humans;
- Facilitate ethical research through efficient and effective review processes including review of low or negligible risk research proposals through expedited review;
- Ensure that all research is conducted responsibly and in the interests of the
The IRB establishment in the University anticipates to supplement in addressing increasing demand or need for ethical reviews and issuance of ethical clearances within the University students and/or faculties, and academia originating from its affiliated institutions.