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Research Ethics Consults

Research Ethics Consults (RECs)

What are RECs?

Research Ethics Consults (RECs) are discreet, informal and advisory—never dictatorial—sessions during which any clinical, scientific, or other researcher here at the U can get team-based (or one-on-one, if preferred) moral aid in perplexing research situations. When requested, REC teams are hand-selected to provide the needed ethical, institutional, legal and / or scientific expertise. Medical doctors and clinicians are often used to having a team of advisors, experts, and counselors to assist on difficult cases. Here at the U, everyone conducting research has support like that available to them.

Ethical Principles

All RECs performed at the University of Utah are guided by a commitment to three core principles. Research ethics consults are (1) discreet. This means only REC requestors (and their team, if formed) know the details of a consult. Plus, consults are (2) informal—no formal review or investigation processes are initiated by a REC. Finally, these consults are (3) advisory, not dictatorial. RECs produce recommendations, not orders. The REC service is here to assist you in figuring out the best course of action for you. Either team-based or one-on-one (“curbside”) RECs are available.

Common Issues

Your research practice or scholarly activity might raise questions about authorship, collaboration, data management, enrollment, professional climate or conduct, publicity, privacy, return of results, and more. You might have questions about informed consent, research and industry relationships, assessment of risks and benefits, or other aspects of study design—such as subject recruitment, selection, and participation.  Regardless of the issue, RECs are available as a resource for you. Email to inquire about a consult.

For more information, check out the latest Annual REC Report.

In addition to CTSI, the REC Service is sponsored by…

Contact Us

Joyce C. Havstad, PhD

Associate Professor
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Department of Philosophy
Office of Research Integrity and Compliance

For More Information

Clinical Research Ethics Consultation Collaborative (CRECC)

RECs are practiced nation-wide:

  • By a consortium of trained professionals
  • According to shared ethical standards
  • In a tradition continuous with that of clinical ethics consults