The National Research Ethics Advisors’ Panel (NREAP)

The National Research Ethics Advisors’ Panel is an independent, multidisciplinary expert panel hosted by the HRA and is a resource available to all research ethics committees (RECs) funded by the UK Health Departments within England and the devolved nations. The panel’s main objective is to help research ethics committees (RECs) to deliver robust, consistent and fair decisions through engagement and consultation with stakeholders with an interest in health research. NREAP inform and deliver appropriate ethics guidance and training to RECs and the wider research community. They also advise the HRA Board on ethical matters.

The panel is made up of eight experienced members who together encompass expertise in a wide range of disciplines related to health research including moral philosophy, medical research, patient and public involvement and RECs.


Contact the Panel

The Panel are always happy to receive suggestions regarding issues that might require their advice and/or guidance, and can be contacted through

The panel meet quarterly at the HRA Offices in London or, occasionally, elsewhere in the UK as appropriate.


NREAP Terms of Reference

The overall objective of the panel is to help RECs deliver robust, consistent and fair decisions through:

  • Facilitation and provision of ethics training to RECs;
  • Facilitation of RECs’ knowledge and use of currently available guidance and the development of new guidance where it is identified that appropriate guidance is not available;
  • Consultation with REC members and other stakeholders to inform and develop guidance. Each NREA will be expected to consult with appropriate stakeholders as required.
  • Seeking and inviting appropriate expertise, as necessary, to advise the panel and contribute to guidance;
  • NREAP hosted Chairs’ Network Meetings;
  • Support for NRES in dealing with disagreements arising from appeals by applicants and from within RECs;
  • Oversight of the Shared Ethical Debate (ShED) external quality assessment programme for RECs;
  • Advice to NRES or RECs regarding alleged fraud or misconduct in research;
  • Support for NRES in relationships with other regulators and stakeholders including research funders, universities, patient groups, professional bodies and industry including AREC;
  • Support for NRES with patient and public involvement in research;
  • Support for NRES with media enquiries and response to news items or journal articles about NRES;
  • Representing NRES at events, conferences and meetings;
  • Facilitating NRES events;
  • Chairing ad hoc advisory groups and working parties as appropriate.