#StepForward - Become a Research Ethics Committee member

Last updated on 12 Apr 2022

The Health Research Authority has launched a recruitment campaign to encourage more healthcare professionals to become Research Ethics Committee (REC) members

Step forward

REC members play a vital role in making sure health and social care research is ethical and fair for patients.

We are particularly looking for registered healthcare professionals and clinical trial statisticians to #StepForward and join a Research Ethics Committee. We’d like to encourage retired doctors and dentists to consider REC membership as a way to use their experience and expertise, for the benefit of the health service and patients. It’s also provides a unique learning opportunity for healthcare professionals wanting to develop a career in research.

Louise Braley, REC Membership Development Manager at the HRA, said: ‘We are looking for people who are passionate about health and social care research, to review applications for research studies. Our RECs are made up of a variety of expert and lay members, but at the moment we are particularly on the lookout for healthcare professionals, retired doctors and dentists, and clinical trial statisticians who might be able to #StepForward and join us.

‘It is also a great opportunity to learn more about advances in health and social care and develop professionally and personally with regular training and support.’

The HRA runs over 60 independent RECs based around the country who meet virtually to review applications for health and social care research. Members give their time to make a difference. Their work is varied but includes some of the biggest challenges we face in health and social care today, from cancer to dementia, and more recently COVID-19.

Dr Lauren Shelmerdine, a member of the Yorkshire and the Humber Sheffield REC, features in the recruitment campaign. Dr Shelmerdine was encouraged to apply to be on a REC by a consultant colleague, who had been on a REC for some years.


‘I’m so glad they mentioned it. It wasn’t an opportunity I had been aware of before.

‘I happened to be embarking on my own research degree at the time I applied but was still quite the research novice. I liked the idea of having a first glimpse into the latest research ideas, using my brain analytically and expanding my knowledge.

‘The training and learning opportunities as a REC member are vast. In the last year I’ve attended training to look at how to include older people and those who lack capacity in research as well as on research databases.'

Dr Lauren Shelmerdine, a member of the Yorkshire and the Humber Sheffield REC

Find out more

Find out more and apply to be a member today by visiting: https://www.hra.nhs.uk/step-forward

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