The Indian Council for Medical Research has always advocated for the advancement of ethics in biomedical and health research and has been on the cutting edge of addressing and answering questions on all ethical issues in a public sphere. ICMR Bioethics Unit receives emails on a regular basis from medical colleges, research institutions, and researchers in public and private institutions with a variety of questions about ethical aspects of research studies, functions of ethics committees, regulatory requirements, and so on. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) developed by ICMR, Bioethics Unit, Bengaluru have been structured to answer an array of queries that are received from researchers across the country from time to time. These are related to ICMR National Ethical guidelines in biomedical and health research, 2017.
The FAQs focus on all important elements, to name a few, reviewing a proposal, constitution and registration of ethics committee and compensation for research- related injury adhering to the National Guidelines for Biomedical and Health Research Involving Human Participants, 2017. The FAQs provide an easy solution to some of the common queries faced by both researchers and members of ethics committees in their day-to-day life. Therefore, the FAQs have been arranged section-wise to ascertain easy access to these topics. With the addition of sections like National Guidelines for Ethics Committees Reviewing Biomedical and Health Research during COVID-19 Pandemic 2020, the questions provide comprehensive answers for researchers, students, clinicians and members of the ethics committee. It serves as a mine of information for young researchers and newly constituted ethical committees in various colleges/institutions across the country.
The FAQs are uploaded in ICMR, Bioethics Unit website with easy access to a search bar, where visitors can easily search their questions or related keywords. The questions are also categorized under specific sections that will guide them in their search for answers in a simple language and manner.
It is expected that this tool will be useful for researchers, students, members of ethics committee and others in a better and balanced understanding of ICMR National Ethical guidelines, 2017 and the synthesis of the FAQs will pave the way to the solutions of all the prevalent ethical issues in biomedical and health research.