Research Committees

Research and Higher Degrees Board

The Research and Higher Degrees Board (RHDB) is a Standing Committee of the Academic Board and plays two vital roles: First, it provides research policy direction and the regulation of these policies to ensure quality and ethical conduct of research activities and training across the university. The Board is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the activities of the University Research Ethics Committee and the Medical Health Sciences Research Committee.The second vital role of the Research and Higher Degrees Board is to develop policies and guidelines and to establish procedures for postgraduate and research higher degree programs. In this capacity, the Board provides leadership and ensures quality assurance through monitoring and regulating all matters related to student selection, admission and academic progress for higher degrees programs offered by the University. The Research and Higher Degrees Board meets at least four times a year.

Functions of the Research and Higher Degrees Board

  • Develop, monitor and regulate policies, procedures and regulations for university research and training, and postgraduate and research higher degree programs
  • Recommend to the Academic Board university research and higher degrees policies and guidelines
  • Advise the Academic Board on university research and higher degrees supervision training, policy and practice
  • Advise the Academic Board on the management of intellectual property and copyright
  • Screen candidates for doctoral programs, appoint supervisors, arrange proposal presentations, and receive semester progress reports from candidates and supervisors
  • Approve examiners for doctoral theses and monitor the examination process
  • Ensure the promotion of presentation of staff research papers in journals, on the Internet and at conferences and seminars
  • Maintain and review academic standards of postgraduate and research higher degree programs through benchmarking against good international practices
  • Coordinate reports of research activities by the university research ethics committee, and the medical health sciences research committee
  • Report to Academic Board on the research activities and research training across the university
  • Report to Academic Board on postgraduate program developments and progress of doctoral candidates

Membership of the Research and Higher Degrees Board

The composition of the Research and Higher Degrees Board includes:

Vice President Research and Postgraduate Studies (Chairperson)
Director Centre for Health Research and Diagnostics
Dean of each Faculty
Vice Presidents (ex-officio)
Director Quality Assurance (ex officio)
Full time Professors
One senior PhD supervisor

Standing committees of the Research and Higher Degrees Board

The Standing Committees that report to the Research and Higher Degrees Board are the University Research Ethics Committee and Medical Health Sciences Research Committee.

University Research Ethics Committee

The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) reports to the Research and Higher Degrees Board and is responsible for protecting the rights, dignity, health, safety and privacy of research participants. It is also concerned with protecting the health, safety, rights and academic freedom of researchers and the reputation of the University as a centre for high-quality research. No research proposal may proceed without approval of the ethics committee.

Functions of the University Research Ethics Committee

  • Consider the ethical and legal implications of all proposed research projects (including those by visiting researchers or other institutions who want to conduct research involving human participation at DWU) that are conducted in or by the University and involve contact with human participants, and to determine whether or not they meet the requirements   for the ethical conduct of research involving human participants and whether or not they conform to relevant legal requirements.
  • Establish procedures for the evaluation and certification of all proposals for the conduct, by members of the University, of research projects which involve human participants.
  • Assist researchers to meet the requirements and standards of legal, professional and grant-awarding bodies.
  • Establish and maintain a register of all proposed research projects which involve contact with human participants, so that the relevant data are readily available.
  • Monitor the progress of research projects so as to ensure that they conform to ethical principles and standards
  • Provide for a confidential mechanism for receiving complaints or reports on the conduct of research projects.
  • Report to the Research and Higher Degrees Board on a regular basis.

Membership of the Research Ethics Committee

The University Research Ethics Committee will be appointed by the Research and Higher Degrees Board, and consist of at least four members.

A professorial academic staff member (Chairperson)
Two academic staff members with doctoral or professorial status and substantial research experience
An external senior researcher

Medical Health Sciences Research Committee

The Medical Health Sciences Research Committee (MHSRC) reports its activities to the Research and Higher Degrees Board and has a vital role in ensuring the quality of activities at the Medical Health Sciences Research Centre and the reputation of the University as a centre for high-quality research in medical health sciences. The Committee meets at varying times throughout the year.

 Functions of the Medical Health Sciences Research Committee

  • Develop and monitor policies, procedures and regulations for the functioning of the Center for Health Research and Diagnostics.
  • Establish procedures for the evaluation of all proposals for the conduct, of medical research projects, consider the ethical and legal implications, and determine whether or not they meet the requirements for the ethical conduct and legal requirements for medical research
  • Assist researchers to meet the requirements and standards of legal, professional and grant-awarding bodies
  • Establish and maintain a register of all proposed medical research projects which involve contact with human participants, so that the relevant data are readily available
  • Monitor the progress of research projects so as to ensure that they conform to ethical principles and standards
  • Provide for a confidential mechanism for receiving complaints or reports on the conduct of research projects
  • Receive annual reports from the Director, Centre for Health Research and Diagnostics.
  • Report to the Research Board on a regular basis

Membership of the Medical Health Sciences Research Committee

The composition of the Medical Health Sciences Research Committee includes:

• Director of the Centre for Health Research and Diagnostics (Chairperson)
• One staff member of the Health Sciences Faculty with a doctoral qualification
• Two academic staff members with research experience in health sciences
• An external senior medical researcher