Research Ethics Board Chair

Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Board

About the role:

The Chair of the Research Ethics Board (REB) has an important leadership role to play for the Canadian Blood Services REB to ensure that the Board fulfills its mandate effectively and efficiently. In addition to being the Chair, this position also fulfils one of the four category requirements for REB members: research, ethics, law, or community representation. The REB Chair works with REB members and researchers to ensure that the rights and welfare of participants in research studies are adequately protected, and that the benefits of the research justify the potential risks to research participants. This is an ideal opportunity to play a leadership role in advancing health research in the multiple areas covered by Canadian Blood Services including transfusion, organs and tissues transplantation, and hematopoietic stem cells transplantation.

Authority and Governance Structure:

The REB is an arm’s length board that reports directly to the Safety, Research and Ethics Committee (SREC) of the Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors. The SREC Chair appoints the new REB Chair based on a recommendation from the Executive Management Team and Chief Executive Officer. The Chair is supported administratively by the Research Ethics Program (REP) Secretariat within the Innovation & Portfolio Management team of the Canadian Blood Services’ Medical Affairs & Innovation Division.

Key responsibilities include:

  1. Ensure that all research applications received by the REB receive ethical review in accordance with the guidelines of Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2), and any applicable regulations. This responsibility would include:
    • Identifying proper level of REB review for applications received (delegated REB member, delegated sub-committee, or Full Board).
    • Assigning applications to REB members as required for delegated and Full Board reviews.
    • Reviewing all applications delegated to the Chair.
    • Ensuring that clear REB decisions for applications are made, recorded, and communicated within timelines.
  2. Ensure appropriate operation and governance of the REB. This responsibility would include:
    • Chairing the REB meetings.
    • Monitoring REB membership, including assisting in recruiting, and recommending new members to Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors.
    • Reporting on the activities of the REB to Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors.
    • Providing advice on education, guidelines, policies, and procedures to support Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Blood Services REB in maintaining appropriate research ethics standards in its activities.
    • Process all REB reviews, correspondence, and communications within timelines.

Experience & Skills:

  • At least 5 years of experience in reviewing and managing research ethics issues.
  • Experience in chairing and participating in committees, working groups and/or boards.
  • Subject matter expertise will depend on the board member position the Chair fulfils from the four category requirements for REB members: research, ethics, law, or community representation:
    • Expertise in relevant research disciplines, fields and methodologies addressed by the REB. Specialization in one of the following fields would be beneficial: transfusion medicine, transfusion science, hematology, stem cells, clinical trials and/or public health,
    • Knowledge of ethical aspects of biomedical and relevant social science research,
    • Knowledge of the relevant law, including the privacy of personal health information, or
    • Community member with experience involving Canadian Blood Services (i.e., blood/plasma donation, blood product recipient, organ donor/recipient, stem cell registrant, etc.).
  • Pragmatic approach to addressing research ethics issues, with awareness of risk and complexity.
  • Any of the following would be an asset:
    • Previous REB membership experience.
    • Experience working with researchers.
    • Experience working in a health care setting or with health sector clients.
    • Knowledge in the areas of research covered by the Canadian Blood Services would be an asset including particularly knowledge of potential impacts on research participants
    • Knowledge related to health research especially in areas related to the collection, use and disclosure of biological materials and data for research.
    • Knowledge of research involving social sciences and humanities research.

Commitment:

  • Screen approximately 2-3 research applications per week and assign for appropriate REB review. Depending on the type of request (new application, changes to existing application, closing an application), review time can vary from minutes to several hours per request.
  • Chair 3 meetings of the REB per year. Each meeting is approximately 3 hours in length. The meetings are currently all conducted virtually. There may be the potential for 1 in-person meeting per year in the future (Ottawa Canadian Blood Services Head office) however, this would depend on the availability of board members, budget allowances and public health guidance. From time to time, there are ad hoc meetings.
  • Consultation with REP Secretariat as required regarding REB operations.
  • Consultation with REB members as required.
  • Due to the virtual aspect of the position, there are some technological requirements including a reliable internet connection, and a computer/smartphone/tablet.

Term:

Regular REB membership is a 3-year term. Renewable twice for a maximum of 3 terms or 9 years in total. It would be preferable that the Chair position accept similar terms to ensure continuity for the board.

Remuneration:

Annual stipend. Available upon request.

Application Process:

Applications must include a letter summarizing the applicant’s interest, skills, and experiences, and a Curriculum Vitae (CV) as applicable. Specify in your letter which REB Member category you will fulfil: research, ethics, law, or community representation. Additional documents may be submitted to support your application.

Following the Canadian Blood Services REB Terms of Reference, the Chair cannot be a Canadian Blood Services employee. Please indicate in your letter any affiliation with Canadian Blood Services.

Applications can be sent electronically to: Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Program Secretariat at CBSREB@blood.ca.

The position will be posted for at least 1 month however applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified. This posting will remain on the website until the position is filled.

Selection Process:

Diversity and inclusion play a vital role in ensuring health equity for Canadians. We are committed to reflecting Canada’s population in our organization and fostering an environment where all employees and volunteers can be their authentic selves, with equal opportunities to succeed and contribute.  

Candidates will be selected based on the experience and skills outlined above. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

About the Canadian Blood Services REB:

The REB is a multidisciplinary board established to review all research involving human participants conducted by or on behalf of Canadian Blood Services or involving personal information or biologic materials collected by Canadian Blood Services. The REB evaluates applications submitted for research ethics review and acts as a resource for education and guidance to support Canadian Blood Services in maintaining ethical integrity in its research activities.

For more information on the Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Program, go to https://www.blood.ca/en/research/products-and-services-researchers/research-ethics-program

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