COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEE (CAES REC)
The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) is one of the 11 colleges of Makerere University. CAES implements the University strategic plan which defines the three core functions namely research, teaching and outreach. A number of research projects are undertaken within the three schools that constitute the college: School of Agricultural Sciences (SAS), School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS) and School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-engineering (SFTNB). The staff in these schools undertake multidisciplinary research that address agricultural, environmental, health, social and economic challenges, attract both local and international research interests and some of which involve human subjects. The CAES research and ethics committee (CAES REC) evaluates and approves research proposals and monitors research progress to lend credibility to the research activities, outputs and outcomes in compliance with ethical standards.
The rights, interests, values and welfare of research participants are protected and high ethical standards in research are promoted.
Dignified, novel and credible research products and services.
To ensure beneficial, safe and ethical research is conducted.
- To provide mechanisms for protecting rights and welfare of research participants.
- To provide ethical standards and procedures for conduct of research involving humans as research participants.
- To ensure that researchers take into account social and cultural values of participating communities.
Research and development including scientific investigations involving humans as research participants shall be conducted for the benefit of communities in Uganda and abroad without causing unnecessary harm or inconvenience, and shall not compromise rights and welfare of research participants.
Functions of CAES REC
- To maintain ethical standards of practice in research.
- To protect research participants and researchers from harm or exploitation.
- To preserve the research participants’ rights and welfare.
- To provide assurance to society of the protection of rights and welfare of research participants.
- To ensure adherence to ethical conduct of research protocols approved by the REC.
Principles of Research Ethics
CAES REC activities are based on four basic research ethics principles, namely: respect for persons, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. These principles are briefly described as follows:
Respect for persons
This incorporates at least two fundamental ethical considerations, namely: respect for autonomy, which requires that those who are capable of deliberation about their personal choices should be treated with respect for their capacity for self-determination; and protection of persons with impaired or diminished autonomy, which requires that those who are dependent or vulnerable be afforded security against harm or abuse.
This refers to the ethical obligation to maximize benefits and to minimize harms. That is to say, risks of harm by research should be reasonably justified by expected benefits, research design should be scientifically acceptable, and researchers should be competent to conduct research and to safeguard rights and welfare of research participants.
- Non-maleficence (i.e., to do no harm)
This prescribes that the researcher should not deliberately inflict harm or evil on research participants.
This refers to the ethical obligation to treat each person in accordance with what is morally right and proper, to give each person what is due to him or her. The principle refers primarily to distributive justice, which requires fair and equitable distribution of both burdens and benefits of participation in research.
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Research Ethics Committee
P.O Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256 772 673458