Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

REC fast track policy

A researcher/applicant may request that an ethics application be considered under the fast track review process. This means that the application would receive an expedited review outside of the normal ethics committee meeting cycle. Should a fast track be granted, the time from submission to approval may be approximately one month, depending on time taken to resolve amendments and clarifications.

To apply for fast track and review procedure

  1. The applicant must contact the convenor and provide a justification in writing for the fast track consideration. As a fast track requires considerable extra time for the convenor and REC members it should not be undertaken without good reason. Possible justifiable reasons include:
    • Tight time frames (e.g. summer studentships, student selected component)
    • Funding reasons
    • Ethical approval necessary for grant application or grant registration
  2. Convenor notifies the chair who decides if a fast track is justified.
  3. A full online application should be completed as per the normal application process.
  4. All associated documentation, including written confirmation that the supervisor has reviewed the (well-written) protocol, must be uploaded with the submitted application. This will be checked by the convenor and will get back to the applicant if necessary.
  5. The convenor assigns a minimum of four reviewers to each fast track application and notifies the reviewers of their assigned review as soon as possible.
  6. A response from the four committee reviewer should be provided within one week if possible.
  7. The convenor combines the reviews.
  8. Applicant then receives feedback from the convenor within 10 working days of submission.