Although it is being constituted on the basis of a new Senate decision, the Senate Research and Innovation Committee (SRIC) is expected to absorb some functions of former/existing internal structures, including those of the Ethics Committee. As such, in spite of being accountable to the Senate, SRIC is entrusted with both advisory and executive roles.
This being the case, this document proposes that the executive functions delegated to SRIC are undertaken by two standing sub-committees: the Ethics Committee (EC) and Forum for Research Institutions of Seychelles (FRIS). While EC will have oversight of research ethics, as the call for policies to be evidence-based gains political traction, FRIS seeks to strengthen the research capacity of UniSey and subsequently its potential to impact policies, including through strategic networking with other research institutions. As so conceptualised, the works of the sub-committees will not only drive but also implement the Research and Innovation (RI) policy of UniSey.
Terms of Reference
Senate Research and Innovation Committee (SRIC)
The SRIC is an advisory body for the Senate, designated officers and internal functions on matters of policy relating to research and innovation at UniSey, including funding management, intellectual property, ethics and associated collaborations. SRIC should meet as frequently as the Senate and as pressing matters arising from its sub-committees so requires.
Key accountabilities are:
1. Provide informed advice on RI policy, strategy, oversight and practice.
2. Propose resources, including infrastructural and ICT facilities, for supporting RI interests, agenda and strategy of the University.
3. Recommend to the Senate relevant RI, funding and collaboration opportunities, including with state and non-state organisations.
4. Represent UniSey at fora and bodies, where it has active research activities or potential research interests.
5. Propose strategies for increasing the research capacity of the University, including through the development of interdisciplinary research activities, postgraduate programmes of study, staff training and development and inclusion of staff in research activities.
6. Propose policies and strategies for (i) allocating budgeted funds for research, (ii) disseminating research outputs and outcomes and (iii) capturing intellectual property associated with them.
7. Propose new research institutes, professorships or fellowships.
8. Periodically report on research activities at UniSey.
9. Create sub-committees as may be necessary, from time to time.
Ethics Committee (EC)
The Ethics Committee (EC) is both an advisory and executive body of SRIC. It shall be the custodian of the Ethical Policy Framework (EPF) of UniSey, formulating and executing policies relating to research ethics. EC should meet at least twice in every academic year and also as and when required.
1. Develop an EPF for governing research activities associated with the business of UniSey.
2. Produce codes of ethical research practice and guidelines for ethical conduct of research activities approved by UniSey.
3. Propose EPF amendments, which are necessary from time to time.
4. Carry out activities for supporting the ethical conduct of research activities undertaken or commissioned by UniSey including through the dissemination of information on ethical research practices and standards.
5. Organise for relevant ethical protection of participants of research activities associated with UniSey’s business.
6. Evaluate the ethical implications of relevant research proposals, monitor and audit the ethical conduct of approved research activities.
7. Vet requests for UniSey’s participation in research projects by external parties.
Forum of Research Institutions of Seychelles (FRIS)
FRIS is both an advisory and executive body of the SRIC on matters of policy relating to the exchange of scientific and other relevant information amongst local research institutions and other partners of Unisey. Meetings of FRIS should be synchronized with those of SRIC and the minutes should be made available to SRIC.
1. Draw the attention of SRIS to new fields of research, issues of science and technologies that may help UniSey’s business and/or require policy or other responses.
2. Propose innovative approaches to research.
3. Undertake activities for networking with relevant research institutions and/or other authorities, including the sharing and exchanging of relevant data, information and research opportunities.
4. Offer support – including fee-paying, services to relevant research efforts, including peer-reviewing proposals/papers and coordinating research activities.
5. Disseminate information on relevant research outputs, outcomes and development opportunities.