The University Research Ethics Review Board (URERB) of MMSU obtained Level 1 accreditation from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development – Philippine Health Research Ethics Board last 17 March 2016, making it the first and only higher education institution (HEI) in Region 1 which is registered and accredited to review protocols of researches involving human participants.
Level 1 accreditation connotes that the URERB has demonstrated sufficient competency and efficiency in ethical review and adheres to a set of appropriate standard operating procedures (SOP). It can, however, only review low-risk researches involving human participants but not clinical trials.
Established as an Office in the University by virtue of Board of Regents (BOR) Resolution No. 1416, s. 2015, the University Research Ethics Review Board is mandated to provide independent, competent, and timely review of the ethics of proposed research studies. As quoted from the World Health Organization (2000), its main purpose is to help safeguard the dignity, rights, safety, and well-being of all actual or potential research participants. To this end, it is important that in its composition, procedures, and decision-making, the Board shall be independent of political, institutional, professional, and market influences. By definition of the PHREB (2014), the URERB is responsible for acting in the full interest of potential research participants and affected communities, taking into account the interests, needs of the researchers, and having due regard for the requirements of relevant regulatory agencies and applicable laws. Thus, an “ethical clearance” is now a requirement for all researches that involves human subjects.
The scope of work of the URERB covers all researches involving human participants such as Undergraduate Thesis, Masteral Thesis, Doctoral Dissertations, faculty researches and researches conducted by full-time researchers, as well as researches referred by other institutions such as HEIs, government agencies, among others.