Research, Service User Engagement

27 November, 2023

Research Ethics Committee seeks service user members

Photo of a microscope being used in research

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) invites service users to join a committee ensuring ethical approach to mental health research.

Our Research Ethics Committee (REC) is seeking service users and others who would be interested in becoming a committee member.

This is an exciting and rare opportunity to enable mental health research in Ireland, to gain insight into how the research process works, and to ensure that Irish research is strengthened by the highest ethical standards.

Scope and objective of the REC

The REC reviews applications to undertake research in St Patrick’s University Hospital, St Patrick’s Hospital Lucan and the Dean Clinics. The objective of the REC is to safeguard the health, welfare and rights of human participants and researchers in research studies and to ensure that all research is conducted according to best ethical practice.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for current and past service users of SPMHS who would be interested in volunteering their time to the work of the REC. The REC also welcomes applications from others, who do not necessarily have experience of mental healthcare.

As a member of the REC, you will have access to research training, while working with professionals who are actively interested in promoting mental health research. Through this work, you will gain a better understanding of the research framework in Ireland and create a positive impact on mental health services. You will also have opportunity to enhance your professional and personal development.

What is involved

Before joining the REC, you will be invited to take part in a four-hour Research Integrity Programme to introduce you to the overall research process.

Taking part in the REC then involves attending up to six meetings a year. These meetings currently taking place online and each meeting lasts approximately one hour.

Ahead of these meetings, you will be asked to read research applications on an online platform, which should take around one to two hours, depending on the volume of research applications received.

There is a five-year term for membership of the REC, with a maximum length of membership of 10 years.

You can see more about the REC here, where you can also find the annual schedule of meetings.

How to apply

If you would like to apply to join the committee, please submit a letter of interest and a brief two-page Curriculum Vitae, or CV, for the attention of the Chair of the REC, Professor Joyce O’Connor. These can be sent to the REC Administrator by emailing

If you have any queries about joining the REC, please call 01 249 3345.

See more on research and service user engagement

See more on research and service user engagement