The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is now accepting applications from veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who wish to serve as members of the RCVS Ethics Review Panel (ERP).

The ERP has been established by the RCVS in order to facilitate access to ethical review for those wishing to undertake practice-based research outside of a university or industry context. The ERP will begin considering research proposals from veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses from 1 August 2016 and the trial will run for a period of one year. The process will be limited to considering research projects involving cats and/or dogs during the trial period, with the possibility of expanding to other species if the trial is extended or made permanent.

The trial came about following a joint working party established by the RCVS and British Veterinary Association which reported on ethical review and found that an increasing amount of clinical research was being conducted by vets based in private practice. One of the key recommendations of the report was that the RCVS should consider establishing a committee for ethical review of practice-based research.

Ahead of the launch of the ERP, the RCVS is currently looking to recruit four veterinary surgeon members and a veterinary nurse member to the Panel to join a lay member and ethicist Chair. 

More details about the roles, the function of the ERP and how to apply can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/workforus and www.rcvs.org.uk/ethics. Those who are interested in applying can also email ethics@rcvs.org.uk for an informal discussion. The closing date for applications is 15 April 2016.