Research Ethics

PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences is committed to facilitating excellent research, which encompasses a rigorous and independent ethical review process. The Institute of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (IHSREC) was formed in 2010 and requires that all research involving human participants, personal data or material to be subjected to formal ethical review in which the ethics committee will assess the submitted research proposal. IHSREC expects all researchers embarked on research involving human participants, personal data or material to consider the ethical risks of their research work, to act in an ethical manner when engaged on University business, to conduct research activities to the highest ethical standards, and in case of doubt, to seek appropriate advice.

IHSREC works on research ethics closely with the Medical and Health Research and Ethics Committee (MHREC) of the Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Health and the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Research conducted by faculty staff must be recommended by IHSREC before endorsement by MHREC/UREC.

Research conducted by faculty students should be submitted to IHSREC or the joint committee of IHSREC and MHREC.

Permission to conduct research at the Ministry of Health will be processed by the Biomedical Research and Ethics Unit (BREU):

Biomedical Research and Ethics Unit
Department of Policy and Planning
Ministry of Health

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published 28/05/2019

last updated 02/07/2024

Application Process

Ethics applications which are completed and have been submitted before the deadline will be reviewed during the committee review meeting.

For a submission to be reviewed by IHSREC or by the joint committees of IHSREC and MHREC, submit only a softcopy of your application to IHSREC via

For a submission [from IHS and MoH staff] to be reviewed by MHREC only, please follow guidelines provided at the MHREC website (


Documents for Ethical Approval Application

  1. Checklist for Submission of Ethics Application (revised for 2021 applications) [docx]
  2. UREC Form RE01
  3. Researcher CV Template [docx]
  4. IHSREC Risk & Sensitivity Assessment Form (IRSA) [docx]
  5. Supervisor Approval Form [docx] FOR STUDENT PROJECTS ONLY
    • Liaise with academic supervisor(s) and Faculty SHE towards evidence submission of verified risk assessment

Document Samples

  1. Participant Information Sheet (in English) [docx]
  2. Consent Form (in English) [docx]
  3. Consent Form (in Malay) [docx]

The examples above are for illustrative purposes only, and all applicants should tailor documents to meet ethical requirements.

Deadlines & Meeting Dates

Submission Deadline

IHSREC Meeting Date

Joint IHSREC-MHREC Meeting Date

26/NOV/2024no meeting in December
no meeting in December
27/MAY/2025no meeting in June
no meeting in June

Points of Consideration to Obtain Ethical Approval

All studies require a brief summary of what is proposed. Our interest is in areas of your objectives and methodology where ethical issues may arise, so please focus your detail on areas such as recruitment, consent, describing your participants and the nature of their involvement, and data handling.

The research study protocol should sufficiently detail about aspects of potential concern to the ethical review process. Therefore, please explain processes and procedures in the study planned. It might be helpful to provide an overview of the ethical issues as you see them, and steps you are taking to obviate ethical risks, as far as possible.

Issues of key interest in undertaking ethical review are:

  • informing participants about the purpose, methods and use of the research
  • obtaining consent from participants
  • obtaining permission and approval from relevant authorities and stakeholders
  • protecting the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of participants
  • highlighting potential for distress to the participants, as a consequence of research enquiry, and providing advice and/or support in such cases
  • safeguarding the anonymity and privacy of participants
  • explaining process of withdrawal from research for participants and arrangement for such cases
  • protecting the confidentiality of information relating to participants
  • ensuring compliance with data protection
  • ensuring participant safety, both physical and psychological
  • ensuring researcher safety, both physical and psychological
  • protecting researchers, particularly those conducting research off campus
  • protecting the reputation of the University

In the case of practice-based research, ensuring participants are clear about the distinction between practitioner and researcher roles, and that only information stated as to be collected for the research study will be available to researchers. Similarly, there should be clarity as to whether information collected for the research study will be shared with practitioners/authorities, where applicable.