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Ethics, Regulation & Public Involvement Committee (ERPIC)

The Ethics, Regulation and Public Involvement Committee provides the MRC Council with expert ethical advice on a wide range of issues relating to medical research. For example, in early 2005 it looked at the scientific community’s concerns about the impact of excessive bureaucracy and regulation on research involving patients and produced a Policy & governance MRC position statement on this topic. The statement document was then discussed at a public MRC Council meeting in February 2005.

Terms of reference

  1. To advise Council on policy concerning the conduct of research involving human participants (including personal information and human biological material) and animals, with respect to:
  • ethics
  • legislation and regulation; and
  • other related matters that may be referred to it by Council
  1. To advise Council on issues or initiatives involving the public (such as major public consultations, public dialogue activities, and public involvement in MRC business).
  2. To maintain an overview of published MRC ethics guidance on the conduct of research that involves human participants or animals
  3. To advise Council on the MRC’s support for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics

The Ethics, Regulation and Public Involvement Committee meets twice a year, and reports formally to Council once a year.


  • Baroness Onora O’Neill, Chair
  • Dr Sarah Edwards, Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, University College London 
  • Dr Michael Emerson, National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College
  • Dr Jonathan Hewitt, Cardiff University
  • Dr Roger Highfield, Science Museum Group
  • Dr Neil Manson, Lancaster University
  • Dr Louise Bowman, Clinical Trial Service Unit, University of Oxford