Volunteer Law Member

Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Board

About the role: 

The Law Member is a volunteer member of the Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Board (REB) with the responsibilities to contribute to the REB on the legal aspects of biomedical research, medical ethics and privacy/data issues. REB Members work together with the REB Chair and researchers to ensure that the rights and welfare of participants in research studies are adequately protected, and that the benefits of the research justify the potential risks to research participants. This is an ideal opportunity to play a significant role in advancing health research in the multiple areas covered by Canadian Blood Services including transfusion, organs and tissues transplantation, and hematopoietic stem cells transplantation.  

Key responsibilities include: 

  • Review research applications as assigned by the Chair and in accordance with the guidelines of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) and Canadian Blood Services policies and procedures. As stated in the commentary on article 6.4 of TCPS2, “The role of the member knowledgeable in the law (Article 6.4[c]) is to alert REBs to legal issues and their implications (e.g., privacy issues), not to provide formal legal opinions or to serve as legal counsel for the REB.”   
  • Attend the REB meetings to make recommendations on research applications and other matters that come before the REB such as operating procedures and policy advice to the Canadian Blood Services. 

Experience & Skills: 

  • Subject matter expertise in one or more of the following areas: Knowledge of the relevant applicable laws including health law, health privacy law, regulation of emerging technologies and risks (e.g., cybersecurity, artificial intelligence) and standards for health research in Canada. 
  • Pragmatic approach to addressing ethics issues, with awareness of risk and complexity, as viewed through a legal lens. 
  • Any of the following would be an asset: 
  • Awareness of issues in research ethics.  
  • Previous REB membership experience.  
  • Experience working with researchers or in a health care setting or with health sector clients.  
  • Knowledge related to health research especially in areas related to the collection, use and disclosure of biological materials and data for research.
  • Knowledge in the areas covered by Canadian Blood Services as stated above.  

Commitment:  

The REB member would be expected to attend three meetings of the REB per year. Each meeting is approximately 3 hours in length. The meetings are conducted virtually with potential for 1 in-person meeting per year (Ottawa Canadian Blood Services Head office, as permitted). From time to time, there are occasional ad hoc meetings. On occasion the REB member will be called upon to offer advice to the Chair. Due to the virtual aspect of the position, there are some technological requirements including a reliable internet connection, and a computer/smartphone/tablet.  

Term:  

3-year term. Renewable twice for a maximum of three terms or 9 years in total. 

Remuneration:  

This is an unpaid, volunteer position. 

Application Process:  

Applications must include a letter summarizing the applicant’s interest, relevant experience and skills. Please indicate in your letter any affiliation with Canadian Blood Services. Additional documents may be submitted to support your application.  

Applications can be sent electronically to: 

Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Program Secretariat

CBSREB@blood.ca 

The position will be posted for at least 1 month however applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified. This posting will remain on the website until the position is filled. 

Selection Process:  

Diversity and inclusion play a vital role in ensuring health equity for Canadians. We are committed to reflecting Canada’s population in our organization and fostering an environment where all employees and volunteers can be their authentic selves, with equal opportunities to succeed and contribute.   

To protect the health and safety of its employees, all Canadian Blood Services’ employees and volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated (COVID-19 vaccine doses as approved by Health Canada), subject to any authorized medical or other exemptions. 

Candidates will be selected based on the experience and skills outlined above. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. 

About the Canadian Blood Services REB: 

The REB is a multidisciplinary board established to review all research involving human participants conducted by or on behalf of Canadian Blood Services or involving personal information or biologic materials collected by Canadian Blood Services. The REB evaluates applications submitted for research ethics review and acts as a resource for education and guidance to support Canadian Blood Services in maintaining ethical integrity in its research activities.  

For more information on the Canadian Blood Services Research Ethics Program, go to https://www.blood.ca/en/research/products-and-services-researchers/research-ethics-program 

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