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Ethics Review Committee (ERC)


The COMSATS University (CU) mission statement states that one of its priorities is to:

"Generate and preserve knowledge, understanding and creativity by instigating enquiry, conducting high-quality research and promoting scholarship, that benefit students, scholars and communities across the country, the Muslim Ummah and the World, at large."

In accordance with this mission, high-quality research that is beneficial to the community is a top priority. Therefore, in order to promote and facilitate ethical research practices, the Humanities Department at CU is establishing a departmental Ethics Review Committee (ERC) that would be responsible for reviewing research project proposals prepared by humanities faculty, staff, and students.

The Committee

The CU Humanities and Social Sciences Ethics Review Committee (ERC) will consist of the following personnel:

  1. Director
    1. Oversees the committee
    2. In case of voting deadlock, casts the deciding vote
    3. Reviews and decides grievances
    4. Presides over committee meetings
  2. Chair
    1. Serves as the focal person of the committee
    2. Receives the applications/proposals
    3. Conducts initial review to determine the category of the review
    4. Emails the applicant to apprise them of the status of the review
    5. Corresponds with committee members
    6. Arranges committee meeting in case of full review
  3. Co-Chair
    1. Takes over Chair responsibilities in her/his absence
    2. Participates in voting
  4. Members (at least one faculty member from each discipline represented in the humanities department)
    1. Review proposals categorized as “expedited” in a timely manner
    2. Participate in meetings for voting on proposals requiring a “full” review

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  1. Application Process
    1. Access application form from website
    2. Provide required information on the application form
    3. Provide consent form
    4. Provide research instrument
    5. Email complete application to Chair
    6. Incorporate changes recommended by the committee
    7. Wait for approval letter before commencing research
  2. Review Process
  1. Chair reviews application/proposal and assigns one of the following categories:
  1. Exempt:
    1. If the research does not involve human subjects or poses minimal risk to adult human subjects, Chair will assign this category
    2. The letter approving the proposal will be issued to the applicant as early as possible to allow the researcher to commence the project
  2. Expedited Review:
    1. Research proposals in this category typically involve human subjects who may be considered more vulnerable (such as children, persons with disabilities, religious minorities etc.) who may be harmed through their participation in the research
    2. Chair will email proposals in this category to the committee members for their feedback
    3. Chair will compile changes recommended by committee members
    4. Chair will then send off the committee recommendations to the applicant
    5. Applicant will send back revised proposal
    6. Chair will issue letter of approval
  3. Full Review:
    1. If the proposed research involves human subjects who are vulnerable as well as methods that may cause the participants physical, psychological or emotional harm, the project will have to go through a full review
    2. Chair will send proposals in this category to the committee for full review
    3. Committee will then convene to vote on the proposal
    4. Recommended changes will be noted and emailed to the applicant
    5. Applicant will submit revised proposal to Chair
    6. After reviewing revised proposal Chair will issue letter of approval, if approved
    7. If the project is not revised in accordance with committee recommendations, approval will not be issued and the applicant will have to resubmit the application


    1. Applicants must apply for ERC approval for their projects before commencing the project. No retroactive approvals will be issued.
    2. Research projects involving medical, pharmaceutical, or other physical tests are outside the scope of the humanities ERC. Such projects must go through the CU Biosciences ERB.
    3. Approvals will only be issued once the applicant makes the requisite changes, if any, recommended by the committee.
    4. The committee members will do all in their power to make the process as quick as possible to facilitate researchers.

    Committee Members

    Dr. Fayyaz Ahmed Faize – Director
    Dr. Waqar Sukoon – Chair
    Dr. Mubeen Akhtar – Member
    Dr. Muhammad Nawaz – Member
    Dr. Aliya Zafar – Member

    Please email completed applications to:

    Click here Downloadable Form File
    Click here Sample Consent Form
    Click here Sample Consent Form in Urdu