Research Ethics

WMSU REOC Makes History: Securing Level 2 Accreditation and Leading the Way in Ethical Research

For the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Research Oversight Ethics Committee (REOC), March 25th, 2024, marked a pivotal moment. Dr. Analyn R. Saavedra, REOC Unit Head, proudly received their Level 2 Accreditation from the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) in Pasay, Manila. This prestigious achievement not only signifies the unwavering dedication of the REOC team but also ushers in a new era for research at WMSU.

Earning Level 2 Accreditation is no small feat. It is a testament to the REOC’s unwavering commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in research. This rigorous process ensures the well-being of research participants and the integrity of research conducted at the university. With this accreditation, the WMSU REOC is now empowered to conduct thorough reviews of research proposals across all categories, except for clinical trials. This expanded scope opens new horizons for WMSU’s research landscape, fostering a more diverse and impactful research environment.

The significance of this achievement extends far beyond WMSU. As the only State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in Zamboanga Peninsula region to hold a Level 2 Accreditation, the WMSU REOC has become a beacon of ethical research practice. This distinction serves as an inspiration to other institutions, paving the way for a more robust and ethically sound research culture across the Philippines.

This achievement marks a new chapter for WMSU. It signifies the university’s unwavering commitment to research excellence and its dedication to fostering a research environment that prioritizes both innovation and ethical conduct. With the WMSU REOC at the forefront, we can expect to see groundbreaking research initiatives emerge from the university, all while upholding the highest ethical standards. The future of research at WMSU is undeniably bright, and the REOC’s Level 2 Accreditation serves as a testament to the university’s unwavering commitment to ethical and impactful research.

Western Mindanao State University Launches Graduate Tracer Study to Enhance Alumni Outcomes

Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) is implementing a significant research initiative known as the Graduate Tracer Study. This project aims to comprehensively evaluate the experiences and career trajectories of WMSU alumni. It goes beyond simply measuring employment rates by delving into a multi-faceted analysis of graduate experiences.

The study will assess graduate satisfaction with their WMSU education, encompassing the quality of instruction, program relevance to their chosen fields, and overall preparedness for the workforce.  Researchers will track career paths, examining initial job placements, current positions, and any career transitions undertaken by graduates.

A crucial aspect of the study involves investigating the specific skills and knowledge acquired at WMSU that graduates find most valuable in their careers. This analysis will provide insights into the effectiveness of the current curriculum and identify areas for potential improvement to better equip future graduates. In some cases, the study may incorporate feedback from employers to understand their perspectives on WMSU graduate preparedness and how well their skills align with industry needs.

The findings of this tracer study hold significant value for both WMSU and its alumni. The data will inform the university’s academic programs, allowing for curriculum adaptations to ensure students are equipped with the skills and knowledge demanded by the evolving job market. Insights from the study can guide WMSU in developing targeted career services and support programs to assist graduates in their job search and professional development, ultimately enhancing graduate support. Furthermore, the Graduate Tracer Study can serve as a valuable tool for highlighting WMSU’s success in preparing its graduates for fulfilling careers. By showcasing the positive impact of WMSU education on its alumni’s professional lives, the university can strengthen its reputation and attract prospective students.

BRET: Equipping Guardians of Ethical Research

The Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) recently held its Basic Research Ethics Training (BRET) on June 6-7, 2024. This intensive program served a specific purpose for the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Research Ethics Oversight Committee (REOC) to equip its members and prospective members with the knowledge and skills necessary to safeguard the ethical conduct of research.

Esteemed research ethics experts Dr. Ruben C. Mendoza and Dr. Lucila T. Lupo facilitated the BRET program. The program ensured participants stayed current on the latest guidelines and review processes mandated by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and PHREB. This commitment to continuous learning aligns the Philippines’ research landscape with the evolving standards of ethical research practiced globally.

BRET went beyond simply informing participants about new regulations. It probed into the core principles that define ethical research, empowering participants to become champions for responsible research practices. The comprehensive BRET program covered a range of topics on ethics and research fundamentals that laid the groundwork by exploring the fundamental connection between ethics and research and defining the pillars of ethical research whereparticipants gained a thorough understanding of the essential characteristics that define ethical research. This included ensuring research is scientifically sound and ethical in whichrigorous methodology and adherence to ethical principles are crucial for reliable and trustworthy research findings. Research should be respectful and inclusive that emphasized the importance of gender and cultural sensitivity in research design and conduct. It also explored the concept of justice in research, ensuring fair selection of participants. Finally, research should be conducted by qualified researchers and approved by Ethical Review that highlighted the importance of qualified researchers conducting the study and the critical role of research ethics committees in reviewing and approving research proposals, including informed consent procedures.

By actively participating in BRET programs, REOC members and aspiring members from WMSU played a critical role. They became better equipped to be the guardians of ethical research, fostering an environment that prioritizes both scientific progress and the well-being of research participants. Ultimately, BRET equipped these individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure research in the university upholds the highest ethical standards, contributing to advancements that benefit society as a whole.