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Ethical Reviews

Research ethics committees (RECs) or institutional review boards (IRBs) have been established in developed countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia; and ethics reviews are mandated in these countries for non-medical including education and social sciences research involving human subjects. Two purposes of ethics reviews are to protect human subjects’ rights and privacy. Although RECs were established in some developing countries, ethics reviews are not mandated for non-medical research applications involving human subjects in most developing countries.

China is a rapidly developing country in the world and research has become an important part of its higher education. Every year the Chinese government provides the social and natural sciences researchers at colleges and schools with thousands of national research grants, and many of these funded research projects would involve human subjects. Obviously, there is an urgent need for the establishment of RECs for human research in Chinese colleges and schools.

In the past few years, with advocacy by Dr. Jinyan Huang, who first served as a tenured full professor and IRB chairperson at an American university, and then a distinguished foreign professor at the School of Foreign Languages and International Education of Hunan University and later a Jinshan distinguished professor at the School of Teacher Education of Jiangsu University in China, these two schools successfully established their RECs, each of which was made up of a group of professors and scholars. The RECs provide the educational researchers at these two schools with standards and guidelines that they can follow to ensure that their human research is ethical. These two RECs thus became the first two RECs for educational research involving human subjects in Chinese higher education.

The Evidence-based Research Center for Educational Assessment (ERCEA) at Jiangsu University continues to ensure our research involving human subjects is ethical. Therefore, ethics reviews are mandated for all ERCEA researchers who conduct human research.

The ERCEA Research Ethical Review Board

Chairperson: Dr. Jinyan Huang

Board Members: Drs. Cui Kang, Zilong Yin, Shuo Zhao, Meng Shi, Shahbaz Hussain

Please email us at for the ethical review application form.

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