On January 25th 2022, the Cook Islands Research Policy was updated and endorsed by Cabinet. This led to the establishment of Cook Islands Research Ethics Committee (‘CIREC’) in May 2022 who work in partnership with the Cook Islands National Research Committee (‘CINRC’).
The Cook Islands Research Ethics Committee ensures that all research undertaken in the Cook Islands meets high research and ethical standards protecting those involved in research. In terms of process, the CIREC reviews all applicable applications before granting ethics approval. The application then moves to the CINRC for final review and approval, unless an ethics or programmatic exemption applies.
All research applications are required to seek ethics approval in the Cook Islands unless they fit under the exemptions listing under the Policy. To date we have received 58 applications from 15 countries with 40 female and 18 male applicants. Covering various aspects of natural heritage, health, mental health, education, agriculture, environment, wellbeing, education, workforce development, marine, seabed minerals, social development and tourism.
Applications are received over a two-month period and are categorized by their level of risk – low, medium and high, which is dependent on the nature of research to be conducted. This determines the turnaround time on applications. The 2024 deadlines for applications are as per the below: 26 February 2024 22 April 2024 24 June 2024 26 August 2024 28 October 2024 (Confirmation dependent on Cook Islands games schedule) Please note that timelines for application decisions vary depending on the risk analysis and that no applications will be reviewed across the December/January period.
This will resume in February 2025. The 2025 application deadlines will be announced towards the end of the year.
All further queries or concerns can be directed to the Research Secretariat on email@example.com our team will be happy to assist. Further information on applications for research or any issues around research in the Cook Islands is available from the OPM website at www.pmoffice.gov.ck
by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or phoning +682 25494.