​​Ethics Review Committee for Pakistan

Chair: Dr Shaista Masood Khan

The Ethics Review Committee (ERC), Pakistan ensures that AKU supports research of only highest ethical standard and the projects adhere to principles that protect the dignity and rights of human participants. 

The ERC is concerned with all research projects involving human subjects, whether as individuals or communities. The use of fetal material, embryos and tissues from the recently dead, supported and undertaken by Aga Khan University (AKU) faculty, staff or students, wherever conducted, is reviewed by ERC before a study can begin. Any change in conditions that could affect the rights of subjects during a study must be approved for the study to continue.

The ERC provides written guidelines on ethical considerations for research involving human subject. Research could be audited by ERC during the research period to ensure compliance with guidelines. It may withdraw approval if dissatisfied with the conduct of the investigation.


Membership on the ERC includes representation of both genders from research and professional disciplines, discerning public, legal expertise. The Chief Academic Officer in consultation with the URC and ERC Chairs appoint the members. The tenure of AKU members on ERC is three years which may be renewed for one term. The tenure of external members is of one year which may be renewed for another term of one year at the discretion of the Chair ERC based on the attendance and quality of input by the member.

Review Process

The Committee me​ets second Friday of every month with administrative assistance from the Office of Research & Graduate Studies.

ERC applications submitted by the third Friday of each month are reviewed by the committee on the second Friday of the following month. The outcome of review is communicated to the researchers within two weeks after the ERC meeting. In cases where clarification is sought, ERC will notify the Principal Investigator to respond within three months. If the PI fails to respond in the given time, ERC will close the file and the PI will be required to start a new ERC application.