Research Ethics Program Core (REP)

Research Ethics Consultation Service (RECS)


The purpose of the Penn Research Ethics Consultation Service (RECS) is to provide expert advice and guidance to the Penn and CHOP community throughout the research process. Anyone involved in planning, design, proposal writing, review (IRB, IACUC, CTRMC), data collection and management, analysis, dissemination activities, and follow-up will be encouraged to draw on the RECS faculty to help avoid problems and anticipate and resolve ethical issues that may arise.

Any Penn faculty, staff, students, fellows, or other employees involved in planning, performing, or reporting research may request RECS consultation. It's free, friendly, and fabulous.

This service will be provided in confidence; RECS faculty will not report noncompliance or other ethical or legal concerns to anyone. We will provide referrals to appropriate institutional officials if called for.

RECS Faculty

RECS Expertise

RECS faculty have knowledge covering a broad range of ethical and regulatory issues in human subjects research.

Research issues that might present particularly vexing or unresolved ethical conundrums include:

  • Involvement of vulnerable subjects, including:
    • children;
    • students, staff, fellows and residents;
    • prisoners or anyone subject to police or court authority;
    • those lacking decision-making capacity or involving surrogates
    • other populations that lack the power to adequately protect themselves or are susceptible to manipulation due to dependence, resource constraints, or disenfranchisement
  • Novel experimental techniques
    • Human Embryonic Stem (hES) or fetal cell transplants
    • Gene transfer

RECS faculty are willing to participate in meetings or lead educational seminars upon request.


Please contact the RECS through the CTSA website. RECS faculty will triage your request and respond as quickly as possible. We will email or call, and set up a meeting if that is desired.

Please provide enough information about your research questions and methods to enable us to understand the nature of the issue, so we can direct the inquiry to the best RECS faculty member equipped to respond.

Please tell us if you have a deadline or other time constraint that you are trying to meet!

Outcomes assessment

In order to assess the RECS program, we will track inquiries. Thus, please use the CTSA website to contact us. If you think that one of the RECS faculty would be best suited to consult, please suggest that person and we'll try to accommodate your request.

We will also be seeking feedback by email, following a consultation. We will be trying to make this service as useful and user-friendly as possible, so please take the time to give us your opinions about the value of the program.