Lay members come from a variety of backgrounds and fields of work. Examples include academics from other fields, managers in areas unrelated to the research area, lawyers, ethicists, administrative staff, librarians, safety officers, and people from the local community, clergy or public services. Lay members should have no vested interest in the matters under review, and may also be independent of the institution where the research is conducted.
The composition of the ethics committee requires it to have a lay member who is not employed by the University of Wolverhampton. An appointed lay member will be asked to perform the same tasks as members from within the University, including scrutinising applications for ethical approval, discussing new policy developments and participating in the annual audit of projects.
The lay member will need to be prepared to have their full name, profession and affiliation recorded. Any conflicts of interest should be declared and recorded.
The lay member is expected to maintain confidentiality regarding applications, meeting deliberations, information on research participants, and related matters. Like all Committee members, lay members are normally required to attend in full at least two-thirds of all scheduled Committee meetings in each academic year. Attendance at scheduled meetings should be of sufficient frequency to ensure an effective contribution to the work of the Committee. Committee members will normally be required to scrutinise at least two-thirds of the applications they are asked to review in each academic year.