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The functions of the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) as outlined under section 6 (1) of the Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Act include among others; Approval of all Scientific Research; Register and accredit Research Institutions; and Assurance of Relevance and Quality of ST&I programmes in research institutions.

In fulfilling its mandate of assuring quality in research, NACOSTI has delegated the task of ethical clearance in research proposals to Institutional Ethics Review Committees (IERCs). These Committees are accredited by NACOSTI on the recommendation of National Bioethics Committee (NBC). IERCs are expected to adhere to the set guidelines and standards of accreditation.

IERCs are established in research institutions, universities and hospitals. These committees are expected to review research proposals for ethical clearance before the proposal is considered by NACOSTI for issuance of research license. Applicants wishing to have ethical clearance of the proposal can apply to any of the accredited IERC.

The institutions wishing to apply for accreditation or renewal of accreditation of IERC should download application form and refer to the Guidelines for Accreditation of Institutional Ethics Review Committees in Kenya.