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Some general advice on how to respond to ethics committee requests for changes:
- Adopt a conciliatory tone
- Draft a to-the-point response letter (as a document)
- The key content of this letter should be clearly labelled so as to address each of the points raised by the committee
- In general, the requests for changes will be either:
- Requests for more detail/information
- Requests for changes to details
- With regard to each of the points raised, explain what been changed/done to deal with the issue
- In general, you should probably adopt most of the committee's recommendations, however sometimes the committee may have misunderstood the proposed study (which means a better explanation is needed) or you do not agree with the recommendation. In such cases, mount an objective, dispassionate argument about why you think the original proposal should be approved with regard to the specific issue.
- Send a draft of your response letter to your supervision for comment.
- Address supervisor comments, then email the document to the ethics committee secretary.