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DSRB Announcement: Conditionally Registered Doctors as Principal Investigators


With effect from 7th September 2011, the NHG Domain Specific Review Board will be allowing doctors of Level 2 and 3 Conditional Registration status with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) to be Principal Investigator according to the risk level of the study.


Previously, only doctors with Full Registration with the SMC are allowed to be appointed as Principal Investigator for research studies, as Conditionally Registered doctor are required to work under supervision at all times and hence, according to the SMC, should not be appointed in positions that require them to assume supervisory roles.


We have noted, in recent years, the increasing number of foreign-trained doctors who would be given conditional registration for at least 2 years by the SMC. We believe that many of these research-motivated and experienced foreign-trained doctors bring a wealth of knowledge and research experience that could manifest in the ability to lead research studies as Principal Investigators.


In view of this, the NHG DSRB, in discussion with the SMC, the Health Sciences Authority and the NHG Research Ethics Committee, will be allowing doctors of Level 2 and 3 supervision to be PI according to the risk level of the study (refer to the following table).



Definition of Minimal Risk – Minimal risk is defined as “the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests”.