Sociology and criminology prof to lead University’s Research Ethics Board

Suzanne McMurpySociology and Criminology professor Suzanne McMurphy has accepted appointment as Chair of the University of Windsor’s Research Ethics Board effective July 1, 2023 the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation announced.

“I am very pleased that Dr. McMurphy has taken on this role”, said Interim Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Chris Houser. “Dr. McMurphy’s exceptional leadership, dedication, wealth of knowledge, and expertise in research ethics are a tremendous asset to our research community.”

Dr. McMurphy has over 20 years’ experience in research ethics, serving as a member of institutional review boards in the US and research ethics boards in Canada. She joined the University of Windsor’s Research Ethics Board in 2010, serving as Chair from 2016-2022. She has also been a member of the Windsor Regional Hospital’s Research Ethics Board since 2017. From 2021-2023, Dr. McMurphy provided consultation to the World Health Organization’s Secretariat for the Ethics Review Committee where, in addition to providing pre-reviews and assessments of international research ethics protocols, she developed and staffed a weekly clinic on research ethics for WHO personnel. She is a member of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight, located at the University of Pennsylvania, and a collaborating researcher on two of their research projects examining the improvement of research ethics protocols and developing metrics to assess the quality of research ethics oversight. During her recent sabbatical, Dr. McMurphy completed a Master’s in Bioethics (MHSc) at the University of Toronto. She is currently working on a co-edited book on contemporary research ethics issues and qualitative research.

In addition to serving as Chair of the Research Ethics Board, Dr. McMurphy teaches research methods, qualitative research and law and social policy in her home Department of Sociology and Criminology. Her research examines issues of institutional trust and trustworthiness and she is a founding member of the Trustworthiness Research Alliance at the University of Windsor.

Dr. McMurphy succeeds Scott Martyn, who served as the Board’s Chair since 2022.

“On behalf of our research community, I would like to thank Dr. Martyn for his service over the past year,” Dr. Houser said.