Brief history about NSEC

The research activities have continued to grow in number and complexity in Kenya. Due to this, it became necessary to institutionalize and mainstream research ethics issues in the country. As a start, only Kenyatta National Hospital had a committee, KEMRI then established a committee which called itself National Ethics Committees. Other Committees came up in Moi University, Nyanza region, and at the Coast. They were under the Medical Directorate in the Ministry of Health.

In 2009, UNESCO was engaged and it was decided that guidelines for accrediting these Committees should be developed. The National Bioethics Committee (NBC)  was thus formed under Health Science Schedule and members appointed in 2010. NBC is anchored under the section 9 of the Science, Technology, and Innovation (ST&I) Act, No 28 of 2013.

In November 2021, the mandate of NBC was expanded and renamed to National Scienntific and Ethical Review Committee (NSEC)

National Scientific and Ethics Committee (NSEC) is one of the  institutional frameworks established to ensure that NACOSTI will continue to engage and mainstream the highest ethical standards in research. NSEC was developed in line with NACOSTI to focus on all research as a response to the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya as well as new encounters being experienced in research. 

National Scientific and Ethics Committee (NSEC) was created by NACOSTI to offer guidelines and create accreditation standards for Institutional Ethics Review Committees (ISERCs) to adhere to for their accreditation process to be successful. NSEC is committed to enabling and supporting ethical research in Kenya. It protects the rights, safety, dignity and wellbeing of research participants.

We have a duty to provide an efficient and robust ethics review service that maximises Kenya’s competitiveness for health research and maximises the return from investment in Kenya, while protecting participants and researchers.

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 (ISERCs) to National Scientific and Ethics Committee (NSEC).

National Scientific and Ethics Committee

Membership Team


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