Ethics

Ethics approval is a critical step in the research data life-cycle to ensure that data collected and used during the course of research activities meets the expected ethical standard under the terms of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and other relevant Commonwealth, Sate & Territory legislation supporting Human, Animal and/or Institutional Biosafety research.

Ethics approval and continual monitoring of data management and usage is critical to maintaining the ethical standard and integrity of research within an institution.

Research data can have long lasting social, cultural, or scientific value well beyond the completion of a research project. Keeping accurate records of the ethical and legal constraints as well as the permissions around research data are necessary steps to ensure that the value of data is preserved.

Ethics Officers in Research Services can advise which projects require approval and should always be consulted if there is any doubt. It is the formal responsibility of the supervisor to obtain any required ethical clearance for each higher degree project.

Important updates: September 2016

Updated forms / New forms

  • All Ethics applications must be submitted on current forms downloaded from this website - updated September 2016 - superseded application forms will no longer be accepted by Ethics Committees as they do not conform to current legislative requirements.
  • Note the new Peer Review Checklist, to assist authorising Personnel in assessing the research merit of applications they are requested to approve at Faculty/School level.

Submission of application

  • Submission of an Ethics application (template must be current - superseded versions will not be accepted) requires one electronic copy and one hard copy be submitted to the Ethics office prior to the due time and date. Incomplete and/or unauthorised hard copy applications will not be accepted for review by the committee. Applications that miss the close-off are not eligible for an 'Out of Session' review.
  • Authorising signatories (HoS, DHoS, ADRs and Ethics Coordinators) must be given sufficient time to review an application prior to signing off. Their authorisation is verification that the application is of merit to be reviewed by the appropriate Ethics Committee - see the new Peer Review Checklist to assist authorising signatories with this process.
  • Researchers are advised that the Committees will not continue to review resubmitted applications that do not materially address fundamental and important ethical concerns previously brought to the attention of the researchers.

HREC application threshold

  • A maximum of 26 applications are considered at each HREC meeting, and are placed on the agenda in order of receipt of the completed application. A limit is imposed to ensure that the volunteer HREC members have sufficient time per meeting to fully assess each application. Any applications received after this maximum is reached is placed on the Agenda for the next meeting and the researcher notified. Research Services schedule additional meetings during peak months
  • Applications received after the close-off for Agenda Items, or received after the threshold of applications has been reached for any meeting, are NOT eligible for an 'Out of Session Review.' Please submit your carefully completed applications in a timely manner to avoid disappointment.