Human research ethics committee (HREC)

HREC terms of reference

The role of the HREC

Composition of the HREC

Composition of the HREC

In accordance with NHMRC requirements the minimum membership of an HREC is eight. As far as possible:

(a) There should be equal numbers of men and women; and
(b) At least one third of the members should be from outside the institution
 Category 1Name
(a) A Chairperson, with suitable experience, whose other responsibilities will not impair the HREC's capacity to carry out its obligations under the National Statement. Dr David Newman
(b) At least two members who are lay people, one man and one woman, who have no affiliation with the Institution and do not currently engage in medical, scientific, legal or academic work.Mr Steve Blomeley
Ms Margaret Bird
(c) At least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people; for example, a nurse or allied health professional. Dr Joanne Fritch
Mrs Jacqueline Fernandez
(d) At least one member who performs a pastoral care role in a community, for example, an Aboriginal elder, a minister of religion. Rev’d Canon Dr Timothy Gaden
(e) At least one member who is a lawyer, where possible one who is not engaged to advise the institution Ms Laura Hartmann
(f)At least two members with current research experience that is relevant to research proposals to be considered at the meetings they attend. These two members may be selected, according to need, from an established pool of inducted members with relevant expertise.Mrs Frances Beaumont
Lachlan James
Julia Gilbert

Category 2: Additional members appointed

 Category 2Name
(a) Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic or their respective nominee. Dr Kate Brass
(b) Chair of Academic Board or nominee.Prof Kim Dowling
(c) Two members of academic staff elected by all higher education academic staff of the Federation University Australia. Dr Shaun Watson (Deputy Chair)
Mr Grant Meredith
(d)A research higher degree student elected by research higher degree studentsMs Sara Weuffen

The role of the HREC

HRE committee membership and activities are audited annually by the NHMRC through the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) to ensure that they comply with the National Statement.

The committee is responsible for considering the ethical implications of proposed research projects undertaken by University staff and students that involve or impact on humans, and for ensuring that the ethical standards of such research are maintained.

Their primary role is to protect the welfare and rights of participants in research. It must be satisfied that the research protocol gives adequate consideration to participants' welfare, rights, beliefs, perceptions, customs and cultural heritage, both individual and collective.

The HREC informs and works with the University's Academic Board to ensure the adoption of, and compliance with, appropriate codes of practice for the conduct of such research. The HREC also acts to promote understanding within the University and the broader community of the ethical issues raised by research, teaching and related academic activities.

The volunteer committee is appointed by the Academic Board of Federation University Australia, to consider the ethical implications of proposed research projects involving human subjects and operates under the following terms of reference:

Terms of reference

The Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is appointed by the Academic Board of Federation University Australia, to consider the ethical implications of proposed research projects involving human subjects and operates under the following terms of reference:

Research projects involving human subjects, cover all research and teaching projects including:

  • surveys
  • interviews
  • experiments and
  • examinations of documents,
  • where the interests of human participants require consideration.

Human participants are considered to be research subjects who are personally interacting with the investigator; subject to observation; and/or those whose personal and confidential records are being accessed.

The HREC must ensure ethical standards are maintained in research projects involving human subjects, and protect the interests of the research subjects, the investigator, Federation University Australia and the general community, in accordance with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (NS).

The HREC must protect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals by ensuring the security, storage and disposal of confidential data collected during the conduct of research involving human subjects.

The HREC will promote understanding within the University and the broader community, of the ethical issues raised by research, teaching and related academic activities.

The HREC will report and provide advice to the Academic Board on ethical matters related to research involving human subjects. To inform and work with the Academic Board and the Research Committee to ensure the adoption of, and compliance with, appropriate codes of practice for the conduct of research involving human subjects.

The HREC will establish, implement and review policy and procedures for evaluating, certifying and monitoring the acceptable ethical conduct of research involving human subjects and conducted by:

  • staff and/or students of Federation University Australia on the campus, using Federation University Australia premises, equipment, name or resources (human and physical);
  • staff and/or students of Federation University Australia outside the campus using Federation University Australia equipment, name or resources (human and physical);
  • other persons, who are not staff and/or students of Federation University Australia, using Federation University Australia premises, equipment, name or resources (human and physical).

The HREC will maintain a record of all research protocols received and reviewed, and ensure that the conduct of research approved by the Committee is appropriately monitored.

In addition to these Terms of Reference and the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, the Committee may determine its own procedures and establish its own ad hoc committees and working parties as necessary.