Human research ethics committee (HREC)

HREC terms of reference

Membership register

As at 14 November, 2016

The volunteer membership of Federation University Australia Human Research Ethics Committee is as follows:

Category 1: At least 7 members appointed in accordance with NHMRC minimum requirements for membership including:

 Category 1Name
(a) 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 Kizanne Davies
(b) At least two members with current research experience that is relevant to research proposals to be considered at the meetings they attend. Ms Charlie Evans
Mrs Frances Beaumont
(c) At least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counseling or treatment of people; for example, a nurse or allied health professional. Dr Joanne Fritch
Mrs Jacqueline Fernandez
(d) At least one member who is a minister of religion, or a person who performs a similar role in a community such as an Aboriginal elder. Rev’d Canon Dr Timothy Gaden
(e) At least one member who is a lawyer. Ms Laura Hartmann

Category 2: Additional members appointed

 Category 2Name
(a) A Chairperson, appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation. Dr David Newman
(b) Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic or their respective nominee. Dr Kate Brass
(c) Chair of Academic Board or nominee. Prof Kim Dowling
(d) 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
(e) A research higher degree student elected by research higher degree students. Ms Sylwia Wojtaszek

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 Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) 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.

The primary role of the HREC 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 also has the responsibility for establishing, implementing and reviewing procedures for evaluating, certifying and monitoring research merit and acceptable ethical conduct of research.

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 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:

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.