Human research ethics

Current release of the National Statement

It is the responsibility of all users of the National Statement, including HRECs, research offices and researchers to ensure that the current version is being used in developing research proposals, making submissions for ethics review and undertaking ethics review that occurs on or after the date of release of any update.

Section 3 of the updated National Statement is designed around seven elements that are common to most – if not all – forms of research.

The elements are:

Element 1 – Research Scope, Aims, Themes, Questions and Methods

Element 2 – Recruitment Element 3 – Consent

Element 4 – Collection, Use and Management of Data and Information

Element 5 – Communication of Research Findings or Results to Participants

Element 6 – Dissemination of Research Outputs and Outcomes

Element 7 – After the Project

Researchers who are designing a research project should read all of Chapter 3.1,

noting which parts of the guidance are relevant for their project.

Determine if your research project requires Human Research Ethics (HRE) approval

The following general guidelines apply for all research projects involving human contact / human data, whether your project originates from the School of Arts, School of Education, School of Science, Psychology and Sport, School of Health, School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences, or Federation Business School.

Research projects and parts of research projects, that involve gathering information from or about humans and/or organisations, and are conducted for the purpose of:

  • Research honours degree,
  • Masters by research candidature,
  • Coursework masters with a research component,
  • PhD research or a staff research project

are likely to require ethics approval if the proposal involves any or all of (but not limited to) the following:.

  • Interviews
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Audio or video recording
  • Using archived data in which individuals are identifiable
  • Photography of people
  • Performances involving others
  • Study or research on illegal activities
  • Access to an individual’s personal documents or information
  • You wish to publish your research findings in a peer-reviewed Journal or peer reviewed Conference Proceedings

Please feel welcome to contact the Ethics Office anytime to discuss your research, to ensure your full understanding of ethical conduct in research involving humans.

NOTE: Below is the two step ethics submission process. All Ethics applications are now managed solely at the Ethics Office located at Mt Helen Campus.

  • Step one:
    One Electronic copy of the complete and authorised application with all supporting documents is to be forwarded to
  • Step two:
    Researchers are to ensure they receive an email from the Ethics Office acknowledging receipt of their application. They will be provided with a unique identifier code, and advised of the meeting date their application will be assessed.
    Caution: Responsibility lies with the principal researcher to ensure the application has been received and scheduled for assessment. Contact the Coordinator Research Ethics 24 hours prior to the agenda items due date if you have not received an email confirming receipt of your application, please be aware that there is a cap of 26 application submissions for review each HREC meeting, once this cap has been met subsequent applications received will be forwarded to the next scheduled HREC meeting.

For all research projects, refer to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research for guidance in:

  • General principles of responsible research
  • Management of research data and primary materials
  • Supervision of research trainees
  • Publication and dissemination of research findings
  • Authorship
  • Peer review
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Collaborative research across institutions
  • Always download templates from the ethics website. Superseded application and amendment forms will no longer be accepted by any Ethics Committees as they do not conform to current legislative requirements. They will be returned to the principal researcher for re-submission.