Human research ethics committee (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 Carolyn Johnstone
(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 Helen McLennan
Mr Richard Hendrie
(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 Jakqui Barnfield
(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 Dr Mark Garner
(e) At least one member who is a lawyer, where possible one who is not engaged to advise the institution Mr Joshua Anderson
Ms Annica Akerfelt
Ms Wendy Chennell
(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 Dr Daya Weerasinghe
Dr George van Doorn
Ms Naomi Cruz
Ms Julia Gilbert
Dr Richard Bradbury
Prof Stuart Berzins
Assoc Prof Susan Stacpoole
Dr Susan Emmett
Ms Wendy Burke

The role of the HREC

The HREC membership and activities are audited annually by the NHMRC through the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) to ensure compliance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

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.

Join the Committee

The Federation University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is currently seeking expressions of interest for the following membership categories:

(b) lay people who have no affiliation with Federation University and do not currently engage in medical, scientific, legal or academic work;

(c) person or people with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people; for example, an allied health professional;

(d) person or people who perform a pastoral care role in the community; and

(e) lawyers, not otherwise engaged to advise the institution.

The Federation University Low Risk Human Research Ethics Committee is currently seeking expressions of interest from:

(f) current researchers.

Benefits include continued professional development. Induction training is provided to all new members, and the Committee is supported by professional staff who are available to answer both researcher and Committee member queries.

If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at research.ethics@federation.edu.au or phone (03) 5327 9765 / 5327 9353.

Expressions of interest can be submitted to the Manager, Research Ethics at research.ethics@federation.edu.au.

Expressions of interest should include a current resume and brief statement outlining interest in joining the Committee and any relevant experience.