Human research ethics
Current Release of the National Statement
A revised version of the National Statement will come into effect on 1st January 2019. The updated National Statement includes a fully revised Section 3. ‘Ethical considerations in the design, development, review and conduct of research’. Changes have also been made to Chapters 5.1, 5.2 and 5.5 in Section 5. ‘Processes of research governance and ethical review’.
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 Health & Life Sciences, School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions,School of Science, Engineering & Information Technology, 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:.
- 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: A new simplified two step ethics submission process will be implemented from 2018: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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,
- 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.