Human research ethics

Updated application process - see new forms and procedures below

Human research is conducted with/or about people, their biological materials, and/or data (information) about them. It therefore includes a broad range of activities.

In order to conduct research with or about people a project must have received prior approval from a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). Please contact the Ethics, Integrity and Biosafety team if you are not sure if your research requires ethics approval from the La Trobe University Human Research Ethics Committee.

New Human Research Ethics application process

Research Master will be de-commissioned on 1 March 2020.

All new Human Research ethics applications must be submitted using the following process:

  1. Complete the relevant forms:
    • Download Application Form (DOC 58KB) (mandatory for all projects)
    • Download Project Description (DOC 54KB) (mandatory for all projects, except clinical trials)
    • Complete Study documentation (see below for templates. Example documentations might include Participant information statement and consent forms, advertisements, letters of support, surveys, etc..)
  2. Email by the relevant closing date (see below) all completed forms and documents to
    • The email must be sent by the Chief/Principal investigator.
    • Copy (cc) in all co-investigators (including external people) and student investigators.
Contact the Ethics team

For any questions or concerns, please contact:

+61 3 9479 1443

If you already have an application in progress

Submit or update an application already drafted in Research Master

  1. Complete your form in Research Master.
  2. Submit the form no later than 13 February 2020 for (low-risk) and 18 February 2020 (above low risk).

Update a current application with feedback

If you have received a feedback letter about an application (e.g., ‘subject to’ or ‘deferred’ letter):

  1. Submit your changes in Research Master by 25 February 2020 for low risk and above low risk applications.
  2. If you know you cannot submit changes by this date, contact as soon as possible for assistance with resubmission.

Access an approved application

  1. Access your application via Research master by 25 February 2020; or
  2. Email us at to request a copy.

Contact the Ethics team

For any questions or concerns, please contact:

+61 3 9479 1443

Above low risk application essential dates

*The HREC meeting (above low risk) is now held twice a month, please refer to below essential dates

Application deadlineCommittee meeting
Tuesday 18 February 2020Thursday 05 March 2020
Tuesday 03 March 2020Thursday 19 March 2020
Tuesday 17 March 2020Thursday 02 April 2020
Tuesday 31 March 2020Thursday 16 April 2020
Tuesday 21 April 2020Thursday 07 May 2020
Tuesday 05 May 2020Thursday 21 May 2020
Tuesday 19 May 2020Thursday 04 June 2020
Tuesday 02 June 2020Thursday 18 June 2020
Tuesday 16 June 2020Thursday 02 July 2020
Tuesday 30 June 2020Thursday 16 July 2020
Tuesday 14 July 2020Thursday 06 August 2020
Tuesday 4 August 2020Thursday 20 August 2020
Tuesday 18 August 2020Thursday 03 September 2020
Tuesday 01 September 2020Thursday 17 September 2020
Tuesday 15 September 2020Thursday 01 October 2020
Tuesday 29 September 2020Thursday 15 October 2020
Tuesday 13 October 2020Thursday 05 November 2020
Tuesday 03 November 2020Thursday 19 November 2020
Tuesday 17 November 2020Thursday 03 December 2020
Tuesday 01 December 2020Thursday 17 December 2020

Low and negligible risk application essential dates

Application Deadline

Committee Meeting

Thursday 16 January 2020Wednesday 05 February 2020
Thursday 30 January 2020Wednesday 19 February 2020
Thursday 13 February 2020Wednesday 04 March 2020
Thursday 27 February 2020Wednesday 18 March 2020
Thursday 12 March 2020Wednesday 01 April 2020
Thursday 26 March 2020Wednesday 22 April 2020
**extended by 1 week due to Easter public holidays
Thursday 16 April 2020
**extended by 1 week due to Easter public holidays
Wednesday 06 May 2020
Thursday 30 April 2020Wednesday 20 May 2020
Thursday 14 May 2020Wednesday 03 June 2020
Thursday 28 May 2020Wednesday 17 June 2020

How to apply - research approved by an external HREC

Used when La Trobe University staff and students receive ethics approval from another NHMRC registered Human Research Ethics Committee.

Modifying an approved project

If you intend to modify your project you will be required to submit a modification request form. This can include, but is not limited to, changes to the following:

  • Recruitment, methodology and/or funding
  • Participant information statement and/or consent form/s (PICF)
  • Advertisements
  • Approval time period, i.e., if your ethics approval is due to expire and you require an extension

How do I submit a modification request?

  1. Complete Modification Form [DOC 63KB]
  2. Attach a tracked changes and clean copy of all updated documents
  3. Submit modification request to

Annual and final reports

Serious adverse events and incident reports

Complaints and feedback

For concerns about:

  1. an approved project
  2. the conduct of a researcher
  3. the conduct of the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) or Low Risk sub-committees
  4. or wish to provide feedback

Please contact the Senior Manager Ethics, Integrity and Biosafety

T: +61 3 9479 1443


Legislation, codes and guidelines

Research Integrity

Ethical Conduct in Human Research

Privacy and Data Protection

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: Guidelines and Protocols

Autism Spectrum Research

Clinical Trials

Quality Assurance

Research Involving Children


Templates and forms

Expression of Interest - Human Ethics Committee Member

The La Trobe University Human Ethics Committee (UHEC) and College Sub-committees are seeking expressions of interest.

In accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018) (the National Statement), in addition to the Chairperson, the membership of the UHEC and College sub-committees consist of the following:

  1. lay people who have no affiliation with the institution and do not currently engage in medical, scientific, legal or academic work;
  2. person with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people; for example, an allied health professional;
  3. person who performs a pastoral care role in the community;
  4. lawyer, where possible who is not engaged to advise the institution; and
  5. people with current human research experience that is relevant to La Trobe.

We are seeking expressions of interest for all the Categories above (a-e).

In this position you will be required to:

  • Attend at least half of the scheduled meetings in the calendar.
  • Review applications and make recommendations regarding the ethical acceptability of projects being undertaken by La Trobe University staff and students.
  • Ensure that any comments submitted about a project are relevant to the National Statement and other relevant guidelines and regulations.
  • Maintain confidentiality of the committee’s proceedings. All members are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement prior to commencement of duties for the committee.

Benefits include:

  • Continuing professional development
  • The opportunity to contribute to raising the research profile of La Trobe University
  • Light refreshments are provided at each meeting


  • Submit your Expression of Interest to the Senior Human Ethics Advisor (+61394791443 Expression of Interest could include your resume and a brief cover letter describing your suitability for the position.