Human research ethics

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 such as:

  • Taking part in surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups
  • Undergoing psychological, physiological, medical testing and/or treatment
  • Being observed by researchers
  • Researchers accessing participants’ personal documents and/or other materials
  • The collection and use of participants’ biological materials (body organs, tissues, fluids and/or exhaled breath)
  • Access to participants’ information as part of an existing published or unpublished source/database

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.

How to apply - research greater than low risk

Application deadlineCommittee meeting
Tuesday 22 January 2019Thursday 07 February 2019
Tuesday 19 February 2019Thursday 07 March 2019
Tuesday 19 March 2019Thursday 04 April 2019
Tuesday 16 April 2019Thursday 02 May 2019
Tuesday 21 May 2019Thursday 06 June 2019
Tuesday 18 June 2019Thursday 04 July 2019
Tuesday 16 July 2019Thursday 01 August 2019
Tuesday 20 August 2019Thursday 05 September 2019
Tuesday 17 September 2019Thursday 03 October 2019
Tuesday 22 October 2019Thursday 07 November 2019
Tuesday 21 November 2019Thursday 05 December 2019

How to apply - low and negligible risk research

Application Deadline

Committee Meeting

Thursday 25 JulyMonday 12 August
Thursday 08 AugustMonday 26 August
Thursday 22 AugustMonday 09 September
Thursday 5 SeptemberMonday 23 September
Thursday 19 SeptemberMonday 07 October
Thursday 03 OctoberMonday 21 October
Thursday 17 OctoberMonday 04 November
Thursday 31 OctoberMonday 18 November
Thursday 14 NovemberMonday 02 December
Thursday 28 NovemberMonday 16 December

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