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  • Access to participants’ information as part of an existing published or unpublished source/database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 19 November 2019Thursday 05 December 2019
Tuesday 21 January 2020Thursday 06 February 2020
Tuesday 18 February 2020Thursday 05 March 2020
Tuesday 17 March 2020Thursday 02 April 2020
Tuesday 21 April 2020Thursday 07 May 2020
Tuesday 19 May 2020Thursday 04 June 2020
Tuesday 16 June 2020Thursday 02 July 2020
Tuesday 14 July 2020Thursday 06 August 2020
Tuesday 18 August 2020Thursday 03 September 2020
Tuesday 15 September 2020Thursday 01 October 2020
Tuesday 13 October 2020Thursday 05 November 2020
Tuesday 17 November 2020Thursday 03 December 2020

How to apply - low and negligible risk research

Application Deadline

Committee Meeting

Thursday 31 October 2019Monday 18 November 2019
Thursday 14 November 2019Monday 02 December 2019
Thursday 28 November 2019Monday 16 December 2019
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.