Human research ethics

What is Human Research?

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 having access to 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Access to participants’ information as part of an existing published or unpublished source/database.

If you have a question or would like some advice, we would really like to hear from you so we can be as helpful as possible. Please contact the friendly Human Research Ethics Team on:


P. +61 3 9479 1443

Before you begin

How to Apply

Please note the following end of year closing periods for all committees:

1. Above Low Risk Research

Application deadlineCommittee meeting
Thursday 15 November 2018Monday 3 December 2018
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

2. Negligible & Low Risk Research

Application deadlineCommittee meeting
Friday 02 November 2018Monday 19 November 2018
Friday 16 November 2018Monday 03 December 2018
Thursday 31 January 2019Monday 11 February 2019
Thursday 14 February 2019Monday 25 February 2019
Thursday 28 February 2019Monday 11 March 2019
Thursday 14 March 2019Monday 25 March 2019
Thursday 28 March 2019Monday 08 April 2019
Thursday 11 April 2019Monday 22 April 2019
Thursday 25 April 2019Monday 06 May 2019
Thursday 09 May 2019Monday 20 May 2019

3. Externally Approved Applications

The following templates can be used as a starting point for your PICFs (Please note that consent forms MUST no longer be separated):

Template PICF - General

Template PICF - Anonymous Online Survey

Template PICF - Parent_Guardian

Template PICF- Databank

Template PICF - Clinical Trials

Template PICF - Clinical Trials Parent/ Gaurdian

Modifications to 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
  2. Attach a tracked changes and clean copy of all updated documents
  3. Submit modification request to

Annual/Final Reports

Serious Adverse Events and Incident Reports

How to Make a Complaint or Provide 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 Heidi Gaulke - Manager Ethics, Integrity and Biosafety

T: +61 3 9479 1443


Legislation, Codes and External 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