Applying for Ethics Approval

The general principle is that any human research project which has a relevant connection with the University should be submitted for appraisal by one of the ethical review panels or committees at UNSW. 

Pathways of Human Ethics Review at UNSW Australia

The review pathway for your human research project will depends on the level of risk that it poses to the participants.  There are three review pathways; each pathway is reviewed via a different process.

When is ethics approval required at UNSW Australia?

All UNSW Staff or Students who intend to conduct research involving human participants as part of an Honours, Diploma, Masters, Doctorate or other higher degree must apply for approval from the appropriate responsible ethics review body.

Why is the ethical review process important?

Ethical review is necessary to protect the welfare, rights, dignity and safety of research participants and also to protect researchers' rights to conduct legitimate investigation;

What is considered human research?

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

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  • Access to participants’ information as part of an existing published or unpublished source/database

Can I Get Help With Writing My Ethics Application

Assistance from the Human Ethics Team

The Human Ethics Team is available to provide you with guidance on how to create your ethics application. You can access this help by contacting the Human Ethics Team at E: or T: (02) 9385 6222 or (02) 9385 7257.

Assistance using Human Ethics Factsheets