Human Research Ethics at UNSW
Grants Management Office
The University of New South Wales is committed to the highest standard of integrity in research. All human research activities are governed by the principles outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
The University’s Code of Conduct for the Responsible Practice of Research sets out the obligations on all University researchers, staff and students to be aware of the ethical framework governing research at the University and to comply with institutional and regulatory requirements.
There are two methods by which research projects involving human participants are reviewed at UNSW:
1. The first is by the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) which review all projects which contain significant ethical concerns.
Panels can give approval for one year only, and in exceptional circumstances, may approve a one year extension. Projects that are expected to go over one year, eg PhD research projects, should apply to the HREC for a 5 year approval.
Important Changes to Ratification of External HREC Approvals
UNSW HREC no longer ratifies external HREC approvals. For applications already approved by a NHMRC-registered Australian HREC, no further action is required. For applications approved by an overseas ethics committee, a formal application to UNSW HREC (or Panel, if low ethical risk) must be made. For projects approved by an Australian HREC, e.g. at a hospital, but for which the approval is limited to that site or for only part of the activities to be undertaken, UNSW HREC will review the existing application and approval paperwork, along with an appropriately amended participant information statement and consent form (e.g. including the UNSW complaints clause), to provide approval that includes the remaining sites and activities. Any UNSW researcher undertaking research at UNSW as part of their employment is covered by our insurance policies.
Applying for Human Ethics Approval
- For more information and definitions, see Human Ethics General Procedures.
The UNSW Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) will consider ethics applications from clients not affiliated with UNSW who wish to conduct research involving or impacting upon humans.
Human Ethics Resources and Contacts
- Ethics Secretariat Contact Details
- Research Integrity Policies and Guidelines
- Key Dates and Deadlines for HREC
- Human Ethics Proformas
- Human Ethics Useful Links and Resources
- International Ethics Contact List- compiled by Associate Professor Heather Worth
- WHO List of National Ethics Comittees
- Conditions for Research in Politically Unstable Countries