Applying for Ethics Approval

Ethical review pathways for Human Research


A number of review provisions are in place to facilitate the review and continuation of human research at UNSW during the COVID-19 situation. Detailed information about new, continuing and COVID-19 specific research can be found by accessing the following link.

The review pathway for your human research project is dependent on the level of risk associated with the project.

For further information please contact the Human Ethics Team for guidance and advice.

When is ethics approval required at UNSW?

Ethics approval is required for any UNSW staff or students who intend to conduct human research. For further information please contact the Human Ethics Team for guidance and advice.

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 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  • Access to participants’ information as part of an existing published or unpublished source/database.
Assistance with writing human ethics submissions

Please contact the Human Ethics Team if you would like advice and initial feed-back in how to prepare your successful ethics submission.

Are you thinking about running a Clinical Trial?

UNSW sponsors clinical trials within the remits of its Clinical Trials Governance Framework. If you are thinking about running a clinical trial with the appropriate levels of insurance, contractual frameworks, ethics and other Good Clinical Trial (GCP) obligations please visit our dedicated UNSW Clinical Trials Governance website.