HREAP and HREC Membership Expressions of Interest

Human Research Ethics Committee

The role of the HRECs: The role of the UNSW HRECs is to review research proposals involving human subjects and ensure that activities comply with the requirements of the National Statement of Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, updated 2018) (National Statement, NS) and are ethically acceptable (NS 5.2.2). Review against University policies and procedures is also part of the role.

The HREC reviews research projects that involve humans from many disciplines at UNSW, with origins in all UNSW Faculties. The role of the HREC is to protect the welfare, rights, dignity and safety of research participants.

The composition of the HREC is as follows:

  • Pastoral Care: A person  who performs a pastoral care role in the community, for example a minister of religion or an Aboriginal Elder. 
  • Lawyer: A lawyer where possible who is not engaged to advise on legal matters at UNSW.
  • Layperson: A person that does not have an affiliation with UNSW and does not currently engage in medical scientific, legal or academic work.  
  • Professional Care: A person with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people; for example a nurse or allied health professional.
  • Health professional: (MBBS or equivalent and/or experience in the conduct of clinical trials);Researchers/content specialists with research experience (preferably with expertise in the development of research methodology in human research);
  • Researcher: A person with current research experience specific to the proposals considered by the HREC.

The role of the HREC members:

The Committee’s membership comprises a chairperson, external lay members, external professional care members, external lawyers, pastoral care members and experienced researchers encompassing the range of disciplines at UNSW. 

  • UNSW has two committees that meet on a monthly basis at the Kensington campus. HREC A meets on the first Tuesday of the month and HREC B meets on the third Tuesday of the month.
  • Meetings start at 1pm and generally continue until 5pm. The number of applications to be reviewed varies between 15 and 25 submissions per committee per month.
  • Each member of the Committee is assigned as a lead reviewer for about 2-3 applications per month and as a second reviewer on a similar number of applications.
  • Each member receives an email which includes a link to the agenda, minutes from previous month's meeting and a combined file of each application to be reviewed. Members are expected to complete all pre-reading before the meeting. Preparations for the meeting usually takes between 5 and 10 hours a month. Members are appointed for a term of 3 years.
  • Each role is a volunteer service role. Training will be made available to support development in these important service appointments.

Prospective members are asked to provide a written expression of interest and current curriculum vitae, along with a letter of support from the Head of School or Institute via email to the Human Research Ethics Coordinator.

All HREC members are formally appointed by the DVCR following a recommendation for appointment from the Presiding Member for Human Research Ethics and the Director of RECS. Members are appointed for a term of three years, with the possibility to renew membership for a maximum of one more term as decided by the DVCR.

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Human Research Advisory Panel

The role of the human research advisory panel

The UNSW Australia Human Research Ethics Advisory Panels consists of eight discipline-based panels concerned with research of low and negligible risk ethical impact.

The role  of the  HREAPs is to review research proposals involving human subjects and ensure that activities comply with the requirements of the National Statement of Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, updated 2018) (National Statement, NS) and are ethically acceptable (NS 5.2.2). Review against University policies and procedures is also part of the role.

The the role of the HREAP is to protect the welfare, rights, dignity and safety of research participants.

The role of the members

  • Panels meet monthly via virtual meeting.
  • The number of applications to be reviewed varies between 5 and 10 submissions per panel per month.
  • Each member receives an email which includes a link to the agenda, minutes from previous month's meeting and a combined file of each application to be reviewed. Members are expected to complete all pre-reading before the meeting. Preparations for the meeting usually takes between 1 and two hours  a month. Members are appointed for a term of 3 years.
  • The role is a volunteer service role. Training will be made available to support development in these important service appointments.
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HREC Membership Expression of Interest Guidelines

All submissions for expressions of interests must be emailed to humanethics@unsw.edu.au and must in the following documentation:

Cover letter

  • A supporting statement of up to two pages addressing following points;
  • Specify the membership category that you are expressing an interest in and outline the reason you are interested in becoming a member.
  • Outline how your current role, research interests and/or your personal, professional or academic experience will assist you in carrying out your role as a member of the human research ethics committee or the human research advisory panel.
  • Confirm that your current workload can accommodate the additional time commitment as a volunteer member of the committee and specify which panel or committee you are expressing an interest in joining.
  • Indicate whether you would be interested in a leadership role on the HREC or HREAP.

Curriculum Vitae

  • A copy of your CV, including email, preferred telephone contact number, and names of two referees.

Head of School Letter of Support (UNSW Staff or Students only)

  • The letter must confirm the head of school’s support of your expression of interest and confirm that your current workload can accommodate the additional time commitment required as a volunteer member of the committee.
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