More than Low Risk Research

UNSW has two Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) both of which are registered and certified with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Both HRECs are responsible for reviewing more than low risk research.

The Presiding Member for Human Research at UNSW is Associate Professor Kathy Petoumenos

Human Research Ethics Committee Submission Closing Dates

Applications must be submitted by no later than 5pm on the closing date. Outcomes of the meeting will be circulated via email within 10 business days from the meeting date.




Closing Date

Meeting Date


Monday, 1 June 2020

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Committee  B

Monday, 22 June 2020

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Committee  A

Monday, 6 July 2020

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Committee  B

Monday, 20 July 2020

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Committee  A

Monday, 3 August 2020

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Committee  B

Monday, 24 August 2020

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Committee  A

Monday, 31 August 2020

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Committee  B

Monday, 21 September 2020

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Committee  A

Monday, 5 October 2020

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Committee  B

Monday, 19 October 2020

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Committee  A

Monday, 2 November 2020

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Committee  B

Monday, 16 November 2020

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Committee  A

Monday, 23 November 2020

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Committee  B

What is More than Low Risk Research?

Research which involves a risk of harm is considered more than low risk research. (National Statement paragraphs 5.1.19 to 5.1.23).

Where the research may lead to harms. Harms as defined in the national statement are as follows, where a research procedure or activity has the potential to cause any of the following harms the research will be categorised as more than low risk research: 

  • physical harms: including injury, illness, pain; 
  • psychological harms: including feelings of worthlessness, distress, guilt, anger or fear related, for example, to disclosure of sensitive or embarrassing information, or learning about a genetic possibility of developing an untreatable disease;  
  • devaluation of personal worth: including being humiliated, manipulated or in other ways treated disrespectfully or unjustly; 
  • social harms: including damage to social networks or relationships with others; discrimination in access to benefits, services, employment or insurance; social stigmatisation; and findings of previously unknown paternity status; 
  • economic harms: including the imposition of direct or indirect costs on participants;  
  • legal harms: including discovery and prosecution of criminal conduct. 
  • research is being conducted in a country where the travel advice is a level 3 – reconsider your need to travel or level 4 – do not travel the research. 

Research falling under the following chapters (except where research on collections of non-identifiable data, excluding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander datasets) must be reviewed by a HREC: 

  • Chapter 4.1: Women who are pregnant and the human fetus (National Statement 5.1.6) 
  • Chapter 4.4: People highly dependent on medical care who may be unable to give consent (National Statement 5.1.6) 
  • Chapter 4.5: People with a cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, or a mental illness (National Statement 5.1.6) 
  • Chapter 4.7: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (National Statement 5.1.6) 
  • Chapter 4.6: People who may be involved in illegal activities (National Statement 5.1.6) 
  • Research involving active concealment or planned deception (National Statement 2.3.4) 
  • Research that aims to expose illegal activity; (National Statement 2.3.4) 
  • Waiver of consent for research using personal information in medical research, or personal health information. (National Statement 2.3.9) 
  • Prospective collection of humans biospecimens for research (National Statement 3.2.1) 
  • Genomic Research (National Statement 3.3)
  • Clinical Trials Involving Investigational Medical Products, Devices, Surgery, Surgical Procedures or the use of Ionising Radiation.
  • Clinical Interventions other than clinical trials.
What Is Harm?

Physical harms: including injury, illness, pain;

Psychological harms: including feelings of worthlessness, distress, guilt, anger or fear related, for example, to disclosure of sensitive or embarrassing information, or learning about a genetic possibility of developing an untreatable disease;

Devaluation of personal worth: including being humiliated, manipulated or in other ways treated disrespectfully or unjustly;

Social harms: including damage to social networks or relationships with others; discrimination in access to benefits, services, employment or insurance; social stigmatisation; and findings of previously unknown paternity status;

Economic harms: including the imposition of direct or indirect costs on participants;

Legal harms: including discovery and prosecution of criminal conduct.

Submission requirements

To submit the application form you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Attach your completed UNSW Ethics Application Form (and all corresponding documents) to an email.
  2. If your research involves the use of a medical drug or device, please attach the additional clinical trial documentation.
  3. Attach an email or letter of support for the project from Head of School.
  4. In the cc section of the email, copy in any named student investigator(s) or co-investigator(s) listed on the application.
  5. The person listed as the Chief Investigator must send the application using their work email address.
  6. Submit email to with More than Low Risk Research Application marked in the ‘subject’ title section of the email.
  7.  Your form will be reviewed by the Human Research Ethics Committee at its next available meeting. 


Head of School Approval

All ethics submissions must be supported by a letter or email of support from the head of school*, before it can be accepted for review.  Generally this is an email provided by the head of school confirming that they have reviewed the project and are happy for it to proceed. A letter of support from the head of school must support all new human research applications unless an arrangement between the head of school and the Research Ethics Compliance Support (RECs) office has been established. The letter must indicate that the head of school has reviewed the human research application and confirm support of the application.

A letter of support from the head of school is not required for the following schools. The Chief Investigator must copy in the head of school on the submission email. 

  • Built Environment - Low and Negligible Risk Research Only
  • Social Policy Research Centre
  • Centre for Social Research and Health
  • School of Optometry and Vision Science

A letter of support from the head of school is not required for the following school. The HREC/HREAP Secretariat will provide a monthly report of applications received from this school on the 1st of each month.

  • Business School

Where the Chief Investigator is also the head of school a letter of support must be obtained from an alternate authority such as the deputy head of school or the dean.

UNSW HREC Committee A (EC00397) - Membership
Name Membership Category
A/Prof. Kathy Petoumenos  Chairperson
Ms Cherry Siu Lawyer
Ms Deborah Lum Laywoman
Ms Danielle O'Doherty Lawyer
Mr Robert Leach Layman
Dr Raj Shanker Layman
Ms Penelope Broekhuizen Laywoman
Ms Susan Uhlmann Pastoral Care
Mr Mark Green Pastoral Care
Dr Swapnil Pawar Professional Care
Ms Cathy Thomson Researcher
Dr Tiffany Jessop Researcher
Dr Steven Most Researcher 
Dr Lisa Nivision-Smith Researcher
Dr Linda Truong Researcher
A/Prof Richard Morris Researcher
Dr Natasa Gisev Professional Care
Ms Ayse Selcuk Secretariat 
UNSW HREC Committee B (EC00142) - Membership
Name Membership Category
Professor Margaret Rose Chairperson
Ms Joanne Miniter Laywoman
Mr Peter Robertson Layman
Mr Glynn Gill Lawyer
Mr Lewis Jones Pastoral Care
Ms Maree Collins Pastoral Care
Dr Juno Kim Researcher
Dr John Booth Researcher
Dr Jerome Ozkan Researcher
Dr Chaturaka Rodrigo Researcher 
Dr Jamine Menant  Researcher 
Dr Kylie-Ann Mallitt Researcher
Dr Louise Mewton Researcher
Prof Lynn Chenoweth Professional Care
Dr Patricia Reyes Professional Care
Ms Melanie Mora Secretariat 
Membership Expressions of Interest

Interested in becoming a member of the HREC? Further information on the current vacancies or expressing an interest in becoming a member of the HREC can be found by accessing the following page