More than Low Risk Research

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

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

More than Low Risk - Human Research Ethics Committee

More than low risk research is classified as any research that leads (or has the potential) to harms:

  • Human research, procedures, or activities where a person, organisation, vulnerable population, broader community, or the research team are exposed to physical, psychological, social, economic, legal, or travel harms.
  • Human research procedures or activities where a person may experience distress or devaluation of personal worth.
  • Research involving or about Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander People or their communities.
  • Any research activity involving the following:
  • People highly dependent on medical care who may be unable to give consent (National Statement 5.1.6) 
  • People with cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, or a mental illness (National Statement 5.1.6) 
  • People who may be involved in illegal activities.
  • Research involving active concealment or planned deception.
  • Research that aims to expose illegal activity. 
  • Waiver of consent for research using personal information in medical research or personal health information.
  • 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 Ionising Radiation use.
  • Clinical Interventions

Harms are defined in the National Statement and include the following:

  • Physical harms: including injury, illness, pain; 
  • Psychological harms: including feelings of worthlessness, distress, guilt, anger or fear related, for example, to the 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. 
  • Travel harms: 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 for research. 
UNSW HREC Committee A (EC00397) - Membership
Name Membership Category
Prof Kathy Petoumenos  Chairperson
A/Prof Steven Most Deputy Chairperson
Ms Cherry Siu Lawyer
Ms Penelope Broekhuizen Layperson
Ms Deborah Lum Layperson
Ms Susan Uhlmann Pastoral Care
Ms Xueling Zhu Professional Care
Professor Bettina Meiser Researcher
A/Prof Richard Morris Researcher
Dr Lisa Nivision-Smith Researcher 
Dr Linda Truong Researcher
Dr WuYi Zheng Researcher
Frances Schmiede Secretariat 
UNSW HREC Committee B (EC00478) - Membership
Name Membership Category
Scientia A/Prof Natasa Gisev Chairperson
Dr Cathy Thomson Deputy Chairperson
Mr Fiorentine (Dean) Pefani Lawyer
Mr Ross Bootes Layperson
Ms Sharon O'Sullivan Layperson
Ms Amanda Reid Layperson
Mr Tito Scohel Layperson
Rabbi Alon Meltzer Pastoral Care
Ms Chantel Fiala-Beer Professional Care
Dr Alan Chiang Researcher
A/Prof Rohina Joshi Researcher
Miss Rebecca Anderson Researcher
Prof Mandy Cheng Researcher 
Dr Peter Gates Researcher
Dr Lauriane Juge Researcher
A/Prof Yang Song Researcher
Ms Leonne Thompson Secretariat 
UNSW HREC Committee C (EC00142) - Membership
Name Membership Category
Dr Chaturaka Rodrigo Chairperson
A/Prof Lucinda Burns Deputy Chairperson
Mr Glynn Gill Lawyer
Ms Josephine Lumb Lawyer
Ms Martha Keyse Layperson
Ms Joanne Miniter Layperson
Mr Peter Robertson Layperson
Mr Lewis Jones Pastoral Care
Dr Patricia Reyes Professional Care
Dr Suraj Samtani Professional Care
Dr Meghan Ambrens Researcher
Dr Vibeke Catts Researcher
Dr George (Kev) Dertadian Researcher
A/Prof Timothy Dobbins Researcher
Dr Jane Hwang Researcher
A/Prof Marina Nehme Researcher
Mr Adam Theobald Researcher
Dr Simin Masoudi Researcher
Ms Helen Monaghan Researcher
Natalie Bootes Secretariat 
Human Ethics Submission Instructions

Researchers must apply for human ethics approval in the UNSW iRECS portal

You can navigate through the iRECS New Ethics Online Updates  for further info on the iRECS background, transition timeline, and FAQs. Please note that Human Ethics is not utilising the correspondence feature in iRECS. For further submission advice, the RECS Human Ethics team is contactable at

All active Human Ethics projects have been migrated onto the iRECS Portal. Only the Chief Investigator (CI) will have read, write, and submit access to previously approved legacy projects that have been migrated into the iRECS Portal. Chief Investigators must grant collaborator access to any co-investigators, student investigators, and research personnel who require read/write access to previously approved legacy projects. If you cannot immediately view the project you will need to follow the instructions in the following help guide: