Prior to Starting

RECS is working with the relevant committees and regulators to facilitate the fast-tracking of important research proposals related to COVID-19 projects where time lines are urgent to contribute to the global research efforts. Researchers should contact RECS to discuss on an individual basis.

Do I need approval?

Determine if you require animal ethics approval at Animal Research Ethics at UNSW.

How do I submit a new application?
Closing Dates

Applications must be submitted and validated by 5pm on the closing date. Applications are to be submitted via Animal Ethics Online. 

2019 Submission and Meeting Dates

Closing Date Meeting Date
Thursday, 17 October 2019 Friday, 01 November 2019
Thursday, 21 November 2019 Friday, 06 December 2019


2020 Submission and Meeting Dates

Closing Date Meeting Date
Thursday, 23 January 2020 Friday, 07 February 2020
Thursday, 20 February 2020 Friday, 06 March 2020
Thursday, 19 March 2020 Friday, 03 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 2020 Friday, 01 May 2020
Thursday, 21 May 2020 Friday, 05 June 2020
Thursday, 18 June 2020 Friday, 03 July 2020
Thursday, 23 July 2020 Friday, 07 August 2020
Thursday, 20 August 2020 Friday, 04 September 2020
Thursday, 17 September 2020 Friday, 02 October 2020
Thursday, 22 October 2020 Friday, 06 November 2020
Thursday, 19 November 2020 Friday, 04 December 2020
Animal Care and Ethics Training

Under the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 8th edition 2013 (the Code), investigators must undertake education, training and competency assessment. A requirement to be listed on an animal ethics application is the successful completion of a recognised animal care and ethics course. Further information regarding courses can be found at UNSW Animal Care and Ethics Training.

Other Compliance

Research is governed by a range of legislative and other requirements which may not always be obvious or known. Animal research may also require approval from the Gene Technology Safety Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, NSW Ministry of Health, and National Parks and Wildlife Services, to name a few. A summarised list of commonly regulatory compliance requirements associated with animal research can be found here.

Animal Facility Pre-Approval

All laboratory animal research requires pre-approval from animal facility management prior to submitting to the ACEC.

Projects where animals are housed in a BRC facility require a completed BRC Pre-Approval form attached to the application.

Animal Facility Procedural Document

Clause 2.5.15(i) of the Code states that the Animal Facility Manager must apply for and obtain written approval from the ACEC for all activities associated with the care and management of animals in the facility. The Animal Research Facility Procedural Document Template has been devised to provide guidance to Facility Managers in completing this task.

Collaborative Research (within Australia)

Clause 2.6.6 of the Code states “Arrangements between institutions should be as a formal agreement. Institutions should avoid unnecessary duplication of processes”, and Clause 2.6.8 states Investigators must notify the AEC in writing if they are involved in collaborative studies using animals at another institution, or if they are named in an application to the AEC of another institution.”

At present, UNSW Sydney has in place a Collaborative Animal Research Agreement with the following research institutions:

  • Australian National University (ANU)
  • Charles Sturt University (CSU)
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • Macquarie University (MQ)
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
  • Sydney Local Health District (SLHD), including the ANZAC Research Insitute, Centenary Insitute, Heart Research Institute, and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • University of Canberra (UC)
  • University of Melbourne (UM)
  • University of Newcastle (UON)
  • University of Sydney (USYD)
  • University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
  • Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), including Westmead Institute of Medical Research
  • Western Sydney University (WSU)

If you are collaborating with an Australian research institution not listed above, please contact so that a formal agreement can be arranged.

UNSW has an affiliation agreement in place where animal research conducted at the following research institutions are reviewed by the UNSW Animal Care and Ethics Committee:

  • Children's Cancer Institute (CCI)
  • Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research (Ingham Institute)
  • Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)
  • South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), including St George Hospital
  • South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), including Liverpool Hospital 

UNSW has an affiliation agreement in place where animal research conducted at the following research institutions are reviewed by the Garvan/St Vincent's Animal Ethics Committee:

  • Garvan Institute of Medical Research
  • St Vincent's Hospital
  • Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

*If collaborative animal research occurs where an animal is brought from a collaborating institution to UNSW, permission must first be sought from the relevant animal facility manager. This may include details of proposed timelines, health screen reports, transport, husbandry practices from the collaborator (cage type, stocking density, food, water, bedding, etc).

Animal Research Conducted Interstate

In Australia, animal research is governed by state-based legislation. UNSW is currently accredited in the following states & territory:

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia
  • Northern Territory

If you intend to conduct animal research in a state or territory not listed above, please contact so that accreditation can be arranged.

Projects involving staff or students of UNSW or affiliated institutes (in a capacity other than Chief Investigator) approved by an external Australian-accredited animal ethics committee are to be submitted in Animal Ethics Online via the Externally Approved Application function.

Animal Research Conducted Internationally

The Code states that animal research projects conducted overseas:

  • Complies with the governing principles of the Code, provided that such compliance does not breach relevant local legislation
  • Is not conducted in other countries as a mechanism of avoiding compliance with the Code

The UNSW Animal Research Ethics Procedure requires that ‘Where a research project involving animals is to be conducted overseas and the person responsible is a UNSW researcher or employee of an affiliated centre or institute, UNSW ACEC review is required’. To facilitate this review, UNSW has established a process where relevant animal ethics documents approved overseas are provided to the UNSW ACEC for ratification.

Documents that may be required for the ratification process include, but are not limited to, a statement indicating why the research will be conducted overseas, attesting that it is not a means to avoid compliance with the Code, and that the project complies with the
governing principles of the Code. The ACEC also requires assurance that animal facilities meet the standards expected of UNSW animal facilities. Such documents are to be submitted in Animal Ethics Online via the Externally Approved Application function.

UNSW reserves the right to request that the requirements of the Code and local compliance are met prior to the commencement of the any animal research project conducted overseas on behalf of UNSW or an affiliated centre or institute. Any issues relating to legal or other processes are resolved as set out in the Code.


New law for foreign researchers conducting research in Indonesia

In line with Indonesian regulation (Govt. Regulation no 41/2006), all foreign researchers intending to conduct research activities in Indonesia must obtain an official permit from the Indonesian authority in advance, including research permit and research visa. A new national science and technology law in Indonesia has recently been passed which imposes penalties on foreign researchers who do not comply with these requirements. Penalties range from blacklisting to fines and possible imprisonment. Whilst this law has been introduced, implementation regulations and guidelines for the law still need to be developed.

The guide, developed by the Department of Education with the support of the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, outlines the process for applying for the permit and visa. Further information regarding the research permit application process can be found at

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact UNSW Animal Ethics (


National Institutes of Health

UNSW is accredited with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) under Animal Welfare Assurance number F16-00070 (A5097-01) (expiry date 31 January 2023). should be informed of any animal research funded by the Public Health Service (PHS) and/or the US Government before this identification number is used in correspondence to such agencies.

RECS Preview Service

RECS offers a preview service of animal ethics applications. Researchers wishing take up this service should email a word version of their application and any associated documents to at least one week before the submission deadline.