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Ethics approval

Ethics approval is a key milestone for most research conducted by research candidates and it’s important that you plan for it thoroughly.

All research requires approval of either:

  • an application for ethics approval; or 
  • an ethics declaration form.

You should complete your application for ethics approval or an ethics declaration form in collaboration with your supervisor. These can be completed via STREAM, the online ethics application system. For more information on STREAM see the Ethics and Research website.

Application for ethics approval

Ethics approval will be required from either the Human Research Ethics Committee or the Animal Ethics Committee, as appropriate to your research. For research requiring ethics approval it’s essential to note that:

  • formal notification of ethics approval must be gained in order to receive confirmation of candidature;
  • formal notification of ethics approval must be gained prior to any recruitment of participants or data collection;
  • gaining ethics approval is a separate process to gaining approval for your research proposal.

In preparing your application for approval you should familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation and policy.  This will assist you with designing your research to align with ethical requirements and principles and with preparing your application.

Research projects that are granted ethics approval are subject to compliance with monitoring procedures.

Ethics declaration form

If your research project does not involve the use of human participants, previously collected identified or potentially identifiable samples of data, or the use of animals for scientific purposes, you should complete the Ethics Declaration form and have it signed by your supervisor. The Ethics Declaration form can be completed online via STREAM.

Ethics and project planning

It’s important that you consider the ethics process as part of your research plan as it can take up to four weeks for applications to be reviewed and approved.

While it is important that you don’t submit your ethics application prior to having your research proposal reviewed, you can begin to draft your ethics application within STREAM at any time. It’s recommended that you do this concurrent to the preparation of your research proposal, so any questions or issues raised through the ethics management system can be included and addressed.

Research related to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples

If your research involves Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander issues, people or knowledge or might impact on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people or communities you should download and refer to the Aboriginal Research and Study Protocols 2012. It is recommended that you consult these protocols early in your research project and refer back to them from time to time.

Additional support

The Ethics and research website provides information that will assist you in preparing and submitting your ethics application or ethics declaration form. You may also wish to seek support and advice from your school academic support staff or attend ethics-related research training workshops.

For further information please contact the Research Ethics team.

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