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Research Ethics


The type of research you propose will determine whether you need ethics approval from the University.

  • Human Research Ethics Committees – for research involving human participants
  • Animal Ethics Committees – for research involving animals

Discuss the need for ethics approval with your supervisor early in your candidature. If you’re unsure whether approval is required, contact Research Integrity & Ethics for guidance. Your research supervisor has responsibility for making sure an ethics application is submitted if required, and should provide guidance on the preparation.

Carefully check conditions of your scholarship as they may require ethics approval. You may also contact Research Integrity & Ethics for advice.

Ethics Committees do not grant retrospective approval – you cannot obtain approval for research you have already undertaken.

Research carried out at a hospital or other institution may require approval by human ethics, animal ethics or biosafety committees outside of the University.  The University may accept ethics approval from external committees but we recommend you check with the University’s Research Integrity & Ethics team.


The ethics approval process

The Ethics Committees receive a large number of applications, and it could take more than one meeting before your application is assessed. The Committee may also request further information and may advise you to revise your application before it’s approved.



Ethics & Research Integrity provides online training modules for research involving humans or animals. If your Faculty does not automatically enroll students this training is recommended:


Working with children, and criminal record checks

If your research involves direct contact with children, the University’s Working with Children Policy 2014 requires you to have a Working with Children Check clearance. Information on working with children in NSW can be found at:

You may also need to go through separate ethics approval processes with the relevant State Government hospital, health or education body. Discuss this with your supervisor early in your candidature, and ensure you submit your applications to the various bodies in a timely manner.

For requirements for a criminal record check, consult your Faculty or the NSW Department of Health at:


Concerns about research ethics

If you have concerns about the ethical conduct of research at the University and want to make a complaint:

Research integrity
The Director of Research Integrity and Ethics Administration
02 8627 0200

Human ethics
Human Ethics Manager
02 9036 9161

Animal ethics
Animal Ethics Manager
02 8627 8174



Supervision of Higher Degree by Research Students Policy 2013
Working with Children Policy 2014
Research Code of Conduct 2013


Australian Research Integrity Committee

If you have complained to the University, but are dissatisfied with the University’s response, and if your complaint is related to research funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) or the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), you can request a review from the Australian Research Integrity Committee (ARIC):

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research:

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