Approval: Guidelines, Application and Reporting
University staff, students enrolled in the University and persons in any way associated with or sponsored by the University who are involved in a human research project must ensure that the project has undergone the appropriate level of ethical review before it can commence.
Note: the HREC is not able to give retrospective ethics approval to projects which have already commenced.
Ethical review is undertaken by the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) at various levels. Note: from 1 January 2012, ethics approval is granted for a period of three years subject to annual progress reporting. Ethics approvals may be extended subject to submission of a satisfactory ethics renewal report prior to the project approval expiry date.
Low risk research may be reviewed by a review group or a sub-committee of the HREC or executively approved by the HREC Convener. The HREC has established Review Groups to deal with low risk research projects for the Faculties of Humanities and the Professions (HUMSS/Profs) and the Faculty of Health Sciences. Application for ethical approval is made using the forms available on the University of Adelaide website.
The HREC has an established subcommittee in the School of Psychology to deal with low risk research projects. Researchers should consult with the convenor of this subcommittee regarding the application process.
Note: all researchers proposing to conduct surveys with University staff, students or Alumni as participants must also comply with the University's Survey Framework administered by the Survey Reference Group (SRG). This approval process is independent of the HREC. For more information refer to http://www.adelaide.edu.au/learning/staff/surveys/.
The University of Adelaide accepts ethics approvals granted to its staff and students by the following five Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs). In these cases additional approval from the University of Adelaide HREC is not required.
Royal Adelaide Hospital Ethics Committee
Human Research Ethics Committee (The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital and Modbury Hospital)
Women's and Children's Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee
SA Health Human Research Ethics Committee
The Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee (Flinders Medical Centre and Repatriation Hospital)
Formal notification to the University is required within fourteen days of receiving ethical approval from these HRECs by completing the online form: Notification of Ethics Approval Form
The University does not issue any ethics approval numbers or correspondence following submission of the notification.
Access to the online form is controlled using the same username and password as for a University email account. Guidance information is contained within the notification form, and once completed it can be electronically lodged. Please email the HREC Secretariat if you require further clarification or need assistance using the form.
Investigators must notify the HREC Secretariat of a project completion date when the project is finished.
Where ethics approval for a project has been obtained from another institution which is not one of the affiliated hospitals listed above, researchers are required to submit an ethics application to the University of Adelaide HREC using the application forms available on this website.
Proposals to conduct research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples or communities need to be submitted to the HREC. Researchers should refer to both the:
In general, experiments by a researcher on himself or herself will not be approved, as self-experimentation lacks meaningful informed consent in the manner required. However, where the proposed procedure is in no way dangerous or unreasonable, and where objectivity in the observation of results can be maintained, self-experimentation may be approved.