Human research ethics


The following information is applicable to both research students and academic staff.

All research undertaken at The University of Melbourne is governed by the Code of Conduct for Research and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. This stipulates the obligations on all researchers to be aware of the ethical framework governing research at the University and to be compliant with regulatory requirements.

Will I need ethics clearance for my project?

Does your research involve gathering information on human subjects (and/or organisations) by:

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires (in person or online)
  • Observation of human behaviour
  • Audio/video taping
  • Using archival data in which individuals are identifiable
  • Study or research in illegal activities

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above, you will be required to apply for ethics clearance prior to commencing your research or data collection.

What do I need to do before I lodge an ethics application?

Before you lodge an ethics application, please familiarise yourself with the Code of Conduct for Research and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Student researchers should ensure that they have completed the necessary Research Integrity Online Training prior to lodging an application. It is important that all students discuss and review their ethics application carefully with their supervisors PRIOR to submitting it to HEAG.

How do I set up a Themis account?

All applications must be submitted via the Human Ethics Workbench in the Research Self Service section of Themis. You will need to set up your account and you can do this using the University's Account Management. Please allow 24 hours for the account to be activated. Once activated, you can log in and start submitting your ethics application.

How do I lodge the application in Themis?

The Office for Research Ethics and Integrity (OREI) has this helpful Step-by-step guide. Please ensure that the Responsible Researcher has signed the declaration section of the application form prior to uploading it to Themis.  

Before you submit your application, the following documents should be uploaded to Themis:

  1. Application form (signed by Responsible Researcher)
  2. Plain Language Statement
  3. Consent Form
  4. Interview questions (if applicable)
  5. Survey instruments (if applicable)
  6. Recruitment materials (if applicable)

No paper copy of the application is required. Instead, please combine your application documents into one PDF file in the above order and email to arts-heag@unimelb.edu.au, quoting the ethics ID number.

All applications must be reviewed by the Faculty of Arts Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG).  

2017 Faculty of Arts Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG) submission and meeting dates

Please note: All applications, both Minimal Risk and Standard Project, must initially be submitted to HEAG.

Minimal Risk Projects require approval by HEAG only. For Minimal Risk applications, the average turnaround time between initial submission and receiving HEAG feedback is two to three weeks.

Standard Projects will require approval by the Humanities and Applied Sciences Human Ethics Sub-Committee (HESC). This means that applications need to be submitted to HEAG initially, revised to incorporate HEAG feedback, and then resubmitted for referral to HESC by the HESC submission date (see table below). The average turnaround time between initial submission and approval for Standard Projects is two months. Please ensure that your application is submitted on time so it reaches HESC by the deadline.

Meeting/Round

HEAG submission date

HESC submission date

HESC meeting date

1/2017

 

1 February

16 February

2/2017

1 February

1 March

16 March

3/2017

15 March

12 April

27 April

4/2017

5 April

3 May

18 May

5/2017

3 May

31 May

15 June

6/2017

28 June

26 July

10 August

7/2017

2 August

30 August

14 September

8/2017

30 August

27 September

12 October

9/2017

27 September

25 October

9 November

10/2017

1 November

29 November

14 December

2016 Faculty of Arts HEAG members

People

School/Team

Assoc. Professor Ingrid Volkmer, HEAG Chair School of Culture and Communication
Assoc. Professor Yongxian Luo Asia Institute
Dr Odette Kelada School of Culture and Communication
Denis Muller School of Culture and Communication
Dr Ruth Boeker School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Dr Petronella Nel School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Assoc. Professor Richard Pennell School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Professor Veronique Duche School of Languages and Linguistics
Assoc. Professor Adrian Hearn School of Languages and Linguistics
Dr Janne Morton School of Languages and Linguistics
Dr Neomy Storch (Sem 2) School of Languages and Linguistics
Dr Cameo Dalley (Sem 1) School of Social and Political Sciences
Professor Robyn Eckersley (Sem 1) School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Catie Gressier (Sem 1) School of Social and Political Sciences
Assoc. Professor Belinda Hewitt School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Dolly Kikon School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Michael McGann School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Nadeem Malik School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Monica Minnegal (Sem 2) School of Social and Political Sciences
Professor Philomena Murray School of Social and Political Sciences
Evgeny Postnikov (Sem 2) School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Juliet Rogers (Sem 2) School of Social and Political Sciences
Laura Liao Arts Research Team

After ethics approval

The Office for Research Ethics and Integrity website provides details of processes that follow approval on their Managing approved projects web page.

Variation to projects

If subsequent variations or modifications to the project are required once approval has been granted, a Request for Amendment form must be submitted for approval. If the HEAG considers that the proposed changes are significant, researchers may be required to submit a new application for approval of the revised project.

For more information please see the Office for Research Ethics and Integrity Amendments web page.

Annual reports

The Human Research Ethics committee requires all researchers to submit an annual report on each of their projects in February of the following year, or at the conclusion of the project if it continues for less than a year (see the Office for Research Ethics and Integrity Annual Reports web page). Failure to submit an annual report at the end of each year will mean approval for the project will lapse and a new application will need to be submitted.

Contact

Students should first consult with their supervisor. Please send any further queries to arts-heag@unimelb.edu.au or visit the Publications and Ethics Support/HEAG Administrator, Ground Floor, Room 167, Old Arts (Building 149).