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.

No paper copy of the application is required.

All applications will 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/RoundHEAG submission dateHESC submission dateHESC meeting date
1/2018 2 January17 January
2/2018 17 January1 February
3/201817 January14 February1 March
4/201821 February21 March5 April
5/201821 march18 April3 May
6/201825 April23 May7 June
7/201823 May20 June5 July
8/201820 June18 July2 August
9/201825 July22 August6 September
10/201822 August19 September4 October
11/2018
19 September17 October1 November
12/2018
24 October21 November6 December

2018 Faculty of Arts HEAG members

People

School/Team

A/Prof Belinda Hewitt, HEAG Chair

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Joshua McNamara, Deputy Chair

School of Culture and Communication

Dr Jay Song

Asia Institute

Dr Muhammad Kamal

Asia Institute

A/Prof Alison Inglis

School of Culture and Communication

Dr Beth Driscoll

School of Culture and Communication

Dr Wonsun Shin

School of Culture and Communication

A/Prof Richard Pennell

School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

Dr Brennan McDavid

School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

Prof Cordelia Fine

School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

A/Prof Adrian Hearn

School of Languages and Linguistics

Dr ChloƩ Diskin

School of Languages and Linguistics

Dr Janne Morton

School of Languages and Linguistics

Dr Malcolm Angelucci

School of Languages and Linguistics

Dr Azad Singh Bali (Bali)

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Fabio Mattioli

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Juliet Rogers

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Michael Breen

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Nadeem Malik

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Tim Gravelle

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Cameo Dalley (Sem 1)

School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Evgeny Postnikov (Sem 1)

School of Social and Political Sciences

A/Prof John Fitzgerald (Sem 1)

School of Social and Political Sciences

Carla Winston (Sem 2)

School of Social and Political Sciences

Michelle Carmody (Sem 2)

School of Social and Political Sciences

Nikki Moodie (Sem 2)

School of Social and Political Sciences

Laura Liao

Arts Research Team

Jacqui Randall

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).