The following information is applicable to both research students and academic staff.
Overview of human research ethics
All research undertaken at the University of Melbourne is governed by:
- The University of Melbourne Research Integrity and Misconduct Policy (MPF1318)
- The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018; and
- The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018
They stipulate 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:
- 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 Research Integrity and Misconduct Policy (MPF1318) and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018.
Student researchers should ensure that they have completed the necessary Research Integrity Online Training (RIOT) prior to lodging an application.
Please note: 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?
Research has this helpful Apply for ethics approval 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).
2020 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 assessment is on a rolling-on basis. 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.
2020 HESC submission and meeting dates
Initial submission date to Arts HEAG
|HESC submission date||HESC meeting date|
|1/2020||3 January||22 January||6 February|
|2/2020||22 January||19 February||5 March|
|3/2020||19 February||18 March||2 April|
|4/2020||25 March||22 April||7 May|
|5/2020||22 April||20 May||4 June|
|6/2020||20 May||17 June||2 July|
|7/2020||24 June||22 July||6 August|
|8/2020||22 July||19 August||3 September|
|9/2020||19 August||16 September||1 October|
|10/2020||23 September||21 October||5 November|
|11/2020||21 October||18 November||3 December|
Faculty of Arts HEAG Members (Semester 2, 2019)
|Professor Adrian Hearn, HEAG Chair||School of Languages and Linguistics|
|Dr Guy Morrow, Deputy Chair||School of Culture and Communication|
|Dr Jon Glade||Asia Institute|
|Dr Muhammad Kamal||Asia Institute|
|Dr Caitlin Vincent||School of Culture and Communication|
|Dr Jennifer Beckett||School of Culture and Communication|
|Dr Kirsten Stevens||School of Culture and Communication|
|Dr Matthew Martin||School of Culture and Communication|
|Assoc. Professor Richard Pennell||School of Historical and Philosophical Studies|
|Dr Andrew Inkpin||School of Historical and Philosophical Studies|
|Dr James Bradley||School of Historical and Philosophical Studies|
|Dr Jonathan Kemp||School of Historical and Philosophical Studies|
|Dr Matthew Galway||School of Historical and Philosophical Studies|
|Assoc. Professor Andrea Rizzi||School of Languages and Linguistics|
|Dr Claudia Sandberg||School of Languages and Linguistics|
|Dr Jonathon Lum||School of Languages and Linguistics|
|Dr Kellie Frost||School of Languages and Linguistics|
|Dr Leo Kretzenbacher||School of Languages and Linguistics|
|Assoc. Professor John Fitzgerald||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Assoc. Professor Juliet Rogers||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Aaron Martin||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Daniel McCarthy||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Elise Klein||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Julia Hurst||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Nikki Moodie||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Rennie Lee||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Roberto Foa||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Scott Brenton||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Terry MacDonald||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Professor Fiona Haines||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Professor Philomena Murray||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Professor Robyn Eckersley||School of Social and Political Sciences|
|Dr Megan McIntosh||Arts Teaching Innovation|
|Laura Liao||Arts Research Team|
|Jacqui Randall||Arts Research Team|
After ethics approval
Research 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 Research Amendments web page.
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.
Students should first consult with their supervisor. Please send any further queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Ethics Support/HEAG Administrator, Ground Floor, Room 146, Old Arts (Building 149).