For HEAG/HESC members and administrators
Resources for ethics committee members, chairs and administrators
Central Human Research Ethics Committee (CHREC)
Forming a HEAG
All departments, schools, centres and faculties that conduct human research must establish a HEAG or make arrangements to join another. A HEAG:
- conducts technical and ethical reviews of all projects emanating from a department/school/centre/faculty;
- provides feedback to researchers on their applications;
- has delegated authority to approve Minimal Risk applications;
- provides advice to Human Ethics Sub-Committees (HESC).
Some smaller departments and centres may decide to consolidate into one HEAG and each provide members with appropriate expertise.
Registering a HEAG
Prepare a letter to the Chair, Central Human Research Ethics Committee (CHREC) and include the following:
- HEAG name and administrator contact details
- HEAG Chair contact details.
- HEAG membership (will comprise at least three members of academic staff, including one senior academic, and a postgraduate student if possible).
- Written agreement to operate in accordance with the HEAG Terms of Reference, University policies, and the National Statement.
Send to: Chair, Central Human Research Ethics Committee, c/o Manager, Human Research Ethics, (REI) Research Ethics and Integrity, Melbourne Research, Level 2, 21 Bedford Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051 Or send an electronic scanned copy to : HumanEthics-Enquiries@unimelb.edu.au
- The Department/School/Centre agrees to provide an education program to students and brief staff with regard to human research ethics.
- Should the external sponsor or host of any project require that the project be approved by a fully constituted human research ethics committee, the HEAG must refer this project to a Human Ethics Sub-Committee (HESC).
- Low risk projects may be approved by the HEAG using the Minimal Risk Review or Project-within-Program process, assuming the research meets the criteria for these approvals. All other research must be submitted via the HEAG to the HESC for approval. The HEAG is to review the project and provide a recommendation for approval. The HEAG may refer any project it wishes to the HESC at any stage.
- All research must have ethics approval before it can proceed. Any appeal against a HEAG decision should be forwarded to the relevant HESC.
- The HEAG Chair and Administrator will require administrator access to departmental functions within the Themis Human Ethics module. Activate your Themis account via Account Registration System (ARS). Also contact the Human Ethics Office to arrange training.
Human ethics administrators from around the University meet regularly to share ideas and information. Please feel welcome to join these discussions if you do human ethics administration in your department, school, centre or faculty.
Meeting Date 1/19 Wednesday 13 February 2/19 Wednesday 10 April 3/19 Wednesday 19 June 4/19 Wednesday 14 August 5/19 Wednesday 16 October 6/19 Wednesday 11 December
Venue: School of Population Health, Room 410, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton
Time: All meetings from 10.00am to 11.30am
contact: Caroline Deacon email: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone: 03 8344 0033
Resources for members and administrators
- For more resources, including university policy and national guidelines, please visit our general resources page
- Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders
- Keeping Research on Track II
- Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (GERAIS)
The document Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders provides advice about ethical health research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is written around a framework of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander shared values and principles, namely: reciprocity; respect; equity; responsibility; cultural continuity; and spirit and integrity.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) has created the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (GERAIS) to ensure that research with and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples follows a process of meaningful engagement and reciprocity between the researcher and the individuals and/or communities involved in the research.
Human Research Ethics Case Studies
The British Economic and Social Research Council has compiled a useful set of ethics case studies, listed by category of ethical issue. Reviewers may find these case studies to be a useful resource.
Navigating the application process - poster for dissemination by HEAG members
The 'Navigating the application process' poster was made to help HEAGs and HESCs explain to submitting researchers how to make a successful application.
Terms of reference
Themis for ethics administrators
The following Themis guides are available to help HEAG administrators use the human ethics module to process and manage applications. Contact us if you require advice, or assistance with training. You should also join the ethics HEAG Administrators Network which meets every two months.
Managing an existing application
Generating reports and correspondence
Managing your HEAG