Applying for human ethics approval

All staff, students, and external researchers seeking to conduct human research at the University of New England are required to apply using these forms.

Please note that applications on the old forms will not be accepted. We advise that you download the forms each time you need them because updates to the documents/forms are regularly made.

Researcher notes, prepared by the HREC, are available to assist with preparing your application.

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research is also a helpful resource.

Guidelines on how to apply for human research ethics approval

There are two different types of application forms used to apply for human ethics approval, each depending on the level of risk to participants.

1. The Expedited Review Application Form — used for risk level E1 and E2 applications. If you are unsure of the risk level of your research, please use this form. See below for information about risk levels.

An example of a completed expedited application form is available as a guide.

2. Human Research Ethics Application (HREA)— used for risk level E3 applications.

The HREA has been developed by the governing body (NHMRC) for Human Research Ethics Committees in Australia. This application replaces the NEAF.  As this new form does not include a Head of School Declaration please use this template and submit it with your HREA.

Which application form should you use?
Expedited Review Application Form

This form is used for risk level E1 and E2 applications. The questions in Part A  will determine your eligibility for expedited review and which form you need to complete and submit.

As a general rule when applying for human research ethics approval, start with the Expedited Review Application Form.

Example form

An example of a completed application form is available to refer to, as a guide to how to complete your application.

Please send your completed Expedited Review Application Form to the Human Research Ethics Committee for approval.

However, if you know your research will be ineligible for expedited review — i.e. the risk level of your research is E3 — you can go directly to the HREA.

Human Research Ethics Application (HREA)

We recommend you check the requirements of the Expedited Review Application Form before completing the HREA.

The first time you access the HREA (external website), you will need to register as a new user. For technical support on the HREA system, please contact HREA Help on 02 6217 9902 or

Guides to applying through HREA
Contact the Research Ethics Officer

Mrs Jo-Ann Sozou
Phone 02 6773 3449

Guide to risk level


Risk to participants:

Risk Explained:

Reviewed by:


Negligible or no appreciable risks or ethical issues

Where there is no foreseeable risk of harm or discomfort: and any foreseeable risk is no more than inconvenience

Chair and Research Ethics Officer


Low risk and ethical issues addressed by research design Where the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort.

Chair, Research Ethics Officer & a rotating member of the HREC

E3 Potential for significant or unavoidable risk and  not eligible for E1 or E2 The greater the risks to participants in any research for which ethical approval is given, the more certain it must be both that the risks will be managed as well as possible, and that the participants clearly understand the risks they are assuming. Full HREC meets monthly


Applications for ethics approval must reach Research Services by 12.00 noon on the nominated closing date for discussion at the next committee meeting.

Signatures can be signed electronically, or signed by hand.

Email all applications and any supporting documents (in colour) to:

Human Ethics:

Response Times

Depending on the level of review, we estimate the following response times to your application:

  • Applications with E1 risk level: 1–5 working days from submission.
  • Applications with E2 risk level: 1–3 working days after the HREC meeting.
  • Applications with E3 risk level: 2–4 working days after the HREC meeting.

After your research is underway

During the course of your research, you may have the need to amend your human ethics approval application.

You will also need to report to the HREC in relation to your ethics approval.

Variation Form

If you need to request an extension of time, an amendment to your project, the addition of staff or students to the protocol or any other variation to your already approved application please complete and submit the Variation Form.

Progress and Final Report Forms

Progress Report — submitted if you received approval for research that runs for more than 12 months or you have requested and extension of time which will mean your project has be going for 12 months or more. A Progress Report must be completed every 12 months and submitted to the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). A progress report cannot be used to request an extension of time. This must be done using a Variation form.

Final Report — must be completed once you have completed your data collection and submitted to the HREC.


Forms, guidelines and protocols are available to assist your research and communication with your participants.


Mrs Jo-Ann Sozou, Research Ethics Officer
Phone 6773 3449