Terms of Reference

Human Research Ethics Committee


Pursuant to moral and other obligations of the University, the Human Research Ethics Committee has responsibility for the consideration of the ethical aspects as well as the educational value of the conduct of research involving human participants.  The Committee will:

(a)   (i)  review the ethical aspects of all proposals by UNE staff and students involving research on human beings which directly affects the participants in the research

(ii) ensure that the proposals conform with the general principles of the NH&MRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research(2007) and meet accepted professional standards

(b) forward as required a report of its decisions to the appropriate research funding authority

(c)   supervise the implementation of the principles of the NH&MRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research in all research by UNE staff involving human participants

(d)   maintain a register of all proposed research projects

(e)  require those carrying out research involving human participants to keep records which will enable the Committee to make a judgement on the ethics of each of these research projects, and provide the Committee with the information necessary to make a judgement on the ethical aspects of research

(f)  make inspections of research involving human participants thus recorded, where necessary

(g)   receive and investigate complaints concerning research involving human participants and make recommendations to the supervisor, and, if necessary, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor )

(h)   be available for consultation on matters relating to research involving human participants

(i)  make recommendations to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor ) on matters concerning research involving human participants

(j)   recommend to the Librarian the acquisition of publications relevant to research involving human participants and arrange that these publications be indexed in such a way as to provide ready access to information

(k)  represent the University for liaison with bodies outside the University on matters related to research involving human participants

(l)   ensure that every effort will be made to facilitate the University’s aim of increasing the representation of women in the leadership and membership of decision making bodies with the ultimate aim of equal representation

(m)  to consider and to report on any matter referred to it by the Vice-Chancellor or the Academic Board.

Committee Composition and Reporting

Reports to Deputy Vice-Chancellor


Appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Committee, in addition to the membership, for a two-year, once renewable term.


The minimum membership of an HREC is seven members, being men and women comprising:

  1. Chairperson
  2. at least two members who are lay people, one man and one woman, who have not affiliation with the institution or organisation, are not currently involved in medical, scientific, or legal work, and who are preferably from the community in which the institution or organisation is located
  3. at least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the areas of research that are regularly considered by the HREC (e.g. health, medical, social, psychological, epidemiological, as appropriate)
  4. at least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or o treatment of people (e.g. medical practitioner, clinical psychologist, social worker, nurse, as appropriate)
  5. at least one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who has a tertiary qualification and experience in being involved in research
  6. at least one member who is a minister of religion, or a person who performs a similar role in a community such as an Aboriginal elder; and
  7. at least one member who is a lawyer.

Term of Office

Members will hold office for a two-year period and may serve a maximum of five consecutive terms.

Frequency of Meetings

The Committee will meet once a month.


Once in every twelve month period, the Committee shall devote at least part of one meeting to a review of its policies, practices and procedures over the preceding 12 months.


Research Services will provide Administrative support to the HREC.