Terms of reference

Human Research Ethics Committee

A PDF version of the HREC Terms of Reference is available.

Decision-making:

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 merit of the conduct of research involving human participants.  The Committee will:

  1. 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; and
  2. ii)ensure that the proposals conform with the general principles of the NH&MRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018) and meet accepted professional standards;
  3. iii)       ensure that all Committee members have a current understanding of the NH&MRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018) and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 and the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies.
  4. forward as required a report of its decisions to the elevant Human Research Ethics authority or overseeing body;
  5. supervise the implementation of the principles of the NH&MRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018) in all research by UNE staff and students involving human participants;
  6. maintain a database of all proposed research projects;
  7. 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
  8. make inspections of research involving human participants thus recorded, where necessary;
  9. receive and investigate complaints concerning research involving human participants and make recommendations to the supervisor, and, if necessary, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor(Research);
  10. be available for consultation on matters relating to research involving human participants;
  11. make recommendations to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on matters concerning research involving human participants
  12. 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
  13. represent the University for liaison with bodies outside the University on matters related to research involving human participants
  14. 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
  15. consider and to report on any matter referred to it by the Vice-Chancellor or the Academic Board.

Reporting:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Chair:

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

Membership:

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

  1. a Chairperson, with suitable experience, whose other responsibilities will not impair the HREC’s capacity to carry out its obligations under the National Statement;
  2. at least two lay people, one man and one woman, who have no affiliation with the institution and do not , currently engage in medical, scientific, legal or academic work;
  3. at least one person with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people; for example, a nurse or allied health professional;
  4. at least one person who performs a pastoral care role in a community, for example, an Aboriginal Elder or a minister of religion;
  5. at least one lawyer, where possible one who is not engaged to advise the institution;
  6. at least two people with current research experience that is relevant to research proposals to be considered at the meetings they attend. These two members may be selected, according to need, form an established pool of inducted members with relevant experience; and
  7. at least two Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons, one who has a tertiary qualification and experience in being involved in research and the other being the Director of Oorala Aboriginal Centre

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

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 to assess high risk application and a sub-Committee of the HREC meets weekly to assess low risk research applications

Self review:

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.

Support:

Research Services will provide Administrative support to the HREC.