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Research Ethics

Research Ethics

All applications for research ethics approval must be reviewed and approved by the School's Human Ethics Advsory Group (HEAG) in the first instance. Depending on the nature of the research project and the type of application required for submission, some applications must also be considered by the University's Human Ethics Advisory Committee (HESC) before being granted final approval.

HEAG membership

- Dr Piers Howe (Chair)
- Dr Simon Laham (Deputy Chair)
- Dr Isabel Krug
- Dr Jaqueline Anderson
- Dr Stefan Bode
- Dr Brock Bastian
- Dr Adam Osth
- Associate Professor Jennifer Boldero
- Marianela Delgado-Henriquez (Ethics Officer)

Contact the HEAG:

Tel: +61 (03) 8344 6377


The application process

Minimal Risk and Project-within-Program applications (and subsequent amendments) are reviewed and approved in-house by the HEAG and then forwarded to the HESC for noting. These application types may be submitted at any time. Data collection may commence as soon as HEAG approval has been granted.
Non-minimal risk studies, namely Individual Project and Program applications (and subsequent amendments), must first be approved by the HEAG and then forwarded to the HESC for further consideration and approval at one of the scheduled monthly meetings. Data collection may only commence after HESC approval has been granted.
Researchers intending to submit an Individual Project or Program application should note the HEAG submission deadlines listed below to ensure the application reaches the HESC in time for the next available monthly meeting.
The HEAG will endeavour to achieve a two week turn around for the review and approval of all applications.


All applications must be submitted in Themis via the Human Ethics Workbench of the Research Self Service module. 'Psychological Sciences' should be selected as the responsible HEAG. Before accessing the Workbench for the first time, researchers must first create a Themis password via the Themis accounts screen.
- Access Themis Accounts here
- Access the Themis log in screen here
One complete copy of the ethics application or amendment, including all documentation and the Themis application summary, must also be sent electronically as a single PDF file to for review. Please do not send these documents to the email accounts of Piers Howe, or Marianela Delgado-Henriquez as this may prevent them from being processed correctly. It is no longer necessary to cc Piers Howe on amendments.


2016 HEAG Submission deadlines

Most non-minimal risk applications will be need to also be reviewed by the Behavioural and Social Sciences HESC. For us to review it in time to meet their deadlines you need to submit your application to us by the following deadlines:


- 14 January
- 11 February
- 4 March
- 14 April
- 12 May
- 7 July
- 4 August
- 8 September
- 5 October
- 3 November
The HEAG is not able to guarantee that applications submitted after these deadlines will be processed and reviewed in time to meet the monthly Behavioural and Social Sciences HESC committee schedule. If you are asked to make changes to your documents, you need to do so and return the documents to us IMMEDIATELY. if you do not do so, we may not be able to forward them the HESC in time to meet its deadline.
In the rare case that your application needs to be reviewed by a different HESC, you need to inform us of this fact on its initial submission and submit it to us at least two weeks before that HESC's deadline.


Is your application really minimal risk?

The criteria for minimal risk applicaitons have become more stringent. Before submitting a minimal risk application, please read the document "Is your application really minimal risk?".
Is your application really minimal risk? (Download)

Current submission procedure

It is the supervisor’s responsibility to make sure their students understand these ethics procedures, answer any questions they may have and provide any necessary training.

We are no longer accepting applications from students or entering into correspondence with them regarding any ethics applications. We are happy for the student to write the application and upload it into Themis for the responsible researcher (i.e. the supervisor), but the supervisor must be the one who sends us the pdf of the application (see below) and we will only enter into a correspondence about the application with the supervisor. The supervisor must ensure that the application complies with the procedures below. Applications that do not comply with these procedures will be returned without being assessed.

Should students have questions about their ethics application or the procedures below, they should contact their supervisor.

We are happy to accept applications from postdoctoral fellows, research fellows etc.

2016 Ethics Submission Procedure (Download)


Templates - commonly used forms

The most common mistakes are related to the content and format of the Plain Language Statement and Consent Form, so you are required use the templates below unless you have a good reason for not doing so. 
Plain Language Statement (PLS) (Download)
Consent Form (Download)
Debriefing Statement (Download)

Research Experience Program (REP)


Follow this link for information on the REP.