Human Ethics


Consultation

The Human Ethics Officers are available to researchers for consultation. Researchers should contact the human ethics officers if they require assistance with completing their ethics applications. To make a booking, email the human ethics team or phone 4736 0493 (Ext 2493).

COVID-19 Resources

Human Ethics Review Process

Purpose

Western Sydney University fosters responsible research, protecting the welfare, dignity and safety of research participants while maintaining the reputation of the University and its researchers, and minimising claims for negligence against individual researchers or the University.

Research involving humans includes, but is not restricted to, the use and/or collection of personal, collective or cultural data from participants or from their records, and may include their oral testimony or observed cultural activities and the testing of responses to conditions devised by researchers as set out in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (opens in a new window)

The University protects the welfare and rights of research participants by ensuring research projects undergo ethics review to establish that they meet the requirements of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (opens in a new window) and the Ethical guidelilnes for research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (opens in a new window) when relevant, and conform to any relevant legislative requirements as well as University policies.

For a step-by-step guide on how to commence human ethics review, please see How to Apply for Human Ethics Review below.

Ethics Review Process

The human ethics review process flowchart (JPG, 63.47 KB) (opens in a new window) summarises the steps involved in applying to the human ethics committee(s).

How to Apply

Most research involving human participants carried out by staff or students at Western Sydney University must undergo ethical review, and most researchers will submit their application to the Western Sydney University ethics committees.

Find out more on how to apply for human ethics review.

Resources

Forms

Human ethics – Participant Information Sheets and Consent forms

If you are choosing extended or unspecified consent you must provide participants with a copy of the Explanation of Extended and Unspecified Consent (DOC, 136.5 KB) (opens in a new window) document.

Complaints and Adverse Events

Researchers: If an adverse event occurs during your research you must stop gathering data, secure the existing data, and where appropriate, make the research site safe and advise us immediately.

Participants and researchers: If you have a complaint about the conduct of a research project approved by the University's Human Research Ethics Committee, please contact humanethics@westernsydney.edu.au

For more information on how complaints are reviewed by the University see Guidance on Complaints (PDF, 58.62 KB) (opens in a new window)

Committee and Submission Deadlines

Human Ethics Committee

The Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee is an accredited HREC under the terms of the NHMRC. It follows the accreditation guidelines and reports annually to the NHMRC. Committees are comprised of mandatory members as per the NHMRC's required composition, and additional members with expertise relevant to Western Sydney University research.

The HREC Chair is Professor Brett Bowden. Western Sydney academic staff are listed below:

RoleName
Chairperson / Executive member Brett Bowden
Deputy Chair / Executive member Roger Dean
Deputy Chair / Executive member Kristy Coxon
Deputy Chair/ Executive member Geir Henning Presterudstuen
Deputy Chair / Executive member Catherine Attard
Relevant Research Experience Lucy Nicholas
Relevant Research Experience Dilupa Nakandala
Relevant Research Experience Andrew Page
Relevant Research Experience Gabrielle Weidemann
Relevant Research Experience Peter Lewis
Community Member Lawyer
Community Member Pastoral Carer
Community Member Layman
Community Member Laywoman

The committee is supported by a lawyer and members from the community including two lay people (one man and one woman), and a pastoral care professional.

All correspondence between researchers and committee members is to be directed through the Human Research Ethics Officers.

The full committee meets once a month, except in January, for the assessment of Moderate and High Risk applications, amendments and responses.

The HREC delegates the assessment of some amendments and responses to its Executive committee which meets approximately weekly.

The HREC delegates the review of projects rated Negligible or Low 1 to the Low and Negligible Risk (LNR) committee which meets approximately weekly. Professor Michele Simons is the Chair of the LNR.

HREC Meeting Dates and Submission Deadlines

2020 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
2 Nov 2020 15 Oct 2020
30 Nov 2020 12 Nov 2020

2021 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
15 Feb 2021 29 Jan 2021
15 Mar 2021 25 Feb 2021
19 Apr 2021 1 Apr 2021
17 May 2021 29 Apr 2021
21 Jun 2021 3 Jun 2021
19 Jul 2021 1 Jul 2021
16 Aug 2021 29 Jul 2021
20 Sep 2021 2 Sep 2021
18 Oct 2021 30 Sep 2021
15 Nov 2021 28 Oct 2021
13 Dec 2021 25 Nov 2021
  • The HREC reviews new applications for projects with a risk rating of Moderate or High (greater than Low risk as per the definition in the National Statement and the decision of the WSU HREC)
  • The November and December HREC meeting and submission dates are subject to University advice regarding the close down period at the end of 2021. Changes may also be made in relation to University mandatory close periods. Therefore, dates above are indicative only. Please check these dates throughout the year.
  • The submission deadline for any meeting is close of business (5pm) on the specified date. Late applications may not be accepted.
  • Some Schools/Institutes have a pre-review process which involves a staff member in that unit reviewing applications before they are submitted to the ethics team. Researchers and students should check whether there is a similar process in their School or Institute before sending the application to the ethics team.
  • All applications undergo initial screening by the Human Ethics Officer and you may be required to make changes to the application form and attachments before submission to the HREC. Please factor that in to your submission time.

LNR Review Committee Meeting Dates and Submission Deadlines

2020 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
24 Nov 2020 18 Nov 2020
1 Dec 2020 25 Nov 2020
8 Dec 2020 2 Dec 2020

2021 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
(12 Jan 2021) No meeting
19 Jan 2021 13 Jan 2021
(26 Jan 2021) No meeting
2 Feb 2021 27 Jan 2021
9 Feb 2021 3 Feb 2021
16 Feb 2021 10 Feb 2021
23 Feb 2021 17 Feb 2021
2 Mar 2021 24 Feb 2021
9 Mar 2021 3 Mar 2021
16 Mar 2021 10 Mar 2021
23 Mar 2021 17 Mar 2021
30 Mar 2021 24 Mar 2021
(6 Apr 2021) No meeting
13 Apr 2021 7 Apr 2021
20 Apr 2021 14 Apr 2021
27 Apr 2021 21 Apr 2021
4 May 2021 28 Apr 2021
11 May 2021 5 May 2021
18 May 2021 12 May 2021
25 May 2021 19 May 2021
1 Jun 2021 26 May 2021
8 Jun 2021 2 Jun 2021
(14 Jun 2021) No meeting
22 Jun 2021 16 Jun 2021
29 Jun 2021 23 Jun 2021
6 Jul 2021 30 Jun 2021
13 Jul 2021 7 Jul 2021
20 Jul 2021 14 Jul 2021
27 Jul 2021 21 Jul 2021
3 Aug 2021 28 Jul 2021
10 Aug 2021 4 Aug 2021
24 Aug 2021 18 Aug 2021
31 Aug 2021 25 Aug 2021
7 Sep 2021 1 Sep 2021
14 Sep 2021 8 Sep 2021
21 Sep 2021 15 Sep 2021
28 Sep 2021 22 Sep 2021
(4 Oct 2021) No meeting
12 Oct 2021 6 Oct 2021
19 Oct 2021 13 Oct 2021
26 Oct 2021 20 Oct 2021
2 Nov 2021 27 Oct 2021
9 Nov 2021 3 Nov 2021
16 Nov 2021 10 Nov 2021
23 Nov 2021 17 Nov 2021
30 Nov 2021 24 Nov 2021
7 Dec 2021 1 Dec 2021
14 Dec 2021 8 Dec 2021
  • New applications involving not greater than minimal risk (Negligible and Low) and their responses and amendments are reviewed by the Low and Negligible Risk (LNR) Committee. Amendments that change the risk level of a project to higher than Low risk may require HREC review and the risk level of the project may be adjusted for all subsequent reviews.
  • The November and December LNR Committee meeting and submission dates are subject to University advice regarding the close down period at the end of 2021. Changes may also be made in relation to University mandatory close periods. Therefore, dates above are indicative only. Please check these dates throughout the year.
  • The LNR does not meet in weeks with a public holiday. This has been noted in the submission date column as ‘No meeting’
  • The submission deadline for any meeting is close of business (5pm) on the specified date. Late applications may not be accepted.
  • Researchers should check whether their School or Institute has pre-submission requirements for School/Institute-based approval.
  • All submissions will be screened by the Human Ethics Officer and you may be required to make changes before submission to the LNR. Please factor that in to your submission time.

Executive Review Committee Meeting Dates and Submission Deadlines

2020 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
23 Nov 2020 18 Nov 2020
30 Nov 2020 No meeting
7 Dec 2020 2 Dec 2020
14 Dec 2020 9 Dec 2020

2021 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
(11 Jan 2021) No meeting
18 Jan 2021 13 Jan 2021
(25 Jan 2021) No meeting
1 Feb 2021 27 Jan 2021
8 Feb 2021 3 Feb 2021
(15 Feb 2021) No meeting
22 Feb 2021 17 Feb 2021
1 Mar 2021 24 Feb 2021
8 Mar 2021 3 Mar 2021
(15 Mar 2021) No meeting
22 Mar 2021 17 Mar 2021
29 Mar 2021 24 Mar 2021
(5 Apr 2021) No meeting
12 Apr 2021 7 Apr 2021
(19 Apr 2021) No meeting
26 Apr 2021 21 Apr 2021
3 May 2021 28 Apr 2021
10 May 2021 5 May 2021
(17 May 2021) No meeting
24 May 2021 19 May 2021
31 May 2021 26 May 2021
7 Jun 2021 2 Jun 2021
(14 Jun 2021) No meeting
(21 Jun 2021) No meeting
28 Jun 2021 23 Jun 2021
5 Jul 2021 30 Jun 2021
12 Jul 2021 7 Jul 2021
(19 Jul 2021) No meeting
26 Jul 2021 21 Jul 2021
2 Aug 2021 28 Jul 2021
9 Aug 2021 4 Aug 2021
(19 Aug 2021) No meeting
23 Aug 2021 18 Aug 2021
30 Aug 2021 25 Aug 2021
6 Sep 2021 1 Sep 2021
13 Sep 2021 8 Sep 2021
(20 Sep 2021) No meeting
27 Sep 2021 22 Sep 2021
(4 Oct 2021) No meeting
11 Oct 2021 6 Oct 2021
(18 Oct 2021) No meeting
25 Oct 2021 20 Oct 2021
1 Nov 2021 27 Oct 2021
8 Nov 2021 3 Nov 2021
(15 Nov 2021) No meeting
22 Nov 2021 17 Nov 2021
29 Nov 2021 24 Nov 2021
6 Dec 2021 1 Dec 2021
(13 Dec 2021) No meeting
20 Dec 2021 15 Dec 2021
  • The Executive Committee reviews responses and amendments for projects with a risk rating of Moderate or High, unless they have been assigned to the HREC. It also reviews ‘Joint applications’.
  • The November and December Executive Committee meeting and submission dates are subject to University advice regarding the close down period at the end of 2021. Changes may also be made in relation to University mandatory close periods. Therefore, dates above are indicative only. Please check these dates throughout the year.
  • The submission deadline for any meeting is close of business (5pm) on the specified date. Late applications may not be accepted.
  • The Executive Committee does not meet the week of the HREC meeting or in weeks with a public holiday. This has been noted in the submission date column as ‘No meeting’
  • Researchers should check whether their School or Institute has pre-submission requirements for School/Institute-based approval.
  • Responses and amendments will be screened by the Human Ethics Officer and you may be required to make changes before submission to the Executive. Please factor that in to your submission time.