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).

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 memberGeir Henning Presterudstuen
Deputy Chair / Executive member Catherine Attard
Relevant Research ExperienceLucy Nicholas
Relevant Research ExperienceDilupa Nakandala
Relevant Research Experience Andrew Page
Relevant Research ExperienceGabrielle Weidemann
Relevant Research Experience Peter Lewis
Community MemberLawyer
Community MemberPastoral Carer
Community MemberLayman
Community MemberLaywoman

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
17 Feb 2020 31 Jan 2020
16 Mar 2020 28 Feb 2020
20 Apr 2020 3 Apr 2020
18 May 2020 1 May 2020
15 Jun 2020 5 Jun 2020
20 Jul 2020 3 Jul 2020
17 Aug 2020 31 Jul 2020
21 Sep 2020 4 Sep 2020
19 Oct 2020 2 Oct 2020
16 Nov 2020 30 Oct 2020
7 Dec 2020 25 Nov 2020
  • The HREC meets every third Monday of the month in February, March and from May to November. April and December meetings are scheduled to avoid conflict with holiday periods.
  • All applications are subject to initial review by the Human Ethics Officer and you may be required to make changes to the application form and attachments before submission to the HREC.
  • Researchers should check whether their School or Institute has requirements in terms of School/Institute-based approval for the research or the ethics application form. Previously, the schools of Education, Medicine, and Nursing and Midwifery have indicated that such processes exist and these should be undertaken prior to the submission of the ethics application.
  • The Executive meets on Monday each week commencing the third week of January, except on HREC meeting days and to accommodate public holidays.
  • The submission deadline for any meeting is close of business (5pm) on the specified date.
  • This also assumes that all applications have been screened and deemed 'assessment ready' by Human Ethics.

LNR Review Committee Meeting Dates and Submission Deadlines

2020 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
21 Jan 2020 15 Jan 2020
4 Feb 2020 29 Jan 2020
11 Feb 2020 5 Feb 2020
18 Feb 2020 12 Feb 2020
25 Feb 2020 19 Feb 2020
3 Mar 2020 26 Feb 2020
10 Mar 2020 4 Mar 2020
17 Mar 2020 11 Mar 2020
24 Mar 2020 18 Mar 2020
31 Mar 2020 25 Mar 2020
7 Apr 2020 1 Apr 2020
21 Apr 2020 15 Apr 2020
5 May 2020 29 Apr 2020
12 May 2020 6 May 2020
19 May 2020 13 May 2020
26 May 2020 20 May 2020
2 Jun 2020 27 May 2020
16 Jun 2020 10 Jun 2020
23 Jun 2020 17 Jun 2020
30 Jun 2020 24 Jun 2020
7 Jul 2020 1 Jul 2020
14 Jul 2020 8 Jul 2020
21 Jul 2020 15 Jul 2020
28 Jul 2020 22 Jul 2020
4 Aug 2020 29 Jul 2020
11 Aug 2020 5 Aug 2020
18 Aug 2020 12 Aug 2020
25 Aug 2020 19 Aug 2020
1 Sep 2020 26 Aug 2020
8 Sep 2020 2 Sep 2020
15 Sep 2020 9 Sep 2020
22 Sep 2020 16 Sep 2020
29 Sep 2020 23 Sep 2020
13 Oct 2020 7 Oct 2020
20 Oct 2020 14 Oct 2020
27 Oct 2020 21 Oct 2020
3 Nov 2020 28 Oct 2020
17 Nov 2020 11 Nov 2020
24 Nov 2020 18 Nov 2020
1 Dec 2020 25 Nov 2020
7 Dec 2020 2 Dec 2020
  • Proposals involving not greater than minimal risk (Negligible and Low 1) will be reviewed by the Low and Negligible Risk (LNR) review committee. The LNR meets on Tuesday of each week except on weeks commencing with a Public Holiday.
  • All applications are subject to initial review by the Human Ethics Officer and you may be required to make changes to the application form and attachments before submission to the LNR.
  • Researchers should check whether their School or Institute has requirements in terms of School/Institute-based approval for the research or the ethics application form. Previously, the schools of Education, Medicine, and Nursing and Midwifery have indicated that such processes exist and these should be undertaken prior to the submission of the ethics application.
  • The submission deadline for any meeting is close of business (5pm) on the specified date. This assumes that applications have been screened and deemed 'assessment ready' by Human Ethics.

Executive Review Committee Meeting Dates and Submission Deadlines

2020 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline
20 Jan 2020 15 Jan 2020
3 Feb 2020 29 Jan 2020
10 Feb 2020 5 Feb 2020
24 Feb 2020 19 Feb 2020
2 Mar 2020 26 Feb 2020
9 Mar 2020 4 Mar 2020
23 Mar 2020 18 Mar 2020
30 Mar 2020 25 Mar 2020
6 Apr 2020 1 Apr 2020
27 Apr 2020 22 Apr 2020
4 May 2020 29 Apr 2020
11 May 2020 6 May 2020
25 May 2020 20 May 2020
1 Jun 2020 27 May 2020
22 Jun 2020 17 Jun 2020
29 Jun 2020 24 Jun 2020
6 Jul 2020 1 Jul 2020
13 Jul 2020 8 Jul 2020
27 Jul 2020 22 Jul 2020
3 Aug 2020 29 Jul 2020
10 Aug 2020 5 Aug 2020
24 Aug 2020 19 Aug 2020
31 Aug 2020 26 Aug 2020
7 Sep 2020 2 Sep 2020
14 Sep 2020 9 Sep 2020
28 Sep 2020 23 Sep 2020
12 Oct 2020 7 Oct 2020
26 Oct 2020 21 Oct 2020
2 Nov 2020 28 Oct 2020
9 Nov 2020 4 Nov 2020
23 Nov 2020 18 Nov 2020
30 Nov 2020 25 Nov 2020
14 Dec 2020 9 Dec 2020
  • The Executive committee reviews responses and amendments for projects with a risk rating of Low 2 or High, unless they have been assigned to the HREC.
  • The Executive does not meet the week of the HREC meeting or in weeks with a public holiday.
  • The submission deadline for any meeting is close of business (5pm) on the submission deadline date.