Human ethics guidelines

The University has a responsibility to protect the privacy, safety, health, cultural sensitivities and welfare of human subjects.

Human Ethics Committee

The role of the University Human Ethics Committee (HEC) is to ensure that staff and students are aware of the ethical issues involved in teaching and research. Certain research and teaching activities require prior HEC approval in order to protect both the interests of potential subjects and those of the researcher or teacher.

Do you need ethics approval for your research?

If your research involves human subjects or human tissue or affects people’s privacy, rights and freedoms, it is subject to Human Ethics Committee guidelines.

You should:

  • read the HEC guidelines carefully and ensure that you are familiar with basic ethical issues, principles and practices
  • if you are a student, discuss the ethical implications of your research with your primary supervisor to determine whether HEC approval is required.

If there is any doubt about the need for HEC approval, you must seek advice from your supervisor or a Pipitea Human Ethics Committee Representative Dr Matteo Solinas. Jonathan Barrett is the chairperson of the Committee.

Applying for approval

Responsibility for applying for HEC approval rests with you, but the application must be approved and countersigned by the primary supervisor and the Head of School.

Human Ethics applications for Law School research are handled by the Pipitea Human Ethics Committee, and are submitted via Research Master. For students who do not have access to Research Master, please apply for access. The Law School representative on the Committee is Dr Matteo Solinas and he must be consulted. An email should be sent in advance to set up an appointment - refer Staff section. Please note that the Pipitea Human Ethics Committee meets once a month; that applications in the required format need to be filed a minimum of two weeks in advance; and that applicants should allow up to 4 weeks post-meeting before receiving a decision.