Definition of Human Research
Human research as defined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) is “research conducted with or about people, or their data or tissue”. Human participation in research can be broadly understood to include:
- taking part in surveys, interviews or focus groups;
- undergoing psychological, physiological or medical testing or treatment;
- being observed by researchers;
- the collection and use of participants’ body organs, tissues or fluids; and
- access to their personal documents or other materials.
However, other research activity with humans as participants may come within the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) area.
It is the researcher's responsibility to ensure that ethics approval is sought when appropriate and is reviewed by the correct committee. Please refer to the Is this the correct committee to submit an application to? web page for more information or or contact the SBREC Executive Officer (08 8201-3116) for advice.
CHANGES TO ETHICS PROCESS - Effective from 22 April 2013
There are four ways to seek ethics approval from the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC):
- Low or Negligible Risk Research
Applications considered to be low or negligible risk research (as defined by the National Statement) will now be reviewed via an expedited rolling review process and therefore can be submitted at any time (i.e. not subject to closing dates). Applications considered to be low or negligible risk by the applicant should be submitted with the Low / Negligible Risk Assessment Form (DOCX 40KB) . Applications deemed to be low or negligible risk by the SBREC Chair will be allocated to the relevant sub-committee. Applications subitted without a Risk Assessment Form, or are not deemed to be low or negligible risk, will be allocated to the full SBREC for review.
Refer to the Submission Process for Low / Negligible Risk Research for more information and refer to the Application Form and Participant Documentation web page for access to forms, guidelines and templates.
- All Other Research
Applicants who do not consider their research to be low or negligible risk do not need to submit the Low / Negligible Risk Assessment Form. These applicants should only submit the application form with all relevant attachments and comply with the meeting closing dates. These applications will automatically be allocated to the full SBREC for review (as previously) and notification of decision will be emailed to applicants 28-33 days following submission. Please note that applicant notifications may be delayed during times of high committee workload. Refer to the Application Form and Participant Documentation website for submission instructions, forms, guidelines and templates.
- Previous Approval from another Australian Human Research Ethics Committee
Flinders University researchers who have already obtained ethics approval for a project from another Australian Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), and were listed as 2nd or subsequent researcher on the application (i.e. not principal researcher) can submit a request for ethics approval via a shorter process that will be reviewed by the Chair out of session Notification of a decision will be emailed to applicants within 1-2 weeks following application submission. Refer to the Previous Approval from Another Australian HREC web page for submission instructions.
- SA Health Approved Research
Flinders University researchers who have already obtained ethics approval from an SA Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) for social and behavioural research do not also need to submit an application to the SBREC. Ethics approvals granted from an SA Health HREC will be accepted by the SBREC without further scrutiny, however it is the responsibility of the researcher to notify the SBREC in a timely manner. Refer to the SA Health Approved Research web page for information on how to notify the SBREC.
Refer to the Ethics Submission Process Flow Chart (PDF 24KB) for a visual presentation of the new SBREC ethics submission processes.
SBREC Committee Members Only - Ethics Wiki Link