IMPORTANT
Researchers, including students, who wish to undertake research involving human subjects, must obtain approval from the relevant committee before commencing the studies.

All Non-Clinical applications are to be submitted to the relevant Flinders University Committee. Any Clinical Research applications are to be submitted to the Southern Adelaide Clinical HREC.

Application forms, guidelines, example forms and templates relating to the following are available at Guidelines, Forms and Templates.

 



New Applications – Low / Negligible Risk (Non-Clinical Research Only)

IMPORTANT
Applications submitted via the low/negligible risk process that are not deemed to be low or negligible risk by the SBREC Chair will be allocated to the full SBREC for review. The SBREC meeting date for this review will depend on the application submission date and the time taken by the Chair to assess the risk level. 

Assessing your research as low / negligible risk

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (current version) identifies three levels of risk outlined below for social and behavioural (non-clinical) research projects. New applications that meet any of the following definitions may not need to be reviewed by the full Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC).

  • Exempt Research - Research is deemed to be exempt from any ethical review if it is negligible risk (as defined below) and involves the use of existing collections of data or records that contain only non-identifiable data about human beings (National Statement - paragraph 5.1.22)
  • Negligible Risk Research - Research is deemed to be 'negligible risk research' when it poses no foreseeable risk of harm or discomfort.  Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more than inconvenience the research is not negligible risk (National Statement - paragraph 2.17)
  • Low Risk Research - Research is deemed to be 'low risk' when the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort.  Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more serious than discomfort the research is not low risk (National Statement - paragraph 2.1.6)

Applying for ethics approval for low / negligible risk research

Researchers who consider their research to be low or negligible risk (as defined by the National Statement) should submit their application to the SBREC via the following process:

  1. Download and complete the Low/Negligible Risk Assessment Form
  2. Submit a signed electronic version of your application as a single PDF file to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee, which includes the following documentation:
    • Completed Low / Negligible Risk Assessment Form (placed at the start of the single PDF); and
    • Completed SBREC Application Form, including any required supporting documentation.

Researchers from the School of Psychology should add "School of Psychology" to the subject field of their submission email.

Approval process for low / negligible risk applications

As soon as possible following application submission, applicants will be advised whether the SBREC Chair has deemed their application to be either low or negligible risk, or not, and how their application will be reviewed (see below). 

  • Applications submitted by researchers from the School of Psychology that are deemed to be low risk by the SBREC Chair will be allocated to the School of Psychology Ethics Sub-Committee (SPESC) for review via an expedited process. A response from SPESC should be emailed to applicants within 2 weeks after notification of the review process.

    Applications submitted by researchers from the School of Psychology that are deemed to be negligible risk by the SBREC Chair will be approved by the SBREC Chair, without involving SPESC. Notifications will be emailed to applicants as soon as possible following the Chair's review.
  • Applications submitted by non-School of Psychology researchers that are deemed to be low risk by the SBREC Chair will be allocated to the SBREC Low Risk Sub-Committee for review. Responses will typically be received within 5 to 8 weeks after submission, depending on the quality of the original application and the current workload.

    Applications submitted by non-School of Psychology researchers that are deemed to be negligible risk by the SBREC Chair will be reviewed only by the SBREC Chair. Responses will typically be received within 5 to 8 weeks after submission, depending on the quality of the original application and the current workload.

 


New Applications - Non Low / Negligible risk (Non-Clinical Research Only)

IMPORTANT
As all application forms are periodically updated, we strongly recommend you re-download forms from the relevant website each time you submit a new application to ensure you are using the current version.

Applying for ethics approval (Non-Clinical Research)

Applicants undertaking social and behavioural (non-clinical) projects who do not consider their research to be low or negligible risk (as defined by the National Statement) should submit their application to the SBREC via the following process:

  1. Download and complete the Application Form and Participant Documentation
  2. Submit a signed electronic version of your application as a single PDF file to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee, together with any required supporting documentation, prior to the submission deadline.

Applying for ethics approval using the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) Form (Non-Clinical Research)

The Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC) also accepts submissions prepared using the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) Form (which has replaced the National Ethics Application Form – NEAF).

  1. Complete the HREA form online at the HREA website.
  2. Save the form plus all required attachments as a PDF file.
  3. Submit the signed electronic application as a single PDF file to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee.

Approval process for ethics applications (Non-Clinical Research)

Applications are reviewed by the full SBREC, and notification of their decision is generally emailed to applicants 4 to 5 weeks following submission.

Please note that applicant notifications may be delayed during times of high committee workload.

 


New Applications (Clinical Research Only)

IMPORTANT
As all application forms are periodically updated, we strongly recommend you re-download forms from the relevant website each time you submit a new application to ensure you are using the current version.

All applications for ethics approval relating to clinical research involving human subjects should be directed to The Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee (SAC HREC). Further information on the scope and nature of the SAC HREC, and the submission process can be found on the SAC HREC website.

 


New Applications – Research involving the veteran community

IMPORTANT
As all application forms are periodically updated, we strongly recommend you re-download forms from the relevant website each time you submit a new application to ensure you are using the current version.

If your research project involves contact with the veteran community please see the information here for the Flinders University process in relation to these applications.

 


Class-based Research Projects (Non-Clinical Research Only)

IMPORTANT
As all application forms are periodically updated, we strongly recommend you re-download forms from the relevant website each time you submit a new application to ensure you are using the current version.

Applying for ethics approval for a Class Project (Non-Clinical Research Only)

It is the responsibility of the Topic Coordinator submitting an ethics application for a Class-based Research Project to ensure that the application is presented as a class-based project, rather than as individual research proposals. 

Further information on how to ensure that your application is presented as a class-based project can be found in the Class-based Project Application Guidelines and the Example Class-based Project Application Form.

Please note that class-based projects still allow for individual students to conduct different research activities within the overall framework of the research project.

 

Managing the ethics approval of a Class Project

You may wish to add more students onto the research project, for example, if SBREC has approved the project to run over several years and you wish to add the next cohort of students onto the project. To do this, all you need to do is email the Executive Officer with a request to add more students. Please ensure that you provide a list of names and student numbers.

If any other changes are being made to the research protocol, or you would like to request an extension of time, a SBREC modification request will also need to be sent to the Executive Officer.

 


Previous approval from another Human Research Ethics Committee (Non-Clinical Research Only)

In accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) (paragraph 5.3) Flinders University accepts ethics approvals from registered non-Flinders Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs), for social and behavioural (non-clinical) research projects involving Flinders researchers.

If you have previously received approval from a registered HREC (see below) you must submit a copy of your external ethics application, together with any supporting documentation, and your final ethics approval notice, as a single PDF file to the SBREC Executive Officer.

A full review will not be undertaken, but you may be requested to make minor changes, e.g., to ensure that recruitment materials are in line with Flinders University guidelines. Any such changes would then have to be submitted to the original approving HREC as a modification request, to be approved by them prior to implementation. Please also submit a copy of the modification request, any relevant approved materials, and the modification approval notice, to the SBREC Executive Officer.

For all other modifications, you do not need to submit copies of these to SBREC.

However, you must submit a copy of all annual progress reports and final reports for all projects recorded under this system to the SBREC Executive Officer, for viewing by the Chair.

If you have obtained approval from the Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee (SAC HREC), you do not need to provide any documentation to the University.

Australian Based HRECs

Approvals will be accepted from all HRECs registered with the NHMRC, as listed here

HRECs Based in Other Countries

Approvals will only be accepted where the Flinders researcher is able to demonstrate that the ethical framework and policy used to approve the intended research in the reviewing country satisfies the ethical principles outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007).

Managing ethics approval from an approved non-Flinders HREC

  • Modification requests associated with the research project must be sought from the original approving HREC, and there is no requirement to notify Flinders University of these changes.
  • Progress or final reports must be submitted to the original approving HREC, and a copy of each report must also be provided to the SBREC Executive Officer.

 


Deferred Applications

IMPORTANT
As all application forms are periodically updated, we strongly recommend you re-download forms from the relevant website each time you submit a new application to ensure you are using the current version.

In some cases, the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC) may decide it has not received adequate information to make a decision. A deferral notice will be provided, which will include comments from the Committee and a request to amend and resubmit your application for consideration at the next meeting.

  1. Download and complete the Deferral Response Form.
  2. Revise the Application Form you initially submitted for ethics approval, including updating all signature pages, as per your deferral notice. Please note that if you are a student researcher the amended application will also need to be signed by your supervisor.
  3. Submit a signed electronic version of your application as a single PDF file directly to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee, together with any required documentation or amendments, prior to the submission deadline.

 


Conditionally Approved Applications

In most cases, the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC) will conditionally approve an application subject to specified changes being made to the application before final approval is given and the project can commence. If your project has received Conditional Approval you must submit your response as a single PDF file. Your response will be reviewed by the SBREC Chair out of session.

  1. Download and complete the Conditional Approval Response Form.
  2. Submit an electronic version of the completed form as a single PDF file to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee, including any required documentation.

 


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