It is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that all necessary reporting requirements associated with their ethics approval are met.Failure to meet the reporting requirements of the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC) may result in withdrawal of ethics approval, suspension of projects and other disciplinary action.


Modification Requests (including extension of time)

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 correct version.

Over the duration of a project, circumstances may change, and it may become necessary to modify your ethics approval. In the event that there are changes to a project which has previously been approved by the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC) or the School of Psychology Ethics Sub-Committee (SPESC), you will need to follow the appropriate process outlined below.

Examples of modifications that can be requested include:

  • Changes to the research team involved in the project
  • Extension of time / project duration
  • Changes to recruitment advertising material
  • Additional or modified questions on a survey
  • Changes to information sheets or consent forms

Please note that a modification request is not required for change of address.

Where the modifications alter the originally approved aims of the project, a new application will need to be submitted.

Annual progress reports must be up to date in order for a modification request to be eligible for consideration.

  1. Download and complete the Modification Request Form.  
  2. Submit an electronic version of your modification request, together with any required supporting documentation, as a single PDF file to, with the modification request form at the start of the PDF unless it relates to a School of Psychology project – see below.

School of Psychology approval process for modification requests

  • All modification requests for School of Psychology projects that were originally approved by either SBREC or SPESC should be submitted to Dr Mariette Berndsen.

Approval process for Modifications (Non-Clinical Research)

Applications for modifications are reviewed by a rolling review process and can be submitted at anytime (i.e. not subject to closing dates). A response is generally emailed to applicants one to two weeks after the application is submitted.


Online Recruitment

Following final ethics approval, researchers needing to recruit participants can have their approved recruitment advertisement listed on the University's Participate in research studies webpage. College contact details for posting are listed on that page.

The use of personal websites and social media pages for recruitment is not allowed by the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee.

However, researchers can establish professional websites and social media pages for recruitment. A researcher should note on these pages that they are a Flinders University researcher, and state that they have approval for the study from, e.g., the 'Flinders University Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee'. Researchers can set up these pages without requiring permission from the University, as long as a human research ethics committee has approved this recruitment approach for the particular study.


Annual Reports of Progress

In compliance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (Updated 2018), researchers are required to submit an Annual Report of Progress to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC) for any projects approved by SBREC.

Annual reports are due on the anniversary of the date on which the project received ethics approval. If an Annual Report of Progress is not received by this time, ethics approval can be withdrawn, and the researcher will receive notification that the project must be suspended if this is the case. The project may then only resume following the submission and approval of a new application to SBREC.

You can download the template for the Annual Report of Progress here.


Final Reports

Researchers are required to submit a Final Report to the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC) for any projects which are subject to human ethics approval, following completion of the project or at the expiry of the human ethics approval, depending on which event occurs first. 

You can download the template for the Final Report here.


Unexpected Adverse Events

An Unexpected Adverse Event is an event that was not foreshadowed in the application approved by the Social and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee (SBREC). Unexpected Adverse Events may affect the continued ethical acceptability of the project and must be reported to the SBREC Executive Officer within 24 hours of the event.


Complaint Process

Complaints received about (1) the conduct of an approved research project, or (2) the Committee's review process, will be brought to the attention of the Chair of the Committee who will investigate the complaint and its validity and make a recommendation to the Committee on the appropriate course of action.

If the complaint is considered to have serious, or potentially serious, consequences, or to be against the University, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will also be notified.


Further resources you may find useful…