The minimum standards required for any research conducted with or about humans — including their data, their information or their tissue — is provided by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (updated 2018). It is the responsibility of all researchers and research offices to ensure that they are consulting the current version of this National Statement when developing research proposals, making submissions for ethics review and undertaking ethic reviews.
Researchers must examine the effect of their research on all participants — whether a person is a knowing participant or not — as well as any adverse effect the research may have on the lives of those who may be connected with, but not directly participating in, the research.
Expectations for Swinburne researchers conducting research involving humans:
- Be familiar with relevant Swinburne policies and procedures that concern human research activity.
- Be familiar with applicable sections and details in the National Statement and any applicable legislation or other guidelines.
- Plan for their research activity by including realistic timeframes as well as methods and outcomes that are academically, professionally and ethically sound.
- If applicable, use the appropriate form(s) and apply for prior ethical review from the designated ethical review body.
- Only commence human research activity after ethics clearance has been expressly issued and only do so in full compliance with the terms of the clearance.
- Apply for prior clearance for proposed amendments to current approved protocols.
- If there’s an emergency that requires research protocols to be amended quickly, such as to ensure the safety of those involved, notify the Swinburne University Human Research Ethics Committee and/or other relevant people as soon as possible.
- At a minimum, report annually and at the conclusion (or cessation) of any approved human research activity.