Ethics Approval

Research involving human subjects must be approved by the Avondale Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), which functions to safeguard the ethical rights of subjects of human research.
Prior to commencing data collection, ethical clearance must be gained by:
  • Avondale staff and students intending to conduct publishable research (this includes conference presentations and scholarly reports);
  • External parties conducting research where Avondale staff and students are participating as subjects; and
  • External parties conducting research with whom Avondale has a current Memorandum of Understanding.
Note: It is not necessary to submit an application to Avondale HREC if the research is undertaken for the fulfillment of a degree from another tertiary institution, and the research participants are not from Avondale (research approval would be granted by the ethics committee of that institution).

Projects involving animals

Avondale is accredited by the NSW Department of Primary Industries as an animal research establishment. The Animal Research Ethics function is administered under an auspiced arrangement with the University of Newcastle. See Animal Research Ethics Arrangements [AR19].

NHMRC guidelines and responsible conduct of research

Avondale's HREC abides by the guidelines of the National Health & Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

The National Statement guidelines state that the design, review and conduct of research must reflect each the following values:
  1. Research merit and integrity
  2. Justice
  3. Beneficence
  4. Respect

The National Statement also offers the following definitions of research risk:
  • ‘Negligible risk’ – research in which there is no foreseeable risk of harm or discomfort, and any foreseeable risk is no more than inconvenience.
  • ‘Low risk’ – research in which the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort.
  • ‘More than low risk’ – research in which the risk for participants is more serious than discomfort.

The greater the risks to participants, the more certain it must be that the risks will be managed as well as possible, and that the participants clearly understand the risks they are assuming.

The approval process

Avondale Ethics Approval Process

Forms and documents

HREC Application Form
Application forms should be submitted to research.ethics@avondale.edu.au by the deadlines listed below.

HREC Amendment/Extension Request Form (online form)
This form must be submitted to obtain approval for changes to a current project.

HREC Ethical Review Exemption Form (online form)
This form should be submitted by researchers who wish to conduct research that is negligible risk and/or involves the use of existing collections of data or records that contain only non-identifiable data about human beings.

HREC Project Progress Report (online form)
A progress report must be submitted annually for each approved research project, with a final report submitted at the completion of the project.

HREC Reviewer Checklist
The HREC uses the principles laid out in this checklist to review ethics applications.

Avondale HREC Terms of Reference

HREC Terms of Reference

2021 HREC meeting dates and application deadlines

HREC meeting datesApplication submission deadlines
Thursday 25 February12PM Friday 12 February
Thursday 15 April12PM Friday 2 April
Thursday 3 June12PM Friday 21 May
Thursday 5 August12PM Friday 23 July
Thursday 7 October12PM Friday 24 September
Thursday 25 November12PM Friday 12 November