Research studies that involve gathering information about human beings (and organisations) through interviewing, surveying, questionnaires, observation of human behaviour, audio/video taping, etc. will require clearance by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University.
There are two types of ethics applications:
Minimal Risk – previously called Expedited - where the study does not subject the participant to stress or risk beyond what would normally be experienced in every-day life, and
Medium or High Risk –also known as Standard Project - e.g. applied studies undertaken in schools, hospitals etc, where participants are under-age, or vulnerable in some way, or studies that involve control conditions, or the gathering of data that is sensitive.
How to make an application
There are 4 steps involved:
1. Create a Themis Account to lodge the Ethics Application
From 2007, Human Ethics applications are submitted via Themis. Students should create a Themis account (see University Home page). You will need the following information to do this:
- Full name
- Student number
- Date of Birth (format is DD-MON-YYYY)
- Postcode of home residence
- Library BarCode
Using this information, log in to the Accounts Registration System (ARS) to create your account.
2. Fill out the application
Information about how to fill out an application can be found here.
There are many steps involved in creating the application on-line. The application is loaded via the Human Ethics Workbench page of Themis. As soon as you start the application, a reference number will be generated. At any time you can save and exit from the application, and log back in at another time.
For a Minimal Risk application you will need to fill out a checklist. This automatically determines whether your application can be processed as Minimal Risk, or whether it must be processed as a Standard application.
3. Plain Language Statement (PLS) and the Consent Form.
You will be asked a series of questions about the Plain Language Statement (PLS) and the Consent Form. These forms are word documents that you attach to the application at the very end. Be sure to view samples of PLS and Consent forms from the Human Ethics resource page.
You must include all the details that are requested. You will also be required to attach word documents of any interview questions, questionnaires, surveys, or assessment forms that you wish to use in your study.
4. Submit the application – online and three hard copies
When you have completed the application and attached the PLS, Consent Forms, and other documents, you submit the application electronically via Themis through the Human Ethics Workbench page.
You must also submit THREE HARD COPIES to the Faculty of Music Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG) through the Administrator Ms Loukia Gauntlett. Include the application form and all the attachments.
For minimal risk applications once the HEAG committee has approved your study, you will receive a letter that indicates you can proceed with the research. The HEAG may suggest some changes be made to your application before approval is given. You must wait for the approval letter before commencing the research
For medium-high risk applications, the HEAG committee must approve the study before it is sent to the central Human Ethics Sub-Committee (HESC). The HESC for Humanities and Applied Sciences meets each month, and you cannot commence your study until the HESC has given approval. The dates of the HESC committee meetings are shown here.
Please allow at least one week for the Faculty of Music HEAG to review your medium-high risk application, before the due date for the central HESC meeting, which is normally two weeks prior.
The HESC may suggest some changes be made to your application before approval is given. You must wait for the approval letter before commencing the research
5. Need help? The Faculty of Music Human Ethics Advisory Group
Members of the Faculty of Music’s Human Ethics Advisory Group can assist you with your application.
- Chair: A/P Denise Grocke (email@example.com)
- Members: A/P Kerry Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org), and
- Dr Katrina McFerran (email@example.com).
- Administrator: Loukia Gauntlett (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rev March 2008