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Faculty ethics guidelines

The Faculty Ethic Committee (FEC) considers applications for ethics clearance for human research projects from students enrolled in undergraduate, honours and postgraduate coursework programs.

Enquiries and the submission of applications

Research Administration Officer (LEBA)
Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts
Building Blue 5
T: 08 8946 6156
E: lebaresearch@cdu.edu.au 

Read 'Are you considering submission of a human research ethics application?' for helpful guidelines on how to proceed. 

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About

Background

At its meeting on 02 August 1994, the Northern Territory University Human Ethics Committee (now known as Charles Darwin University Human Research Ethics Committee, CDU HREC) resolved to establish ethics sub-committees in those faculties within the University that wish to be involved in the processing of ethics applications.

The sub-committee's principal responsibility is:

  • the consideration of applications for ethics clearance for student research projects involving human subjects undertaken as part of coursework programmes.

The University has an ethical and legal responsibility to safeguard the rights of human participants; it discharges this through the advice provided by its ethics committees.

Research involving human subjects has the potential to be harmful when undertaken by students who are relatively inexperienced and ethical review is essential to protect the participants, the students, and the University.

Processes

The human ethics process is as follows:

  1. The Faculty sub-committee will provisionally recommend applications for CDU HREC ratification.
  2. CDU HREC will formally endorse the faculty recommendations if satisfied of the ethical acceptability of the research proposals (see diagram below).
  3. The CDU HREC reserves the right to call for a protocol should it be in doubt about the ethical issues of a particular project.

Digital submissions to the FEC should consist of one document only.  Multiple documents will be returned to the applicant for amalgamation into a single submission.

Terms of reference

  1. To promote awareness amongst the staff members and enrolled students in the Faculty of the need for ethical clearance for research projects undertaken as part of undergraduate, honours year, master's preliminary, graduate diploma and coursework masters research.
  2. To receive applications for ethics clearance for research projects undertaken by students as part of the undergraduate, honours year, master's preliminary, graduate diploma and coursework masters research, and to:
    • Assess the adequacy of the project summary of the project as stated on the Application Form
    • Approve the suitability of the research topic in relation to the experience of the student researcher
    • Assess the ethical issues arising from the proposed research and its methodology
  3. To report to the CDU HREC on projects considered by the FEC and to advise upon the ethical acceptability of the research protocols.
  4. To consider applications from staff members for ethics clearance for research components in units or courses.
  5. To encourage the development of a collaborative approach between the FEC, the supervisor and the student when applying for ethical clearance, based on the understanding that an appreciation of ethical principles is essential to the acquisition of good research techniques.
  6. To promote on-going consideration of relevant professional practice codes and debate on ethical dilemmas relevant to the disciples within the Faculty.
  7. The FEC meets at times appropriate for the needs of the Faculty's teaching programs.
For Students

Essential reading and guidelines

The required reading for FEC applications is available on the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) webpage - Human Research Ethics

Application forms

Please note: these sample consent forms and information sheets are examples only. They are PDF documents and are not intended as online forms. Every project has different requirements, and you will need to create your own consent forms and information sheets for each project.

When you have completed the application form, please ensure that your supervisor and the Pro Vice-Chancellor/Head of School have signed the original and that you have included your contact details.

Further Information

Refer to Office of Research and Innovation, Research Integrity and Ethics.

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