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Research Ethics

Aiming to protect the rights, welfare and safety of human participants and animal subjects in research, the University requires all research projects to obtain prior ethical and/or safety approval. The governance structure and policies relating to research ethics are as follows:


The University adopted the following sets of research ethics policies and procedures which underpin the requirements and expectations for conducting responsible research.  The policies also define the action to be taken in the event that an individual is suspected or accused of research misconduct.


The Governance Structure

REC Chart

Research Ethics Committee (REC) and the three panels

The REC primarily performs the functions of policy review and development relating to research ethics, as well as the review of complaints and appeals. For handling applications of research ethics, three panels are formed:


  1. The Clinical Research Ethics Panel;
  2. Human (non-clinical) Research Ethics Panel; and
  3. Animal Research Ethics Panel 

Ethics Application Procedures

The three panels handle all ethics/safety applications on a centralized and rolling basis, and help facilitate the ethics clearance within a reasonable timeframe.

Application (Staff)

General applications for ethics/safety clearance should be submitted via the Research Projects System on Buniport. Please refer to the Guidance Notes on Online Submission of a REC Application for details.

Application (Students)

Student projects at all levels which require relevant ethics/safety approval should apply for ethical clearance from their Faculty/Department concerned. It is the responsibility of both the Principal Supervisors/Course Instructors and students to ensure that such ethical approval has been obtained prior to any research work taking place. 


The duly completed applications should be submitted to the Dean/Director of the respective Faculty/School/Academy for approval.  Approved applications of research projects should be sent to the Research Office via Faculty/School/Academy for record on a semester-based basis.