Faculty Human Research Ethics

All Faculty of Arts & Education staff members and students who plan to carry out research involving human participants, require ethical clearance from the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (DUHREC) or a Faculty Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG) before proceeding.

Research involving humans includes, but is not limited to:

  • surveys
  • interviews
  • exercises
  • experiments (both psychological and physical)
  • close observation
  • depiction (including photographs and videos)
  • use of identifiable personal records


All staff and students submitting an ethics application for the first time at Deakin (either DUHREC or HEAG) need to complete human research ethics training. This may be done in person or online. Once training is completed, you must take the compulsory quiz on the Human Ethics CloudDeakin site to obtain your email confirming completion. This can then be submitted with your application.

To gain access to online training you will need to log into CloudDeakin, click on self-register and select the Office of Research Integrity. The site will then appear within the My Sites area of your CloudDeakin homepage. If you are already logged into CloudDeakin, you can go directly to self-register.

The University Human Ethics website is updated regularly to reflect changes in policy and procedure and should be the principal reference for staff and students. It includes the one-stop Human Research Ethics Manual.

In addition, Deakin Research Integrity (RI) provides ongoing training sessions regarding the ethics process and runs pre-submission clinics for staff and students new to ethics or for research supervisors wishing to refresh their knowledge of the guidelines and procedures. Enrolment for these events can be made by registering.

Low Risk Research Applications

The Faculty HEAG will assess and review applications deemed Low Risk research throughout the year (The Faculty HEAG has no set meeting dates or deadlines for applications).

The Low Risk form incorporates a three page checklist of questions which will help determine risk and suitability for Faculty review. You can access the Low Risk application form, PLS/Consent templates and examples of previously approved Plain Language Statements (suitable for Low Risk surveys and interviews) via the RI Human Ethics forms website.

NB: Check you are using the most up to date forms available.

Once you are confident the project is Low Risk, you can access the Low Risk research application form and Low Risk Plain Language Statement (PLS)/Consent templates for completion and submission to the Faculty HEAG. Please note that the Low Risk form replaces the online National Ethics Application Form (NEAF) and should only be used for Low Risk research projects being reviewed by the Faculty HEAG.

Low Risk forms and attachments should be submitted via the online submission tool. It is imperative that the application form is signed by all parties and the Head of School or Associate Head of School (Research). Electronic signatures or scanned signed forms will be accepted. It should be noted that the Faculty HEAG and/or DUHREC may need to audit a project as part of the requirements for the monitoring set out in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research (2007).

Low Risk research applications comprise of the following documents:

  1. The Low Risk Application Form (signed by all parties)

  2. Plain Language Statement and Consent Form (must use templates provided)

  3. Email confirmation for completion of compulsory online Human Ethics quiz

  4. Other documents related to your project including advertisements, questionnaires, interview questions/schedules, flyers etc.

Please note: All applications are to be submitted via the online submission tool and must be signed by all parties prior to submission.

Notification of Outcomes

The Faculty HEAG recommendations and details of the review will be emailed to the researcher/s normally within 15 working days after acknowledgement of submission. Once any amendments (if applicable) have been made to the satisfaction of the Faculty HEAG Committee, the researcher/s will receive a formal letter of approval. This letter will outline the conditions of approval and any further requirements to be completed before the project can commence.

Notification of referral to DUHREC

If your application is submitted for Faculty HEAG review but it assessed as not Low Risk, the researcher/s will be notified and requested to submit a completed NEAF with supporting documentation to DUHREC for full review. Checking the Human Ethics Quickstart Tool and the three page checklist on the Low Risk form before making an application should help determine the level of risk and the correct form to use and where to submit.

Higher than Low Risk

If you consider your project is Higher than Low Risk you should prepare the online NEAF and supplementary documents and submit directly to DUHREC in time for the next scheduled meeting. The researcher/s will be notified by DRI by email the outcome of the full review within 3 - 4 weeks of the meeting. DUHREC meetings and submission details are available at the RI Human Research Ethics website. Links to the NEAF and Higher than Low Risk templates are also available via the RI Ethics forms website.

Annual/Final Reports and Modifications

Information regarding annual/final reports and modification requests of previously approved projects is available via the RI Ethics forms website.

Deakin Human Ethics Index by subject

Deakin Human Ethics Index by subject

December Deadline

If you are intending to submit a Low Risk Ethics application to the Faculty HEAG for review in December please note that the latest date for submission is Friday 2nd December (N.B. Approval in 2016 cannot be guaranteed).

Any applications received after the 2nd will be held over for processing until the University re-opens on the 3rd January 2017.

Faculty Ethics contact

If you have any questions regarding human research ethics, including Low Risk review, submission and reporting, please contact:

Kylie Koulkoudinas
Ethics Secretariat
Faculty of Arts and Education
+61 3 5227 2368

Page custodian: Faculty of Arts & Education
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