Human Research Ethics

All Deakin 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 a full ethics application for the first time at Deakin (either DUHREC or HEAG) need to complete human research ethics training. Information about the Human Research Ethics Training and how to register for the compulsory Ethics quiz, can be found from the University Research Human Ethics site.

Once you have successfully completed the compulsory Ethics quiz you will receive a confirming email which should be attached as evidence to your Ethics application upon submission.

The University Human Ethics website for Research Integrity, is updated regularly to reflect changes in policy and procedure and should be the principal reference for staff and students. In addition to training, it contains information about Australian Guidelines and Legislation, Deakin Ethics Guidelines, Forms and documents, Human Research Ethics Committee and Faculty Human Ethics Advisory Groups, Advisers and Faculty Administrators.

Low Risk Research applications

The Faculty HEAG will assess and review applications deemed Low Risk research throughout the year. There are no scheduled meetings.

Submission of Low Risk Ethics applications

Deadlines 2017

Deadlines 2018

The applications are assessed and reviewed by a pool of academic reviewers after the submission date within a 3-4 week turnaround.

The Low Risk application is designed with a checklist to help determine if the project is indeed low risk. Once you are confident the project is Low Risk you can access the Low Risk Form, PLS/Consent templates and examples of previously approved documentation from the University Human Ethics forms and guidelines website.

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 Department or Director of Research.  Electronic signatures or scanned signed forms will be accepted. It should be noted that the Faculty HEAG or DUHREC may need to audit a project as part of the requirements for monitoring set out in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research (2007).

Annual/Final report form

For annual/final reporting on approved projects.

Please note: If you are a HDR student, it is a requirement of your candidature that you submit an annual report for all approved projects when prompted and a final report at the conclusion of data collection.

Higher than Low Risk

After checking the Low Risk application checklist or seeking advice from an Ethics Advisor, 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 Research Integrity by email of the outcome of the full review within 3 - 4 weeks of the meeting. It is possible that in urgent cases executive approval can be sought between meetings. DUHREC meetings and submission details are available at the RI Human Ethics website. Links to the NEAF and Higher than Low Risk templates are also available via the RI Human Ethics forms website.

Final Reports and Modifications

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

Faculty Ethics contact

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

Katrina Fleming
Ethics Secretariat
Faculty of Business and Law
+61 3 5227 3362

Page custodian: Faculty of Business & Law
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