Faculty Human Research Ethics

All research with human participants, or their data require ethical clearance.

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


It is compulsory for all Deakin researchers to demonstrate an understanding of human research ethics by passing the online quiz prior to submitting their first human ethics application to either DUHREC or a Faculty HEAG.

Note if you have already been listed as a researcher on a successful application submitted prior to 2 April 2012, you are exempt from this requirement. External researchers listed on Deakin applications are also exempt from this requirement.

Online training

To get access to online training:

  1. Log into CloudDeakin (if you are not logged in already).
  2. Click on ‘Self-register’.
  3. Select the Office of Research Integrity.
    The site will then appear within the My Sites area of your CloudDeakin homepage.

In person training

Deakin Research Integrity (RI) provides ongoing training sessions regarding the ethics process.

Deakin Research run pre-submission clinics for

  • staff and students new to ethics
  • research supervisors wishing to refresh their knowledge of guidelines and procedures.

You can enroll for these events by registering online.

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.

Low Risk research applications comprise of the following documents:

  • Low Risk Application Form (ensure current version used)
  • Plain Language Statement and Consent Form (use templates provided)
  • Organisation Consent coversheet when recruiting Deakin staff and/or students
  • Email confirmation for completion of the compulsory online Human Ethics quiz, please note that this is different to the Research Integrity quiz
  • Other documents related to your project including
    • advertisements
    • questionnaires
    • interview questions/schedules
    • flyers

Deakin University Organisational Consent
Where researchers want to conduct research with Deakin staff and students as participants, the research will be approved by:

  • the Head of Academic Unit for students enrolled in their Academic Unit (including participants in combined courses where the research relates to their enrolment in that Academic Unit)
  • the Faculty Executive Dean or Institute Director for students in more than one Academic Unit or
  • the Dean of Students for students in two or more Faculties or Institutes

Please note: It is a Deakin policy that approval should only be given where staff and student participation is appropriate and necessary for the research and other options are not available. Such research will minimise the number of staff and students involved. Where the research is by an external party it must also be of benefit to the University and relevant results provided to staff or students involved.

Working with children checks

If your project entails interaction with young people under the age of 18 you are required to have a Working with Children Check please provide a copy of this with your application.  You can find further details on the University website.

Ethics in an online Space

Many faculty researchers have begun researching in the online space. While most ethical considerations are similar to the issues raised in the concrete world, there are some that have specific demands. The links listed below may be of interest  in relation to these ethical issues.

AOIR ethics guidelines
AOIR internet research

Data Storage

Information on how and where to store data collected as part of research projects can be found on the Library Website and the Data Management website.

Policy and Procedure

The University Human Ethics website is updated regularly to reflect changes in policy and procedure.

The website includes the one-stop Human Research Ethics Manual and should be your principal reference.

Reviewer Checklist

You must submit applications (signed by all parties) and attachments via email to artsed-ethics@deakin.edu.au.

Notification of Outcomes

  1. You will typically receive the Faculty HEAG recommendations and details of the review by email, within 15 working days after their acknowledgement of your submission.  You should then make any necessary amendments to the satisfaction of the Faculty HEAG Committee.
  2. You will receive a formal letter of approval.  This letter will outline the conditions of approval or any further requirements to be completed before the project can commence.

Notification of referral to DUHREC

If you apply for Faculty HEAG review but they assess it as higher than Low Risk you will be notified and requested to submit a completed HREA with supporting documentation to DUHREC for full review.

Higher than Low Risk

If you consider your project is Higher than Low Risk you should:

  1. prepare the online Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) and supplementary documents.
  2. submit directly to DUHREC in time for the next scheduled meeting (NB.all meeting deadlines are strictly 9.00 am)

Deakin Research will notify you the outcome of the full review via email within 3 - 4 weeks of the meeting.

DUHREC meetings and submission details are available at the RI Human Research Ethics website. Links to the HREA and Higher than Low Risk templates are also available via the RI Ethics forms website.

Please note: the National Ethics Application Form (NEAF) has been replaced by the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA). Examples of high-quality HREAs will be provided as they become available. In the meantime the NEAF examples provided may continue to assist first-time applicants understand the type of responses and language expected in a successful ethics application.

Annual/Final Reports and Modifications

Information  and templates for annual/final reports and modification requests of previously approved projects is available on the Human Ethics Forms and Guidelines website.

Deakin Human Ethics Index by subject

Deakin Human Ethics Index by subject

Low Risk Applications seeking review before the end of 2022

For Low Risk applications and modification requests that are submitted (in full) by Wednesday 30 November 2022, the HEAG will aim to provide a review response before the Christmas shut-down. Please note that review and/or approval in 2022 cannot be guaranteed.

Applications submitted during December 2022 will be processed in January 2023. The HEAG will be closed during the University shut-down period and operate with a reduced capacity during January 2023.

Faculty Ethics contact

If you have any questions regarding:

  • Human research ethics
  • Low Risk applications, submission, and reviews
  • Modification requests
  • Annual and final reporting

    Please contact
    Human Ethics Advisory Group Secretariat
    Faculty of Arts and Education
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