Human Research Ethics


  • Low Risk Applications seeking review/approval before the end of 2022. Low Risk applications and modification requests that were submitted (in full) by Wednesday 30 November 2022. HEAG will aim to provide a review response before the holiday shut-down (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 reopen 16 January 2023.

Applying for ethics approval

All Deakin staff members and students who plan to carry out research involving human participants (surveys, interviews, experiments, exercises, observations etc), require ethical clearance from the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (DUHREC) or a Faculty Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG) before proceeding.

NOTE: 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. If you have already been listed as a researcher on an approved application submitted at Deakin University you are exempt from this requirement.

To access the online training:

  1. Log into CloudDeakin
  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. Further information available here.

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.

Deakin Human Ethics Guidelines - Index by subject.

Low Risk Research

The Faculty Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG) reviews new low risk ethics applications and modification requests by circulation throughout the year until Wednesday 30 November 2022.

  • Low risk applications undergo a pre-review and assessment of risk followed by HEAG review before approval.
  • You will typically receive the HEAG recommendations and details of the review by email, within 15 working days after acknowledgement of your application. You should then make any necessary amendments to the satisfaction of the Faculty HEAG Committee.
  • 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.

Low Risk ethics applications comprise of the following documents:

  • Low Risk Application Form (current version), signed by all parties
  • Plain Language Statement and Consent Form (use templates provided)
  • Organisation Consent coversheet when recruiting Deakin staff and/or students (current version)
  • 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

If you are recruiting Deakin staff and/or students for a research project, you will need to apply for permission from either the Unit Chair (if recruiting from individual units), Course Coordinator (if recruiting from course/s), Department Head (if recruiting from one school), Executive Dean or Associate Dean of Research (if recruiting from two or more schools in the same faculty) or the Dean of Students (if recruiting from two or more faculties). For further information and to download the form please got the Low Risk Ethics form page.

Higher than Low Risk

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

  • Prepare the online Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) and supplementary documents.
  • Submit directly to DUHREC in time for the next scheduled meeting (N.B. all meeting deadlines are strictly 9.00am).

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.

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.

Need help?

Enquiries relating to Low Risk applications, please contact:

Please visit the Faculty Hub Research portfolio – Ethics

Enquiries relating to Higher than Low Risk applications, please contact: DUHREC Human Ethics Office via the Research Integrity team.

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