Human research ethics

RMIT is committed to ethical and responsible conduct of human research.

Human research at RMIT University reflects the values of respect, research merit and integrity, justice and beneficence.

Respect for human beings is a recognition of their intrinsic value and capacity to make their own decisions.

Unless research has merit, and the researchers who carry it out have integrity the involvement of human participants is not ethically justifiable.

Justice involves a regard for the human sameness that each person shares with every other, so, for example in research, justice is expressed by the fair selection, recruitment and participation in research along with distribution of research benefits and burdens.

Beneficence can be demonstrated in several ways, including by considering the risk of harms and the potential benefits of the research to participants and to the general community, along with the welfare of participants. 

Research involving human participants must be consistent with the guidelines contained in the Australian National statement on ethical conduct in human research and Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Human research ethics approvals must also be gained from an appropriate ethics review body and maintained for all research conducted by RMIT researchers with or about people, and/or their data, and/or their bio-specimens. At RMIT University, applications that are assessed as negligible or low risk are reviewed by the College Human Ethics Advisory Network (CHEAN). Applications that are assessed as more than low risk or other types of research requiring HREC review are reviewed by the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

Further information

If you would like to know more about how RMIT supports human research ethics, please contact our Human research ethics team at:

RMIT provides training to all researchers who engage in human research. Further information about human research ethics training and supporting resources are available to RMIT researchers on the Researcher Portal.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer