Ethics approval is an important step in the first 6 months of your candidature. You need ethics approval if your research involves humans, animals or gene modification.
Researchers must consider the ethical risk of their human research in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct of Human Research (2007) (National Statement 2007, Updated 2018) and RMIT Research Policy. The process at RMIT is outlined by the RMIT Human Research Ethics Procedure.
Talk to your supervisory team as soon as possible after starting your HDR to determine if you need to build ethics approval into your research timeline.
If you do, you must apply and obtain approval by an ethics committee before you can collect data or complete your Confirmation of Candidature.
There’s a helpful guide available in the Researcher Portal and in the Research Ethics Platform (you’ll need to request access). That document will help you submit an application that should meet the requirements of the RMIT Human Research Ethics Procedures. This is especially important for candidates with time-critical deadlines.
There are two steps in the ethics process:
- Governance review: governance reviews are usually started within three business days of your ethics approval application
- Ethical review: ethical review is not started until a governance review has been completed.
Factors that may have an impact on the turnaround times for your ethics approval include:
- the completeness and quality of the project application
- review category, e.g., negligible versus greater than low risk review
- number of project applications currently under active review
- your response time to provide requested information
- potential wait for external documents or letters of permission for related items
- RMIT shutdown periods (i.e. public holidays, government restrictions).
If appropriate, you must take any relevant online module/s covering human ethics, animal ethics, and institutional biosafety.