There is a range of research projects which may require ethics approval due to the use of animals, humans or sensitive data.
If a project involves obtaining permission from any institution, organisation or government department, it is the supervisor's responsibility that this is arranged formally.
Ethics approvals are usually necessary in any project that require access to medical records or patients of hospitals. Although gaining ethics approval is your supervisor’s responsibility, as a researcher yourself you should be aware of the ethical implications of your research.
Obtaining permission frequently takes time as such requests may have to be considered by special committees, particularly in the case of hospitals and mental health services. To avoid delays, such permission should be sought through your supervisor as soon as the project topic has been chosen.
Students must not write directly to hospitals or other institutions, or use their home addresses. All letters related to projects must be sent by the supervisor through the relevant department.
The University has an important information about UWA Animal and Human ethics that should be read. The NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans also provides information on Human Ethics.
Hospitals generally have their own 'in house' ethic committees that may govern both animal and human research. These committees may have different specific policies and forms from the UWA committees.
A generic Confidentiality Agreement is available from the Unit coordinator.
A checklist for determining whether you require human ethic approval is available below.