Human research conducted by students and staff of the University of Melbourne requires ethical approval. All applications for research ethics must be reviewed by the MSPS Human Ethics Advisory Group (HEAG) in the first instance. Depending on the nature of the research project and the type of application required, some research projects must also be reviewed by one of the University's Human Ethics Sub-Committees (HESC) before being granted approval.
More information about research ethics and integrity at the University of Melbourne can be found on the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity (OREI) web-page.
The MSPS Application Process
Key Application Steps
This page contains a summary of the Ethics application process. For more information on the application process please refer to the MSPS Application Manual linked below:
1. Consider the ethical dimensions of your research project
One of the questions here is: Is my application minimal risk? Please read the Minimal Risk Checklist for more details on minimal risk ethics applications at the University of Melbourne.
Answers to other questions about various types of ethics applications and procedures can be found on the OREI website.
2. Submit the appropriate application in Themis
All applications must be submitted in Themis via the Human Ethics Workbench of the Research Self Service module. 'Psychological Sciences' should be selected as the responsible HEAG. Before accessing the Workbench for the first time, researchers must first create a Themis password via the Themis accounts screen.
Students (Honours, Masters, PhD) are able to upload relevant documents to Themis on behalf of the Responsible Researcher (usually their supervisor)
3. Preparing your single PDF
Compile a single PDF for submission to HEAG for initial review, including Themis application summary, application form, Plain Language Statement, consent form, debriefing statement and materials.
The most common errors in ethics applications are related to the content and format of the Plan Language Statement and the Consent Form. The School has therefore provided the following templates and requires all researches to adopt them unless there is a valid reason for using an alternative document template.
4. Submitting your single PDF
Email this PDF the School Ethics Administrator
Please note: only Responsible Researchers (members of academic staff) are to email the correspond with HEAG and HESC.
Please do not send these documents to any personal email address.
- Minimal Risk: If your submission is minimal risk, project-within-program, registration, transfer or an amendment you may submit this to HEAG at any time for in-house HEAG review.
- Non-Minimal Risk: If your application is a Standard Project or Program, it will need to be reviewed at a HESC meeting and so will need to be submitted to HEAG by the dates in the HESC Submission Date table.
The HEAG is not able to guarantee that applications submitted after these deadlines will be processed and reviewed in time to meet the monthly Behavioural and Social Sciences HESC committee schedule.
5. Respond to the HEAG
If you receive feedback from HEAG, please make any required changes as soon as possible and email a detailed account of your responses, as well as an amended PDF to the reviewer, cc'ing email@example.com.
If the HEAG requires you to make changes to Standard Project or Program applications, please do so within 24 hours to enable processing to continue in a timely enough fashion to meet HESC deadlines.
6. Respond to any issues raised by HESC (if necessary)
If you have submitted a Standard Project or Program application, you may receive feedback from the HESC. Please respond to this feedback as soon as possible. There is no need to cc any HEAG representatives in this communication. Direct communication with HESC representatives is preferable at this stage.
7. Await official approval letter
Once your application is approved by HEAG or HESC, you will be sent an official approval letter. Please wait for this letter before moving ahead with you research project.
HESC Submission Dates
2020 HEAG Submission Deadline
2020 HESC Submission Deadline
2020 HESC Meeting Date
- Dr Patrick Goodbourn (Chair)
- Dr Litza Kiropoulos (Deputy Chair)
- Dr Abi Brooker
- Dr Johan Koskinen
- Dr Isabel Krug
- Dr Adam Osth
- Dr Camille Short
- Dr Mirko Uljarevic
- Dr Nicholas Van Dam
- Dr Natalia Egorova
- Dr Khandis Blake
- Marianela Delgado-Henriquez (Ethics Officer)
Research Experience Program (REP)
The School has implemented Sona Systems for the Research Experience Program. This means that participants can sign-up for projects on-line and researchers can organise their data collection session on-line as well.