If you're conducting research that involves human subjects or animals, you must follow UQ's ethical clearance procedures. 

All staff and students - including undergraduates and coursework Masters students working on an independent research project (for example, honours study or a Masters project), and research higher degree students - must apply for ethical clearance.

In all cases, you must get your application approved before you start your research.

Teaching activity that involves animals also requires ethical clearance.

Human ethics

The University has stringent guidelines for protecting the welfare and rights of human subjects who participate in research projects, including interviews and surveys.

Staff and student research projects that involve data collection of this nature - even if responses are anonymous - need ethical clearance.

Passive observation of human subjects in a public arena, or research involving accessing public documents, doesn't require ethical approval.

How to apply

Students

Our School's Human Ethics Review Committee considers applications for student projects assessed as ‘low risk’.

View UQ's guidelines on risk reviews, or ask your supervisor or academic advisor if you're unsure of your project's risk category.

To apply for human ethical clearance for a 'low-risk' research proposal, download and complete our application form for human ethics clearance (Word, 76kB), and email the form to us.

The application process takes time, so start your application early to avoid disappointment. Allow two weeks for processing.

Ensure that you:

  • complete the required reading outlined in the form
  • prepare any required paperwork, such as consent forms, information sheets and draft interview or survey questions
  • ask your supervisor or academic advisor to complete the required reading outlined in the form, and to fill out their sections of the form
  • ask your supervisor or academic advisor to sign the declaration.
All other student projects

All other student projects require full approval from one of the University’s Human Research Ethics Committees.

To find out more, including how to apply, visit UQ Research and Innovation's Human ethics web pages.

Staff

Staff seeking approval for research that involves human subjects must get ethical clearance from a Human Research Ethics Committee.

To find out more, including how to apply, visit UQ Research and Innovation's Human ethics webpages.

Contact us

For more information, contact Keryn Eaton, our Academic Services Officer, or email us.

Animal ethics

All students and staff must get Animal Ethics Committee approval to use animals for any activity - including laboratory research, breeding colonies, teaching, or engagement activities, such as Open Day events.

If you plan to use live non-human vertebrates, cephalopods or crustaceans for any of these activities you'll need approval before you start work.

You'll also need a lower level of clearance to use vertebrate or higher order invertebrate cadavers, abattoir specimens or previously obtained biological specimens, or are observing animals from a distance.

How to apply

For more information about animal ethics clearance, including types and levels, how to apply, and regulations and legislation, visit UQ Research and Innovation's Applying for animal ethics clearances web pages.

Note: if you're a student, you can't list yourself as Chief Investigator (CI) on an animal ethics research application. You may prepare the application, but your supervisor or academic advisor will act as CI and submit the application.