Research integrity

The Research Integrity Group is concerned with promoting responsible conduct in research.

The Research Integrity Group ensures that all University of Sydney research is conducted in accordance with state acts and national codes of practice. All new and existing animal and human research ethics applications are processed and monitored by the Research Integrity Unit which serves as the point of contact for the Animal Ethics and the Human Research Ethics committees.

More information about the research ethics process is available here.

Human ethics

University of Sydney staff and students who intend to conduct research involving human participants as part of an honours, diploma, masters, doctorate or other higher degree must apply for approval from the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). Research must be granted HREC approval before it can commence. The HREC does not give retrospective approval.

Research involving humans may include:

  • Administering questionnaires/surveys
  • Conducting interviews or focus groups
  • Investigating or observing human behaviour
  • Use of data or human tissue
  • Routine testing of human participants
  • Administering drugs, ionising radiation, chemical agents or vaccines
  • Any other experimentation involving human beings

Research involving humans undertaken at any of the University’s affiliated research centres must also be approved by the HREC.

Where a student is working on a project approved by another human research ethics committee registered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) or the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC), the student must seek recognition of this approval from the University’s HREC. Postgraduate students should submit their applications to the HREC via the Research Integrity Unit. Further information and application forms are available at the website: sydney.edu.au/research_support/ethics

Animal ethics

The University of Sydney Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is responsible for overseeing the safety and wellbeing of all animals used in research and teaching within the University. All research and teaching at the University which involves animals requires ethical approval from the AEC. The AEC meet 12 times per year to consider applications to use animals.

The core document directing researchers, teaching staff and AECs in all aspects of scientific animal use is the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, 7th Edition, 2004 (The Code).

The Code defines how animal work should be overseen and monitored, and identifies general principles governing the ethical and humane use and care of animals within science. The AEC applies these principles to animal ethics approval and monitoring within the University.