Researching Medical Students

Medical students

The University's Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) advises that if you are considering asking questions of students for the purpose of collecting educational information that will be used to improve education in the Faculty, and will be published in-house (i.e., in the Faculty) only, then this is considered quality assurance and does not need to go to the HREC. If there is any intention to undertake research which could be published publicly (e.g., in a paper presented at a conference or refereed journal article) then there must be an application made to the HREC

It may be prudent for some "in-house" projects to be submitted to the HREC, e.g. those in which personal details are to be obtained (place of school, income level, family details), or in which correlation with marks is to be undertaken, or longitudinal studies in which the research aims or publication intentions may evolve. If in doubt ask the Ethics Office

In addition, any research of medical students must be approved by Sydney Medical School’s Evaluation Unit. You must lodge an application form regarding your research with the Evaluation Unit. Please be aware that only two research projects per month will be accepted by the Evaluation Unit so as not to overburden the students. Therefore, it is prudent to get your application in well ahead of the time you wish to conduct research on students. Also, due to Sydney Medical School research conducted on students throughout the year, March and April are the best months in which to survey the students

Anyone planning to conduct research on Medical Program students must follow these instructions:

  1. Complete an Ethics Application Form for Medical and Health Research Involving Humans.
    The application form must be submitted to the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) before certain monthly closing dates.
    The application, closing dates and further details regarding the HREC application process are available from
  2. After gaining HREC approval, applicants must complete an Approval to Conduct Research Involving Students in the Sydney Medical Program registration form.
    The Head of Evaluation, Professor Heather Jeffery, is responsible for the oversight of all research projects within the Medical Program.
    Consideration of research applications by the Faculty is largely to ensure that the medical students are not over-surveyed. As such, applicants are advised to plan their research schedule around the assessment schedule of the students and other research projects already reserved.
    To submit registration forms or any enquiries regarding the registration process, please email the Evaluation Officer at