Introducing a cap on human ethics applications

24 February 2014

The University's Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) want to ensure that your applications are given due consideration and reviewed in accordance with standards set out by the National Statement and funding agencies. In order to do this we will be limiting the number of applications that will be reviewed at each meeting to 35.  This is a temporary measure, further funds are being requested to allow the establishment of additional ethics committees which will provide additional capacity.

In December 2013 and January 2014 the HRECs received an unprecedented number of applications. In recent years HREC members have attended additional 'emergency' meetings and taken on additional reviews in order to manage the increasingly large number of applications received in and around December and January. This year, the number of applications received was so great that it could not be managed using our usual approach.

What does this mean for me?
If we receive more than 35 applications for review at the main HREC meeting, you may need to wait an additional two weeks until the next meeting to have your application reviewed. We will send you an email to let you know if your application will be delayed. If you have a grant or are a student, the committee will prioritise your application to ensure you are not disadvantaged.

What should I do?
If you are planning to conduct research requiring human ethics approval you should submit your application early, to ensure you are able to start your study on time.

Where can I get more information?
If you have any questions about the cap or a general human ethics query please email us at

Phone: 02 935