After you have submitted

Who approves it?

The University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) approves human ethics applications. There are two HRECs currently functioning at the University of Sydney. Each Committee meets once every four weeks and there is therefore a meeting of the HREC each fortnight.

How are applications assessed?

Applications are assessed on the basis of compliance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. The Committee considers issues such as informed consent, methodology, recruitment and privacy.

How long does it take?

Generally, researchers are notified of the outcome from a HREC meeting within 10 working days of a meeting.

How will I be notified?

Researchers are notified of the outcome via email. The email is sent to the Chief Investigator with a copy to all named researchers.

What if I am asked to make changes?

Sometimes researchers will be asked to make amendments/clarifications to their applications before they are granted approval. This may require submitting a response to another full Committee meeting, or it may require submitting a response to the Executive Committee. In both instances, these processes take additional time and researchers should allow for this when planning their research schedules.

If your application is reviewed by one Committee and you are requested to make major amendments/clarifications and submit these for a full Committee meeting, your response must be reviewed by the same Committee that originally considered the application.

Not approved?

If your application can not be approved you will be informed by email and asked to discuss your application with the Chair of the HREC.


Your study may be approved at

  • a full HREC meeting; or
  • following a HREC meeting, if you have been asked to make changes, once these changes/amendments/clarifications have been addressed

Once your study has been approved you will receive a final letter of approval, which you must retain as part of your study records. Make sure you are aware of the details of your approval, including any conditions, responsibilities and reporting deadlines, which are explained in Understanding the Letter of Approval.