Complaints Process

Complaints regarding Human Research at the ANU

The Australian National University takes every complaint seriously. Once a complaint has been submitted, the HREC will investigate the allegations. Investigations may take up to 6 weeks, If you wish to make a complaint, please contact:

Human Ethics Officer
Research Ethics Office
Research Services Division
Level 1, Geography Building 48
The Australian National University
Canberra, ACT, 2601
P: +61 2 6125 6782


Complaints procedures for researchers about the process of ethics review

Complaints from Researchers

  • Consistently with the National Statement, the ANU provides for complaints about the process of ethical review, but does not provide for an appeal against a final decision to reject a proposal.
  • If an application is being considered for rejection, it must be reviewed by the HREC, and the Researcher/s must have had an opportunity to address the HREC's concerns at an interview. The decision by the HREC to reject an application is final and may not be appealed.
  • Complaints about the process of ethical review must be made in writing to the Director of the Office of Research Integrity, who will inform the Chairperson of the HREC of the complaint, and investigate and attempt to resolve the matter. Researchers have the right to attend one meeting of the HREC to present their complaint in person.


Complaints from Research Participants

  • Complaints by research participants will be made normally to the Office of Research Integrity. Researchers who receive a complaint from a research participant must notify the Ethics Office as soon as possible. The Ethics Office will advise the Director of the Office of Research Integrity and Chairperson of the relevant Ethics Committee of the complaint at the earliest opportunity.
  • The Chairperson will consider the complaint and will take what action he/she deems appropriate, as soon as possible. This action may include nominating the Director of the Office of Research Integrity to have a direct discussion with the relevant research participant and/or direct contact with the Primary Investigator. The process will usually involve verification that the protocol approved by the Committee has been followed and subsequent action may include temporary withholding of ethics approval. All discussions will be conducted in a confidential manner.


Complaints from other parties

  • Any complaint from other interested parties will be managed normally according to the procedure outlined above in 'Complaints from research participants’.


Research Misconduct

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