COVID-19 Updates (Human Ethics)

How does COVID-19 affect my research?
The University Research Continuity Working Group is assessing the impact of COVID-19 on ANU research. Please refer to the University COVID-19 ethics advice and check the COVID-19 news page regularly for updates.

Updated September 2020

The ANU Human Research Ethics Committee (and delegated committees) are working hard with the Research Ethics Team to keep to our usual application review cycles, based on the usual submission deadlines.

Please keep in mind that:

  • Not all Committees are running at full capacity. We request that applicants are polite and patient during the submission and review process - Committee members are your fellow colleagues.
  • Due to the ever-changing nature of the current situation and the increased risk environment for research participants, the review of applications is taking longer and there may be delays in the review of your application. Every effort will be made to communicate delays directly with applicants.

Priority will continue to be given to applications/variations that:

  1. Are required for research directly related to COVID, or
  2. Are essential variations to existing protocols that will minimise risk/distress to participants.

In order for these priority submissions to be actioned appropriately, please email to alert the Ethics Team ahead of submission, and include “Priority Submission” in the subject line.

For more information on human ethics considerations during COVID-19 please see the central ANU Funding, ethics and regulations advice – this includes details on the following:

  • Restarting face-to-face research
  • Blanket variations
  • Student projects
  • Indigenous research

Please continue to follow all hygiene and social distancing guidelines, and always keep the changing situation and your participants' wellbeing in mind as you plan your research.



The re-commencement of fieldwork in all Australian states or territories will be approved, provided that:

  1. Required ANU protocols are met.
  2. A COVID-19 Fieldwork Plan has been approved by your supervisor.
  3. A travel form and all supporting documentation have been approved in the ANU Travel System.

The document Research Fieldwork Protocol available on the central COVID ethics advice page contains (1) a checklist of requirements for research involving fieldwork and (2) a template for the COVID-19 Fieldwork Plan. This document will be reviewed quarterly commencing October 2020 by a sub-committee of the University Research Committee to assess the current COVID environment and address any emerging issues.

Information about travelling overseas and within Australia, including University travel and the travel eForm, is available on the ANU COVID Travel Advice page.

Current Travel Advice


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