Key Ethical Concerns

Background

ANU researchers are responsible for “obtain[ing] any necessary written approvals from appropriate ethics committees, safety and other regulatory bodies, prior to commencing research”, according to Point 1 of the ANU Code of Research Conduct.

The ANU Ethics Committees for human research assess applications based on the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007 updated 2018) (National Statement, 2018). The guidelines in the National Statement are based on four key principles of respect, beneficence, justice and research merit.

Please note that when the research involves intentional recruitment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, additional principles and guidelines set out in the AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (GERAIS) and the NHMRC Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders also apply.

The guidelines set out in these documents are driven by these principles. Research, if in line with the guidelines set out in the National Statement and GERAIS, should similarly be driven by these principles.

What do these principles look like in practice?

On this webpage, we will cover the principles of ethical research in general, such as:

A more detailed set of guidelines about what research with these principles looks like at each stage of the research process can be found in Section 3 of the National Statement.

Research conducted with specific groups of people (e.g., children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people), research in particular situations (e.g., in high risk destinations), or research about sensitive topics (e.g., mental health, terrorism, medical research) also require additional considerations. Policy and guidelines specific to these types of research are set out in the Policy and Guidelines for Specific Research Areas page.

All ANU researchers should also conduct themselves at all times in accordance with the following policies:

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