Getting Human Research Ethics Approval

The NEW Research Ethics Management System (REMS) is now live for all Human Ethics applications. For more information on how to use REMS system and to access training resources, please visit the REMS SharePoint Site


What is Human Research and when is Ethical Review required?

All Australian National University researchers (staff or students) who intend on conducting research involving the collection of data (with or about them) or tissue from human participants need to apply for ANU Human Research Ethics approval. As per the guidelines of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (Updated 2018), human participation in research is understood broadly to include the involvement of human beings through:

  • taking part in surveys, interviews or focus groups;
  • undergoing psychological, physiological or medical testing or treatment;
  • being observed by researchers; 
  • researchers having access to their personal documents or other materials;
  • the collection and use of their body organs, tissues or fluids (e.g. skin, blood, urine, saliva, hair, bones, tumour and other biopsy specimens) or their exhaled breath;
  • access to their information (in individually identifiable, re-identifiable or non identifiable form) as part of an existing published or unpublished source or database.

Further to the above, any research study that involves “more than negligible risk" to a human participant, and therefore requires ethical review, may include (but is not exhaustive): 

  • studies where the outcomes of investigations/exploration of research aims and questions will be presented or published for research purposes;
  • studies involving the collection or analysis of data that could be used to identify participants (including email addresses or other contact details);  
  • physical contact with participants;
  • any risk of discomfort or inconvenience to participants; including risk of psychological distress, social harm, economic harm, legal harm and devaluation of personal worth



Applying for ANU Human Research Ethics Approval

ANU researchers must apply for ANU Human Research Ethics Approval via the Research Ethics Management System (REMS). The ANU Research Ethics Office has adopted the use of the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA). The National Health and Medical Council (NHMRC) developed the HREA form as a concise application to facilitate timely and efficient ethics reviews for research involving humans. The HREA assists researchers to consider the ethical principles of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) in relation to their research.​​​​​​​ 

Additional Information can be found here:


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