Our ethics committees

Learn how our ethics committees help to safeguard the rigour and reputation of research at the University of Melbourne.

We welcome committee participation from members of the public. If you are interested in joining one of our ethics committees, please email Animal-ethics@unimelb.edu.au or HumanEthics-Enquiries@unimelb.edu.au

Our committees

Animal ethics

The primary responsibility of Animal Ethics Committees is to ensure that the use of animals for research and teaching activities at the University is conducted in compliance with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. Animal Ethics Committees apply a set of principles that govern the ethical conduct of people whose work involves the use of animals for scientific purposes. The role of the Animal Ethics Committees is to ensure that the use of animals is justified, provides for the welfare of those animals, and incorporates the principles of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.

Animal Ethics Committee terms of reference (PDF 132.6 KB)

Animal welfare

The Animal Care and Use Standards Committee developed the Animal Care and Use Standards in response to the current and emerging needs of the research community, as well as advances in laboratory animal care. The committee is responsible for identifying, developing and revising the standards. This is achieved by a consultative process that involves input from researchers, teachers, animal carers, animal welfare officers, animal ethics committees, the Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee, the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity and appropriate experts.

Animal Care and Use Standards Committee terms of reference  (PDF 165.6 KB)

Biosafety and gene technology

The University's Institutional Biosafety Committee is called the Gene Technology and Biosafety Committee (GTBC). The GTBC assesses and reviews activities involving:

  • genetically modified organisms
  • high risk biological material
  • high risk infectious microorganisms.

The GTBC inspects and, where appropriate, certifies physical containment facilities. The GTBC reviews risks and issues associated with imported (quarantine) material. It also provides advice as the Biosecurity Management Committee for the University. As the Security Sensitive Biological Agents Management Committee for the University, the GTBC assesses and approves protocols and risk assessments for work involving SSBAs. It also contributes to the development of policies and procedures.

Human research ethics

All Australian human research ethics committees use the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research as the basis for reviewing and approving human research. Researchers must design their projects in accordance with this document. Committee members use the National Statement to identify common ethical issues and to justify the decisions they make during review.

The University of Melbourne ethics committees only review research submitted by our staff and students. There are no fees.

Central Human Research Ethics Committee terms of reference

More information

More information can be found on the Research Gateway, which is available to all University of Melbourne academic and honorary staff, graduate researchers and professional staff.  Please note, to access the Research Gateway, you will need to login with your University of Melbourne username and password.