Application process

All research projects that involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples require ethical clearance approval before the project begins. This provides Australian Indigenous communities who are involved in the research with assurance that their rights, culture and heritage are respected, that they understand the aims and methods of the research, and that they will share in the results of this work. This is a requirement of the Guidelines for ethical research in Australian Indigenous studies (GERAIS), which embody the best standards of ethical research and human rights.

Click here to download the flowchart (PDF, 600KB)

How to apply for ethics approval

The following steps will assist you in completing an application:

Step 1: Read the relevant guidelines

Ensure you familiarise yourself with GERAIS and the National Statement as your application will be assessed against both guidelines.

Step 2: Complete the application form

All ethics applications must be submitted using the ethics approval form.

It is highly recommend that you send the Secretariat a draft version of the application prior to the submission closing date. The Secretariat will be able to provide suggestions on how to improve your application and ensure all relevant information has been provided. This process can save considerable turnaround time in the application process. Submission closing dates can be found here.

Step 3: Submit your application

All supporting documentation should be attached to the application form and submitted in PDF format. All applications must include:

  • Evidence of Support (Letter/s)
  • Completed application checklist
  • Data management plan
  • Distress protocol
  • Other supporting documentation, this could include:
    • Participant Information Sheet and Informed Consent Form
    • Proposed questions, questionnaires and surveys
    • Approval letters from other Ethics Committee

Application must be submitted via:

  • Email to the Research Ethics Committee Secretariat, or
  • Post to the Research Ethics Committee Secretariat, PO Box 553, Canberra ACT 2601

Once your application has been received by the Secretariat, the applicant will be sent a confirmation email with a reference number. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact

Note: The size limitation for email is 10MB.

Current Fees:

Type of submission Price (inc. GST)
Ethics Application $770.00
Ethics Application – Student* $275.00
Resubmission $385.00
Resubmission – student* $137.50
Project variation $385.00
Project variation – student* $137.50

* Student concession prices are subject to proof of enrolment and a statement that confirms the project is not funded by any organisation.

How to submit a variation

Variations to ethics clearance proposals approved by the Committee must be submitted to the Chair for approval. Complex variations will be reviewed by the entire committee.  A variation must be submitted with:

  • Variation letter addressed to the Committee Chair
  • Revised ethics approval form, with tracked changes
  • Any relevant supporting document

Variations can be submitted via email to the Research Ethics Committee Secretariat,

Monitoring and reporting

Under the National Statement, it is mandatory for approved projects to submit annual written reports detailing progress on research, maintenance and security of records, compliance with the approved protocols and compliance with any conditions of approval for assessment by the Executive Director of Research and Education and referral, if necessary, to the Committee.

Out-of-session review

Applicants can request to have their application reviewed out-of-session. The applicant must provide a written letter justifying the reason for an out-of-session review.   The Chair will make a decision to allow the review of a research ethics clearance application out of session under special circumstances.

Note: The committee must reach a quorum to conduct a review out-of-session. 

Last reviewed: 1 Aug 2019