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Human Research Ethics Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy (Human Research Ethics Policy) outlines how Macquarie University fulfils its responsibilities for ensuring compliance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018 and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018.

Background

(2) Macquarie University is committed to conducting its research in an ethical and accountable way to facilitate a pervasive ethical research culture.

Scope

(3) The Policy applies to all staff, students, visiting academics, volunteers and other personnel involved in the conduct of human research under the affiliation of, or in collaboration with, Macquarie University.

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Section 2 - Policy

(4) The University will establish systems and processes to ensure compliance with the National Statement, The Code and the Macquarie University Code for research and teaching research projects involving human participants.

Governance

(5) The University will:

  1. promote ethical research that protects and respects research participants and researchers, and extends benefit to the community;
  2. ensure that individual research proposals comply with all relevant policies and legislation;
  3. maintain two Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) and associated Terms of Reference; and
  4. maintain Faculty and school ethics sub-committees of the HREC and associated Terms of Reference.

Review

(6) The University will:

  1. maintain mechanisms to review all research proposals and teaching research projects involving human participants;
  2. ensure that any risks to participants, researchers and the University are identified and managed appropriately; and
  3. establish procedures for monitoring approved research to ensure that all research projects conform with ethical standards and the National Statement.

Reporting

(7) The University will provide regular reports to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), the Vice-Chancellor, the NHMRC and the Information and Privacy Commission NSW.

Compliance and Breaches

(8) In accordance with the Macquarie University Code, the University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related Procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(9) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(10) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(11) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Human Research means any research activity that is conducted with or about people, or involves the use of their data.
  2. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) means Australia’s peak body for supporting health and medical research; for developing health advice for the Australian community, health professionals and governments; and for providing advice on ethical behaviour in health care and in the conduct of health and medical research.
  3. National Statement means the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) - Updated 2018. The National Statement clarifies the responsibilities of institutions, researchers and review bodies for the ethical design, review, conduct and dissemination of results of human research.
  4. The Code means the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018. The Code provides guidance to institutions and researchers in responsible research practices.
  5. The Macquarie University Code means the Macquarie Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (January 2015). The Macquarie University Code outlines standards of responsible and ethical conduct expected of all persons engaged in research under the auspices of Macquarie University.