Research governance

Ethics approval

All  human research activities involving Monash staff and/or students must be  subjected to ethical review and monitoring by the Monash University Human  Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC) which is established by Monash University  for this purpose. Such review and monitoring will be conducted in accordance  with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research  (2007) (National Statement (2007)).

What  is human research?

From  the National Statement (2007), human research is described as research  conducted with or about people or their data or tissue. There is no generally  agreed definition but human research can be 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 people’s personal documents or other material;
  • The  collection and use of their body organs, tissues or fluids or exhaled breath;
  • Access  to people’s information, in individually identifiable, re-identifiable or  non-identifiable form, as part of an existing published or unpublished source  or database.

Determining the level of ethical review of research

The National  Statement (2007) requires that the process of ethical review of human research  be determined by the level of risk to participants and the category of  research. All research considered to be greater than ‘low risk’ or including  vulnerable participants or sensitive issues is to be reviewed by a fully  constituted Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). Subject to paragraph 3.3  below (see paragraph 5.1.7 of the National Statement (2007)) all ‘low risk research’ describes research where the only foreseeable risk to participants is  not more than one of discomfort. Research involving any of the following also  requires review by the full Committee:

  • Interventions  and therapies;
  • Human  genetics;
  • Human  stem cells;
  • Women who  are pregnant and the human foetus;
  • People  highly dependent on medical care;
  • People  with cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, or mental illness;
  • Aboriginal  and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • People  involved in illegal activities.

Further information can be found at:
http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/research/ethical-research-and-approvals-research-involving-human-participants-procedures.html

Animal Ethics

Any  person at Monash University who wishes to use animals in research or teaching  must first obtain approval from their School or Faculty Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).

For  further information relating to research involving animals please visit:
http://intranet.monash.edu.au/researchadmin/animal/index.php

Copyright

Copyright in the honours program is owned by the student, unless the research is a  ‘collaborative research activity’ where the University will own copyright. (see  Part 5 of the Vice-Chancellors regulations).

Students will need to obtain  copyright permission where they have used other people’s copyright material in  their research and are publishing that research. Students will not need  permission where the research is for internal assessment only. Further  information can be found at: http://intranet.monash.edu.au/copyright/ or  contact university.copyright@monash.edu.

Research data management

Good  research data management is an essential part of effective and responsible  research practice. Researchers can save time, reduce risk, and enhance their  research profiles by adopting best practice for the data that they obtain,  generate use and re-use and by considering how to share and disseminate data as  part of the results. Further information can be found at: http://monash.edu/library/researchdata/guidelines/ or contact researchdata@monash.edu