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in individually identifiable, re-identifiable or non-identifiable form, as part of an existing published or unpublished source or database.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:

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:


Copyright in the minor thesis 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: or contact

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: or contact