Joining an Ethics Committee

Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) Membership

Find out if you're eligible to join one of the University's AECs and what the role involves.

About Us

The primary responsibility of an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is to ensure, on behalf of the institution for which it acts, that all activities relating to the care and use of animals for scientific purposes are conducted in compliance with the Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013 ((updated 2021) (the Code)). As such, AEC members play a critical role in ensuring the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of such animals. Committee membership is managed to ensure that, collectively, the AEC fulfils the membership criteria of the Code and has the necessary expertise to discharge its responsibilities effectively.

The Opportunity

This is a great opportunity to contribute your expertise to the world of research at Monash University by becoming a volunteer AEC member.

The Code specifies the membership requirements of an AEC. The AEC must be comprised of at least one member from each of the following four categories of membership:

Category A - A Veterinarian

Category B - A Scientist

Category C - An Animal Welfare representative

Category D - A member independent of the institution

If you believe you meet the criteria (described below) for one of the categories of membership and are interested in becoming a member, please contact us. To apply please complete the relevant Expression of Interest form (see below) or contact 9905 5121 for further information.

What am I required to do?

As an AEC member you will be required to:

  • Consider whether proposals are justified by weighing the scientific or educational value of the study against the potential effects on the welfare of animals.
  • Read and review ethics applications, amendments and reports in an online system, prior to committee meetings (approx. 6-8 hrs per month).
  • Attend in person and actively participate in Animal Ethics Committee meetings (up to 12 meetings annually, approx. 4-5 hrs per meeting during business hours).
  • Adhere to deadlines for out of session and executive reviews (i.e. respond within 3 business days).
  • Maintain regular email access.
  • Attend Animal Facility Inspections
  • All Committee members must maintain confidentiality about matters considered by the AEC and are not authorised to make public comments on behalf of Monash University.

What skills do I need?

  • An ability to listen to, and appreciate the views of others, and to formulate and express a considered opinion.
  • You must be reliable.
  • The capacity to understand important ethical issues and how these relate to the Code, relevant legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines.
  • Computer literacy and the capacity to work online with the Animal Ethics review systems.
  • Ability to read and review applications prior to meetings and to attend at least 80% of the scheduled meetings, facility inspections and training sessions
  • Confident in raising concerns in relation to proposed research, breeding or teaching under consideration by the Animal Ethics Committee.
  • Participate in inspections of Animal Facilities and Laboratories.

What benefits do I receive?

  • A working lunch at each meeting.
  • Training and development opportunities in animal ethics.
  • Ethics Committee Member Honorary appointments are covered by the Monash University Professional Indemnity policy for all work undertaken in the capacity of an Ethics Committee Member.
  • An Honorarium to cover expenses involved in attending meetings.
  • Car parking is available on site.

How am I appointed?

  • Applicants will be invited to attend an informal interview based on the Expression of Interest form.
  • Prospective Committee members are invited to observe an Animal Ethics Meeting and attend an induction prior to making a final commitment to join the Committee as a voting member.

Expressions of Interest & Eligibility Criteria:

Category A - Veterinarian

  • Must have qualifications in veterinary science that are recognised for registration as a veterinary surgeon in Australia.
  • Must have experience relevant to the institution’s activities or the ability to acquire relevant knowledge.

Category C - Animal Welfare representative

  • A person with a demonstrable commitment to, and established experience in, furthering the welfare of animals.
  • Must not be employed by or otherwise associated with the institution.
  • Must not be currently involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.
  • While not representing an animal welfare organisation, the person should, where possible, be selected on the basis of active membership of, and endorsement by, such an organisation.
  • Veterinarians with specific animal welfare interests and experience may meet the requirements of this category.

Category D - Layperson/Community representative

  • Must not be employed by or otherwise associated with the institution.
  • Must have never been involved in the use of animals in scientific or teaching activities, either in their employment or beyond their undergraduate education.
  • Must not fit the requirements of any other category.
  • Should be viewed by the wider community as bringing a completely independent view to the AEC.

Expression of Interest Form