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.

Research is the basis for acquiring knowledge to further understand and address issues facing our communities and individuals within them.  Monash University undertakes research with the desire to make a difference and with the potential to transform lives.

An Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is a group of people that act on behalf of an organisation to ensure that activities relating to the care and use of animals are conducted in compliance with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 2013 (the Code)  and related legislation. AECs play a critical governance role within Monash University by reviewing all research, breeding and teaching activities involving animals and therefore AEC committee members are integral in ensuring the integrity and quality of the research.

About the Role

Monash University is currently recruiting volunteer AEC members. Through its AECs, the University strives to uphold best practice in animal-based science, while reflecting the expectations of the broader community.

The Code specifies membership requirements of an AEC. The AEC must be comprised of at least one member of 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 submit an expression of interest, complete the relevant Expression of Interest form (see below) and forward to the Animal Ethics team on animal.ethics@monash.edu or contact contact 9905 4508 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.
  • Attend in person and actively participate in Animal Ethics Committee meetings (up to 11 meetings annually, 3-5 hours per meeting).
  • Adhere to deadlines for out of session and executive reviews (i.e. respond within 3 business days).
  • Maintain regular email access.
  • 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.

Expression of Interest Form - Category A

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 interest and experience may meet the requirements of this category.

Expression of Interest Form - Category C

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 - Category D