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Making a JHREC application
An application for ethics approval must be made to the Justice Human Research Ethics Committee (JHREC) for all research or evaluation, conducted by or for the Department of Justice or its agencies, or done under its auspices, if it involves more than a low level risk for:
- people for whom the department is responsible or people associated with or affected by the activities of the department, or
- involves the use of or access to information relating to any of the above groups
Low risk is as defined by the National Statement as 'where the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort. Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more serious than discomfort, the research is not low risk.'
In addition, research involving the following groups will always require ethics consideration, irrespective of the level of risk, because of concerns regarding its sensitivity and/or vulnerability:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
- people who may be involved in illegal activities
- people with a cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, or a mental illness
Before making an application
- Read the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (External link)
- Conduct risk assessment using the JHREC Risk Assessment Checklist
- Factor in ethics clearance early in your project planning. Factor JHREC meeting and submission closing dates (refer to JHREC) into your timelines.
- Contact the Department of Justice business area or agency most relevant to the research early in the development of your project to organise input and support.
Get endorsements / letters of support
- Ensure you have a letter of support from the relevant Department of Justice business area or agency. The letter of support provides the JHREC with an assurance that the unit or agency concerned has been contacted and is supportive of the proposed research or evaluation.
- Provide Department of Justice business areas or agencies directly associated with the project with a draft copy of the JHREC application form for their consideration prior to submitting to the JHREC.
Making an application
Prepare your application
- Complete the JHREC Application Form
- For assistance with your application, please see the JHREC Application Guidelines
Submit your application
- Forward one electronic copy of your application to JHREC by the submission closing date.
- Applications must be submitted in one PDF file and include all documents in the following order:
- Cover letter
- Letters of support
- JHREC application form
- Poster or flyer
- Participant information sheet
- Participant consent form
- Survey instrument
- Current Professional Indemnity certificate
- Signed researcher declaration
- The document file name must comply with the following: Researcher's family name - institution - year of the project - JHREC reference number (e.g. Jones – Monash – 2013 – CF091234)
- Hard copies of the signature pages are to be sent in the post. Note that submission closing dates are strictly adhered to.
Outcomes of application
Researchers will be informed of JHREC’s decision within one week of the committee meeting. The review outcome will be one of the following:
If your project has been granted full approval, a letter of approval will be sent to you, which will include an Undertaking Form to be signed and returned by mail.
If your project has received provisional approval, attend to the JHREC requests and send your response back to the JHREC Secretary. Your response will be considered out of session as soon as possible.
If your project has not been approved, you may be invited to resubmit the application after you revise your application according to the requests of the JHREC and considered at the next JHREC meeting. Note that an invitation to resubmit is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the submission and can occur for research or evaluation, which covers more complex or sensitive issues.
Reporting to JHREC (for approved projects)
Amendment Request Form needs to be completed when any alterations are made to the project such as staff changes and changes to the methodology or research instruments. If a Department of Justice letter of support was attached to your application the business area/s concerned need to be informed of the amendment prior to submission to the JHREC.
Annual Report Forms are to be submitted every 12 months for projects which extend beyond 12 months in duration.
Completion Forms must be submitted on the conclusion of the research phase. A copy of the research findings are also required on finalisation of the project. Note that long term or ongoing projects are required to submit a completion form at the end of each three-year period and renew by submitting a new application.