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About research at the Eye and Ear

A critical factor in our research success is the strength of the relationships we have with partners such as University of Melbourne Departments of Ophthalmology and OtolaryngologyAudiology and Speech PathologyCentre for Eye Research Australia, the Hearing CRC and the Bionics Institute.

We currently support over 150 research projects. Our research projects range from clinical trials testing medicines and devices for the first time in humans to all types of clinical research, population research and health services research.

View the current Eye and Ear Research Strategy.

Research conducted at the Hospital is governed by a strict governance framework through which the hospital is accountable for the scientific quality, ethical acceptability and safety of the research.

The Eye and Ear HREC complies with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) including all updates.

Updates during COVID-19 pandemic

We recognise that this is a challenging time for all our stakeholders.

The priority at this time is for the health and safety of patients, research participants, staff and the community.

The Research Office will maintain our services and prioritise the work that needs to be done urgently.  We will be prioritising specific projects, for example clinical trials.

Principal Investigators should liaise directly with the relevant Head of Dept/Unit on the Hospital’s restrictions in place for undertaking research activities at the Eye and Ear Hospital.

Please also refer to the HREC COVID guidelines (6th version) which were released on 12 November 2020.

Eye and Ear HREC

The Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is a multi-disciplinary committee established in accordance to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) requirements, specifically the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007). The Committee’s objective is to consider research project applications and to ensure that research conducted within the hospital complies to the NHMRC principles and any issues arising from these projects are administered by a properly constituted committee.

The Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) consists of, as far as possible, equal numbers of men and women, at least one third of whom are not employees of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. The Committee shall include the core members;

  • The Chair
  • At least two members who are lay people, one man and one woman with no affiliation with the hospital and not involved in medical or legal work
  • At least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people, for example a nurse or allied health professional
  • At least one member who performs a pastoral care role in a community, for example a Minister of Religion or an Aboriginal Elder
  • At least one member who us a lawyer, where possible one who is not engaged to advise the institution
  • At least two people with current research experience that is relevant to the type of research to be considered at the meetings they attend

View the HREC Terms of Reference

View the Current HREC Membership

Positions on the HREC

The Eye and Ear Hospital is currently seeking expressions of interest for vacancies on the Human Research Ethics Committee for:

  • Lay man

If you wish to express interest in joining the Committee in future, please complete the relevant nomination form below and return it to

If you would like further information on HREC membership, please email

Partnering with consumers

The Eye and Ear is committed to partnering with consumers in research.

We welcome patients and research participants’ involvement in research design, planning and training.

Resources for consumers involved in research related committees

Consumer involvement pack: How to get involved in health and medical research (Australia Clinical Trials Alliance)

Please complete the Online Application Form available from the Volunteering website if you would like to be involved in Eye and Ear research.