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There are 2 pathways for ethical review for human research from the Eye and Ear Human Research Ethics Committee:

  1. Ethical approval for Low Risk Research from the Eye and Ear Low Risk Research Subcommittee
  2. Ethical approval for Greater than Low Risk Research from the Eye and Ear Human Research Ethics Committee

If the project involves more than one organisation, it is important to understand the Streamlining Ethical Review pathways prior to submitting an application (refer below).

Presubmission review

The HREC Chair is happy to meet with researchers prior to submitting the application.  The following information should be prepared for review:

  • Protocol (which includes the following):
    • Literature review
    • Research questions defined including hypotheses
    • Study design aligned with questions and likely to answer them
    • Potential to contribute to field or add to body of knowledge
    • Statistical analysis/power

Please contact the Research Office to organise a meeting time.

Ethical approval for Low Risk Research – Eye and Ear Low Risk Research Subcommittee

This information relates to applications that:

  1. are low risk research projects
  2. are able to be reviewed by Eye and Ear Low Risk Research Subcommittee

To submit a new application for ethical review of a low risk research project to the Eye and Ear Low Risk Research Subcommittee, follow the procedures below.

What is Low Risk Research?

The definition of Low Risk Research is research in which the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort. Research in which the risk for participants is more serious than discomfort is not low risk.

The following types of research require review by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and are excluded from review by the Low Risk Research Subcommittee:

(a) all research that involves more than low risk;

(b) research falling under the following chapters of the National Statement (except where research on collections of non-identifiable data under these chapters satisfies the conditions for exemption from review – see paragraphs 5.1.22 and 5.1.23 of the National Statement):

  • Chapter 3.3:  Genomic research
  • Chapter 4.1: Women who are pregnant and the human foetus
  • Chapter 4.4: People highly dependent on medical care who may be unable to give consent
  • Chapter 4.5: People with a cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, or a mental illness
  • Chapter 4.7: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and some categories of research falling under
  • Chapter 4.6: People who may be involved in illegal activities (see first bolded paragraph for details).

Ethical approval for Greater than Low Risk Research – Eye and Ear Human Research Ethics Committee

This information relates to applications that

  1. are greater than low risk research projects
  2. are able to be reviewed by Eye and Ear Human Research Ethics Committee

To submit a new ethics application to the Eye and Ear Hospital HREC, follow the procedures below:

Streamlining Review Pathways

The Eye and Ear is committed to minimising duplicate scientific and ethical review of research projects and participating in streamlining initiatives.

The Eye and Ear HREC can review single-site research projects if the Eye and Ear is the investigation site.

The Ear and Ear HREC can also review multi-site research projects if the sites include our research partners that do not have their own HREC and / or private sites (ie private clinics).

If another Victorian public hospital is a research site then the project must be reviewed by a Victorian Accredited Reviewing HREC under the Streamlining Scientific and Ethical Review Framework in Victoria pathway.

If an interstate site is a research site and the study has been or will be approved by a Certified Reviewing HREC then the Eye and Ear will accept the approval of that Certified Reviewing HREC under the National Mutual Acceptance scheme according to the information below.

It is recommended that Eye and Ear staff send an email to the Eye and Ear Research Office listing the known and any potential sites for the project to facilitate identifying the options for HREC and Research Governance Authorisation for the specific project.

National Mutual Acceptance

The Eye and Ear Hospital is a participating organisation in the National Mutual Acceptance scheme for multi-site research projects that have been approved by a Certified Reviewing HREC in Victoria or another state / territory.

The Eye and Ear will accept the ethical approval of a Certified Reviewing HREC. The Eye and Ear will conduct a site specific review and may then issue Research Governance Authorisation for the site.

List of HRECs, RGOs and Organisations participating in National Mutual Acceptance (NMA)

Research Governance Authorisation

If the Eye and Ear is involved in the research project in any way then the Eye and Ear will also need to grant Research Governance Authorisation using one of the Research Governance Authorisation pathways.

Eye and Ear Research Governance Authorisation is not required if the Eye and Ear is not involved in the project (ie, Research Partner research project being conducted only at research partner site).