If your research project involves human or animal subjects you must apply for ethical clearance. Some projects will also need clearance from other agencies.

Ethics and safety

Research projects which involve the use of animals or humans must apply for ethical clearance. The responsibility for this rests with the supervisor, you should be actively involved in drafting information and preparing documents to lodge with the application.

In some instances applications are also required for ethics clearance from other institutional ethics committees, for example the Hunter New England Health, the Department of Education and Communities, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Detailed guidelines are included with the applications for animal or human ethics clearance.

Mandatory Training in Animal Handling

If you are a research student and will be using animals in your research you must complete Module 1 and 2 of the Research Animal Training Scheme (RATS) as soon as you are enrolled.

The training is online and free.  The modules take a few hours each to complete.  They involve reading the information then completing a quiz.  A certificate is issued on completion.

Please visit Research Animal Training Scheme (RATS) for further information and to register for the training.


Research projects that involve the use of any of the following must be given clearance by the University Safety Officer:

  • recombinant DNA
  • biologically hazardous materials
  • chemically hazardous materials
  • carcinogens
  • teratogens
  • radioisotopes
  • ionising radiation
  • non-ionising radiation
  • other recognisable hazards

This should be arranged through your supervisor.