Information on how to apply for Human Ethics Clearance including Application Forms and Guidelines

Research Advantage

Forms and Guidelines

Application Forms for Human Ethics Clearance can be accessed via the Research Information Management System (RIMS). If you require assistance logging into RIMS, please contact a Human Ethics Officer for assistance.

Feedback on the eForms is encouraged and welcomed. Please forward your comments to


Notes for Researchers

Please refer to the Notes for Researchers document (DOC 160 KB) before you begin your application. They provide tips on avoiding common problems with applications, guidelines on key ethical considerations and other useful information to assist you in your application. Additional question-specific guidelines are provided in the application forms.

What the HREC looks for

The HREC Review Checklist (PDF 82 KB) shows you what the HREC looks for when reviewing applications for ethics approval.

Information Statements and Consent Forms for research participants

Information Statement for Research involving an anonymous survey/questionnaire

Recruitment Flyer Template

Application Forms

Initial Application Form

Initial application forms are used for seeking human ethics approval for a new project.

Applications must undergo a peer review prior to submission. The University of Newcastle HREC applies a hierarchical level of review to applications for ethics approval. This reflects the ethical issues and possible risks to research participants presented by the research protocol.

Risk is the potential for harm whether it is physical, psychological, social, economic, or legal - or the potential to cause people to think they have been treated disrespectfully. There are 3 levels - two of which are dealt with by expedited review.

Level Risk Reviewed by
Level 1 Negligible or no appreciable risks or ethical issues Chair or Deputy Chair
Level 2 Low risk and ethical issues addressed by research design HREC Panel
Level 3 Potential for significant or unavoidable risk; not eligible for L1 or L2 Full HREC

Response times vary depending on level of review. Please view the Submission Dates and Response Times page for further information.

Only low risk research can be considered by expedited review. The NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research identifies certain types of research that can only be reviewed by a full HREC.

Which form to use

RIMS has a defined set of initial application forms that are tailored for specific purposes. Each type of initial application will automatically determine the level of review applicable for your application.

The eForm will determine eligibility for expedited review and identify any additional forms you need to complete and submit.

  • Initial: New Project - Submission of a new ethics application, the form will automatically determine the level of review required.
  • Initial: Registration Ext HREC Approval - Registration of Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee approvals.
  • Initial: Course Related Ethics Approval - Submission of course related ethics application.
  • Initial: Registration of Test/Procedure - Registration of a new test or procedure.

Initial - NEAF Pathway

If you are directed to complete a NEAF, please use the quick reference map and link to the application form below.  The completed NEAF will need to be attached to your initial eForm submission.

Please note:The first time you access NEAF you will need to register as a user. If you do not receive an email from NEAF within 24 hours with confirmation of your registration and your password please contact NEAF Assist on 1800 500 983 or email

If you continue to encounter problems please contact the Human Research Ethics office.


The Variation application is used for requesting approval for proposed variations or amendments to research projects which have an existing human ethics approval.

You can complete a Variation application by logging into RIMS, opening an existing protocol and completing a Variation submission.

User guides and help material for RIMS can be accessed from the RIMS Support Pages.

RIMS Support

To access user guides and help material, please access the RIMS support site on the University website.