Research integrity

UON is committed to the ethical conduct of research.

The University of Newcastle is committed to the highest standard of ethical practice in research involving or impacting on humans.

All human research projects conducted at the University, or by staff and students of the University, require ethical oversight.

The University of Newcastle's Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has responsibility for reviewing the ethical acceptability of human research and ensuring compliance with regulatory and legislative requirements, as well as University policies relating to human research.

The principal point of reference for the HREC is the NHMRC's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. The primary purpose of the National Statement is the protection of the welfare and rights of participants in research. It is binding on all institutions and organisations that receive research funding from the Australian government.

The University of Newcastle is committed to the highest standard of ethical practice in animal based teaching and research.

Many of the world’s most important medical breakthroughs would not have been possible without humane animal experimentation. Major medical breakthroughs have occurred thanks to animal research: these include the discovery of penicillin, vaccines, organ transplants, antibiotics, chemotherapy and understanding the role of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in causing disease.

Animal research is strictly regulated and the results proposed by the research need to be considered sufficiently important to justify the use of animals. Where animal-based research is required, this is examined and approved by the University of Newcastle Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC), by applying rigorous ethical guidelines that consider and protect the welfare of animals. The Committee’s purpose is to ensure that animal use in research is humane, considerate, responsible and justified – which requires investigation and elimination of alternative research methods before the approval to use animal models is granted.

The ACEC is a regulated Committee governed by a number of pieces of legislations and policies, such as the NSW Animal Research Act 1985,  NSW Animal Research Regulation 2010 and the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th Edition (2013) (PDF 450 KB)

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) assists the University of Newcastle to meet the legislative requirements of the Gene Technology Act 2000, and National Health Security Act 2007, as well as monitoring microbiological practice against Australian Standards (AS/NZS 2243 series) and other aspects of biosafety related to research and teaching.

The Committee makes informed decisions on behalf of and provides advice to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the research community on compliance with the Gene Technology Act, the Work Health and Safety Act and other relevant legislation.

The Chemical and Radiation Technical Committee (CRTC) provides the University with a forum for the consultation of health and safety matters involving hazardous materials (other than biological) that may impact on the operations of the University and its community. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) oversees the activities of the CRTC.

The Committee makes decisions on behalf of and provides advice to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) for consideration, and to researchers on aspects of their projects regarding the legislative requirements and health and safety practices.

The Committee reviews incidents involving hazardous materials (other than biological) and ensures infrastructure (facilities and equipment) is appropriate for the type of research activities proposed.

Integrity - We are open, ethical, rigorous and committed to the highest standards in academic enquiry. We are champions of academic freedom and professional responsibility.

University policies

Questions or concerns

Please email any questions or concerns about research integrity at the University of Newcastle.