This policy applies to all Monash University staff and students, full time, part time, casual or adjunct, from any Monash University campuses, national and international, who host, conduct, participate in or disseminate the results of research involving human or animal subjects. Visitors to the University who participate in research are also covered by this policy.
As an educational and research institution, Monash recognises its responsibility to the community to ensure all research activities are conducted in accordance with the highest ethical standards and to ensure that staff and students are seen as positive role models amongst their peers and in the wider community. It is committed to protecting the rights, dignity, health, safety and privacy of the community, including research subjects, and to the welfare of animals and the integrity of the environment. While acknowledging all mandated requirements for secure data retention, protection of privacy and confidentiality, the University is also committed to promoting access to the benefits of research through collecting, storing and making research data accessible in such a way that it can be used in future by members of the research community and other interested parties. By achieving the above, the University also aims to protect the health, safety, rights and academic freedom of researchers and the reputation of the University for excellence in research.
Some subsets of research conducted at Monash will come under the purview of either an animal ethics committee or the human research ethics committee while others will not. It is to be understood by all researchers that an approval by the appropriate ethics committee is a necessary but not sufficient assurance that the research complies with ethical standards. At all times all research will still require self reflection and review: while acknowledging that there are conflicting and contested interests, a researcher must choose where the greatest good or least harm may be done.
In conducting research of the highest ethical standard the University is committed to complying with all relevant Australian, Malaysian, South African and other relevant countries’ applicable laws, codes of practice and guidelines as they apply to research including, but not limited to, all those listed in relevant sections of this policy. Responsibility for ethical review of all research involving animals is invested in departmental/school-based Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) and the Monash University Animal Welfare Committee (MUAWC) as described in accompanying procedures. All research involving human participants requires approval from the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC), as described in accompanying procedures.
The University aims to achieve maximum compliance through continually improving the level of consideration for ethical issues associated with conducting research involving human and animal subjects. This will be achieved by:
continual education of its human research and animal ethics committee members on the content of the relevant legislation and other developing ethical issues relating to research;
continual education of the Monash research community about ethical issues as they relate to research and the ethical clearance framework described in the procedures supporting this policy;
the monitoring of research activities to ensure researchers are aware of their obligations under the relevant legislation and Monash policy and procedures and are maintaining compliance.
Responsibility for implementation
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)
Campus Research Committee (Sunway)
Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Research (South Africa)
Monash Research Committee (MRC)
Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC)
Monash University Animal Welfare Committee (MUAWC)
Departmental/School Animal Ethics Committees
Monash Research Office
Heads of academic/administrative units and controlled entities
Research supervisors and managers
Legislation Mandating Compliance
All relevant legislative instruments that stipulate requirements with which members of the Monash community (all of whom are subject to the law) are obligated to comply.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1986 and Regulations
Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2008
Prohibition of Human Cloning Act, 2002
South African Constitution Act, 1996
South Africa: National Health Act, 2003