Research Ethics & Safety Requirements
Charles Sturt University is committed to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research ('The Code'), issued jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. CSU has adopted this as the University's Code of Conduct for Research. Candidates should review and develop knowledge of the Code as this will be a very important guide throughout our research career, regardless of your field of research or discipline area.
The Code specifies (pg 1.3) that "A strong research culture will demonstrate:
- honesty and integrity
- respect for human research participants, animals and the environment
- good stewardship of public resources used to conduct research
- appropriate acknowledgment of the role of others in research
- responsible communication of research results."
In order to implement The Code, Charles Sturt University has established a number of critical areas which contain comprehensive resources which include the legislation, regulations and policies that must be followed by all of the CSU's researchers:
- Animal Care and Ethics
- Human Research Ethics
- Radiation Safety
- Occupational Health & Safety
Importantly, non-compliance with the Code of Conduct and with the regulations, policies and procedures implemented by CSU to operationalise the Code may place you at risk or in a position of being involved in research misconduct. This is a very serious matter and warrants time spent proactively building your knowledge of the Code of Conduct and CSU regulations, policies and procedures.
Ethics and your Research Proposal
In developing your research proposal you need to explicitly consider the ethical implications of various aspects of the research you propose to conduct. Formally, if your proposed course of research raises ethical issues then you need to obtain formal ethical clearance before undertaking your research.
The University has several committees through which ethics and related issues are approved. These are listed above.
Proposals for research which involves human participants and/or materials need to conform to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans and requires approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee or for minimal risk research the appropriate School.
Any proposed research that involves animals or wildlife must conform with the AAC Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes and requires approval from the Animal Care and Ethics Committee.
The use of ionising radiation is governed by the Radiation Control Act (NSW) 1990 and its Regulations. The acquisition of radioactive material or irradiating apparatus must also be approved by the Charles Sturt University Radiation Safety Committee before the material or apparatus is brought into the University or used by University staff / students.
It is very important to check the guidance provided at the websites of all committees listed above to assess the relevance of each for your research and to ensure your research will comply with all requirements, most of which are legislative requirements.