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Application process

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Research projects that involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples requires ethics approval before the project begins.

This provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, who are involved in the research, with assurance that their rights, culture and heritage are respected, that they understand the aims and methods of the research, and that they will share in the results of this work.

This is a requirement of the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research, which embodies the best standards of ethical research and human rights.

Please submit your application and all supporting documentation using the AIATSIS Research Ethics Portal. Register a new account to begin the process or log in to check the status of an existing application. AIATSIS Research Ethics Portal

For projects reviewed as of December 2022, please find relevant processes at the bottom of this page.

Submission deadlines

Please Note: Application fees, meeting dates and submission deadlines are subject to change. Please check this page regularly to ensure you have the most up to date information on when to submit your application.

All submissions are due by 3:00pm Canberra time on the closing date. Unfortunately, due to the timeframes required for the distribution and review of papers by the Committee, the Secretariat is unable to grant extensions to the deadlines below. 

Meeting number Application Due* Revised Application Due Meeting date
2024/7 22 July 2024 5 August 2024 20 August 2024
2024/8 19 August 2024 2 September 2024 17 September 2024
2024/9 23 September 2024 7 October 2024 22 October 2024
2024/10 18 October 2024 11 November 2024 26 November 2024

*Please note, once an application is submitted, a preliminary review will be undertaken, and feedback provided to the applicant. A response to this feedback must be provided in order for the application to proceed to a Research Ethics Committee meeting (Committee meeting). 

Application fees

Please note that application fees are subject to change.

Type of submission Price (inc. GST)
Full ethics application $3,630
Community ethics application* $990
Student ethics application** $550
Full resubmission $1,815
Community resubmission* $495
Student resubmission** $275
Full variation $907.50
Community variation* $247.50
Student variation** $137.50
Administrative variation*** No charge

* A community ethics application, resubmission or variation is subject to a receipt of a signed letter that addresses the following criteria:

  • The lead organisation must be one of the following:
    • Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) or Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak community organisation
    • Community Services Organisation (as defined by the ATO)
  • A lead organisation is one in which:
    • The Chief Investigator/s is/are primarily employed and/or associated with the organisation, and
    • The Chief Investigator/s is/are making a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to the research, as defined by the NHMRC’s guide to authorship
  • An organisation that meets these criteria is disqualified if the research is:
    • Being conducted with non-Indigenous corporate and/or academic partners (e.g., an evaluation)

** A Student ethics application, resubmission or variation is subject to proof of enrolment and a statement that confirms the project is not funded by any organisation, external to the hosting university.

*** An administrative variation involves:

  • Changes to project end dates
  • Minor project staffing changes

New applications 

How to apply for ethics approval

  • Step 1: Read the following guidelines
  • Step 2: Begin your application
  • Step 3: Submit your completed application for Preliminary Review

    Preliminary Review is an important step of the process for ethical review by the AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee. All Applications must go through this in order to be allocated for review in the next meeting

    In this process, the Secretariat will suggest general feedback on the completeness and structure of your application. In addition to this, Preliminary Review screens applications to ensure that applications require, and are suitable for, review by the AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee. 

    Please note, the Secretariat does not assess ethical considerations. Our feedback is based on the Secretariat's experience of:

    • What aspects of applications the Committee commonly query
    • What kind of points the Committee often request be clarified
    • How the Committee prefers applications to be structured.

    Attending closely to the feedback suggested by the Secretariat may help reduce the number of conditions of approval placed on your application by the Committee, and as a result may lead to a faster turnaround in receiving approval for your research project. 

    Please submit your application through the AIATSIS Research Ethics Platform

  • Step 4: Submit your application for Committee review

    Once the Preliminary Review is completed and any revisions to your application have been made, please update your application form and supporting documents through the AIATSIS Research Ethics PlatformAll documentation must be received by 11:59pm Canberra time on the closing date to submit an application. The closing date to submit your final application is detailed in the submission deadlines table above.

    You will receive an invoice after you have submitted your application.

  • Step 5: Outcome

    You will receive an outcome letter, and any relevant feedback from the Committee 10 business days after the meeting date.

  • Step 6: Respond to Committee feedback

    Your response to Committee feedback will be due four calendar weeks after receipt of the Committee’s decision. If you do not address the Committee’s feedback within four calendar weeks, your application will be considered withdrawn. Should you wish to reapply, you will be liable for an additional application fee

How to submit a project variation

Variations to approved applications must be submitted to the Co-Chairpersons for approval. Variations may be submitted at any point as they are reviewed outside of meetings. However, depending on the complexity of the variation, and if the Co-Chairpersons deems it necessary, the variation may be reviewed at a Committee meeting. Where this is the case, the applicant will be advised and the variation will be allocated to the next available Committee meeting.

Variations must include the following:

  • Variation letter addressed to the Committee Co-Chairpersons.
  • Revised ethics application form, with tracked changes.
  • Any relevant supporting documents.

Variations can be submitted through the AIATSIS Research Ethics Portal

Monitoring and reporting

Under the National Statement, section 5.4, it is mandatory for approved projects to submit annual reports. The report must detail the progress on research, maintenance and security of records, compliance with the approved protocols and compliance with any conditions of approval. The Secretariat to the AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee is responsible for reviewing annual reports, and will refer to the Committee, if necessary.

Reports can be submitted the AIATSIS Research Ethics Portal.

Last updated: 20 June 2024