Member, Human Research Ethics Committee

Human Research Ethics Committee | Health administration


Role length:
Sessional, 3 years
Monthly, Half day meetings
Melbourne - CBD
Sessional rates

About the board

The Department of Health's (DH) Human Research Ethics Committee (the Committee) reviews research proposals against the ethical principles of the National Health and Medical Research Council's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Statement). These reviews ensure that the interests of research participants are protected, and that research is conducted to appropriate ethical standards.

The Committee provides robust and independent consideration of research applications put before it for ethical review according to its criteria for referral and the ethical standards set out in the National Statement.

Specifically, the Committee undertakes ethical reviews of research proposals conducted or commissioned by DH or otherwise carried out under its auspices. The Committee also considers proposals in the portfolios of the former Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, including child protection, prevention of family violence, housing, disability, ageing and carers.

The Committee thereby ensures that governmental research is conducted to appropriate ethical standards that protect the interests and vulnerabilities of research participants and fosters transparent and accountable research.

The Committee meets eight times a year. For more information, see the Human Research Ethics Committee webpage on the Department of Health website.

About the role

The role of the Committee is to:

  • Consider the ethical implications of research proposals submitted to it for review; 
  • Evaluate the ethical conduct of research involving humans according to the National Statement and Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Australian Code, 2018);
  • Comply with all guidelines and legislation relevant to research proposals considered;
  • Provide advice on matters of an ethical nature, as required by the Secretary of the Department of Health (the Secretary); and 
  • Provide a report annually to the Secretary

Recruitment is underway for the following membership categories:

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community member, or someone with knowledge and experience conducting research with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Community member or consumer
  • Persons with experience in pastoral care, such as minister of religion or community elder
  • Persons with knowledge and experience in the professional care of people
  • Philosopher (person with expertise in moral deliberation)
  • Researchers familiar with the type of applications routinely considered by the Committee

Who we're looking for

Are you:

  • Able to work with a diverse range of people with divergent views?  
  • Comfortable with complexity?
  • Able to provide written feedback in a timely manner if required?
  • Familiar, or able to become familiar with, the National Statement?  
  • Interested in aspects of research and its potential significance for society?

What you need to apply

Expressions of interest must be submitted to Please include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a covering letter that indicates the position sought and addresses the selection criteria in the position description; and
  • the names and details of two referees.