Ethical Approval

Research involving:

  • Human research subjects (including medical and/or teaching related research)
  • Animals or genetically modified organisms
  • Sensitive official and archival documents

must meet all ethical and legal requirements and professional standards pertaining to the discipline within which the research is to be conducted.

A candidate's supervisor can provide advice on whether a proposed research project has an ethical component requiring formal approval from an Ethics Committee. No research with an ethical component may commence until the required ethics approval has been obtained.

The candidate's supervisor can assist in identifying the appropriate University of Waikato Ethics Committee to submit an ethics application to.

University of Waikato ethics committees:

  • Human Research Ethics Committee, and the Human Research Ethics Committee (Health)
  • Animal Ethics Committee

Where research with an ethical component is conducted overseas or in another institution, ethical approval must be sought from both the University of Waikato and from the external institution prior to the research commencing. This requirement applies even when the candidate is working at another institution.

All candidates should read and understand the Student Research Regulations

Candidates with an ethical component in their research projects should also read and understand the ethics related information available via the Ethics Committees web page.

Higher degree research candidates

Higher degree research candidates must declare on their initial application form whether or not their research requires ethical approval. A statement concerning the requirement for any ethical approvals and a copy of ethical consent, where appropriate, must accompany the Application for Confirmed Enrolment and research plan. These are due at the end of six months full-time equivalent enrolment, when candidates apply to reach Confirmed Enrolment.

Changes in ethical requirements during research

It is accepted that the direction of a research project may change. These changes should be discussed with supervisors before implementation and clearly signalled in the progress reports as they may have a significant effect on the conduct of the research, and may therefore require a supplementary application for ethical approval.