COVID-19 Human Ethics Notice

The University has issued, and regularly updates, guidance on managing research activity that requires ethics approval during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information below provides a summary of that guidance as it relates to MLS, MSEI and MSoG researchers.

Researchers who hold current approvals from the Law HEAG

In line with government directives on social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, research activities should take place at your home. Any research activity that involves researchers being physically present for data collection with humans (such as, but not limited to, interviews or observational studies) cannot continue for now and will need to be deferred and rescheduled until the University advises that it may resume.

Desk-based elements of previously approved research can continue, as can data collection that is or can be conducted online or via telephone, subject to necessary approvals or amendments to ethics applications.

This means that if your current project has been approved for both face-to-face and telephone/online data collection, you must suspend in-person data collection but may continue to collect research data online or by telephone. If your project has only been approved for face-to-face data collection (and you still need to collect data), you will need to apply for an amendment to your human research ethics application to convert the mode of collection to telephone/online. In most cases the amendment process will be straightforward, and applications can be reviewed and approved rapidly.

Researchers who intend to make a new application to the Law HEAG

The Law HEAG will continue to review fresh research proposals remotely. Researchers should plan for research activities to take place at home. Any research activity that involves face-to-face contact between researchers and research participants may be approved but, in line with government social distancing directives, cannot commence during this period and may not be undertaken until the University advises.

Researchers should therefore also propose methods of data collection that can be undertaken by telephone or online, and expect to rely only upon those methods for the time being.

In summary, once approved by Law HEAG, desk-based elements of your research project can commence, as can data collection that can be conducted online or via telephone, but any approved face-to-face research component must be deferred until further notice.

All researchers already undertaking research or planning new projects should consult the COVID-19 website for research guidance, FAQ and updates. Any questions or requests for assistance should be directed in the first instance to the Law HEAG Administrator (Angela Hendley-Boys) or Chair (A/P Amanda Whiting)