Policies & advisory notes

A focus on research of an international quality and the fostering of an outstanding research culture have positioned UWA as one of the best universities in Australia and in the top 150 in the world.

Human Ethics Resources

Managing Your Research Data

Policies And Advisory Notes
To assist researchers in addressing key areas of ethics concern, the University has developed policies and advisory information that will help you to obtain ethics approval to commence your research.

Please follow the advice provided, where appropriate, when formulating your ethics application documents.

Data storage, security and disposal

Data management, security, storage and disposal is a key element of research project design. It is in your interests to be familiar with ethical and institutional requirements for data management, as ethics reviewers pay particular attention to this aspect of your research study before providing ethics approval to commence work.

Due to the significance of data management issues, a dedicated page has been provided on the human research ethics web site to provide researchers with guidance about ethics requirements for data management and to provide advice on what you need to do.

To access detailed information, please use the left-hand menu - "Managing research data" - or click on the stamp in the right-hand column - "Managing your research data".

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Access to student records

Student records contain personal and academic information relating to a student’s University career. These records are confidential; therefore access is restricted to authorised people.

For a statement on the University’s policy regarding the confidentiality of students’ personal information, see Statement to Students regarding Confidentiality of Personal Information.

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Overseas research

The University has policies that will affect you when conducting research in overseas locations.

The university requires that a student’s supervisor is listed as the chief investigator on all ethics applications and documents.  It is important that supervisors review all applications prior to submission to ensure that content is correct and the research methodology and ethical processes are correctly represented.

It is strongly recommended that Higher Degree by Research students have their research projects approved prior to applying for ethical review. 

Safety & health policies and guidelines


The purpose of the policies and guidelines is to outline the steps which should be taken for the safe management of activities whilst staff and/or students are working or studying outside of Australia and are, therefore, outside the direct influence of the University.

Risks to safety and heath whilst abroad are many and include personal safety (e.g. associated with endemic crime or civil or political unrest) and health related concerns (e.g. potential exposure to tropical or exotic diseases).

Ethics approval would not be possible where an ethics review body regards a researcher as being subject to unacceptable risk from the conduct of research in an overseas location.

Ethics considerations

The University’s safety and health policies are in addition to ethics requirements imposed by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

Research conducted overseas by researchers from Australian institutions must comply with the National Statement.

Considerations of relevance include the need for research design and implementation to address local cultural values. It should be clearly established that the design and conduct of research will result in participants being accorded no less respect and protection than is required by the National Statement.

For example, the design and conduct of research should reflect continuing consultation with the local participant population and the communities to which they belong.

It is also a requirement for obtaining ethics approval that researchers inform the University:

  1. Whether, in the country in which they intend to do research, there are ethics approval processes that are relevant to that research, and whether any such processes are mandatory or voluntary in relation to the proposed research; and
  2. How such processes function, the values and principles on which they rely, and whether they require reporting of any ethics approval that may be granted by the University.

For further detail on ethical requirements for overseas research, refer to Chapter 4.8 of the National Statement.

Additional guidance for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Research involving Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders also needs to be conducted according to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies' (AIATSIS) Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (GERAIS) to ensure that research with and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples follows a process of meaningful engagement and reciprocity between the researcher and the individuals and/or communities involved in the research.
However, health projects dealing with Aboriginal people must be reviewed by the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC).  UWA does not review these.  Rather, we accept the review decision made by WAAHEC.