Ethical Standards for Research on Human and Animal Subjects
The Ethical Standards Committee is a sub-committee of Rhodes University Research Committee. It ensures that all activities at Rhodes University are performed responsibly and meet highest ethical standards. This is particularly relevant for teaching and research involving humans or animals.
Any research and class projects in which humans or animals are involved must therefore have prior clearance from a Rhodes Ethics committee. This follows a formal application using an application form and mostly supplemental information, such as informed consent forms and a research methodology.
Several departmental research committees facilitate the Rhodes Ethics committee for research within a specific area and particularly for student research. Please consult the corresponding Head of Department or Dean for options of submitting an ethics application to a dedicated ethics committee. Otherwise, any application can be submitted to the Rhodes Ethics Committee. Full details and application forms are presented in the documents listed below.
The basic consideration of ethics is to minimise the risks of harm and discomfort to participants and animals respectively. This is due to the fact that any involvement of humans or animals interferes with their physical, intellectual and social being. The research must be set up in a way that this impact is as minimal as possible, and the ethics application must provide a comprehensive reasoning on this aspect. Further, the benefits of the research have to outweigh the risk(s), as otherwise the research has to be considered as unethical per se. In this context the methodology is of crucial relevance, as only a properly designed research may provide a benefit that justifies the risks.
- No ex-post ratification is to be considered. Any ethics approval must be obtained PRIOR to data collection.
- Theses and other pieces of research that contribute to an academic degree may be considered as invalid if performed without ethical clearance. The onus to obtain ethical clearance, if applicable, is on the researcher and supervisor (as a matter of fact, though).
- Most publishers require ethical approval (if applicable) for accepting manuscripts.
- Using University resources and structures (e.g. recruiting participants among students or staff) may require further approval from Human Resource Division, the Registar or the Dean of Students, depending on the nature of involvement.
2014 Committee meeting schedule
Applications will be processed immediately after reception. Depending on the review outcome approval may be granted immediately, or a commitee discussion may be required. For the latter case applications must have been submitted 3 weeks prior to each meeting:
- 27 March 2014
- 2 June 2014
- 25 August 2014
- 3 November 2014
Applications for Ethical Approval
Research and Teaching involving Human Participants:
We are currently in the introduction phase of an electronic application process. As the login process is not finaliset yet, please consult Noelle Obers (firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 8055) for providing access to the electronic application system.
In order to prepare for filling out the form a Sample Application for Research involving Humans can be downloaded by clicking on the link.
Current polies and guidelines:
- Ethics Policy for Research and Teaching involving Humans
- Ethics Guidelines for Research and Teaching involving Humans
Instructions for using the electronic application management system:
- Instructions for submission of applications
- Instructions for reviewers
- Instructions for management (chair)
Research and Teaching involving Human Biological Material:
No formal ethical approval is required
- If the used biological materials are provided by third parties,
- No scarce material is used (that might be urgently needed elsewhere), and
- The supplier has ethical approval or certification for collection and distribution of biological material.
Researchers needing a letter stating that no ethics approval is required (e.g. for the purpose of grant applications) shall open an application form for Research and Teaching involving Human Participants (see above) and respond to the introduction questions accordingly. As a matter of integrity, the Ethics Committee can only issue such a letter after having checked the research proposal, irrespective of the relation to humans or human materials.
Reseach and Teaching involving sentient Animals:
- Terms of Reference for Researach and Teaching on sentient Animals (Draft version from 21 Nov 2013)Terms of Reference for Researach and Teaching on sentient Animals (Draft version from 21 Nov 2013)
- Operational Procedures for Researach and Teaching on sentient Animals (Draft version from 21 Nov 2013)
- Application Form for Research or Teaching involving sentient Animals
- Application form for Changes in approved or ongoing research and teaching
Current activities of the ethics committee
The Ethics Standards Committee is currently pursuing the following projects to improve service and efficiency of handling ethical matters:
- Implementation of an electronic application processing and management system (RIMS)
- Defintion of Standard Operating Procedures for the Ethics committee and related instances
- Definition and implementation of Standards for Departmental Ethics Committees
- National Accreditation of the Ethics Standards Committee
Rhodes University Ethical Standards Committee c/o email@example.com, phone 046-603 8055.
Current members of the Rhodes Ethics Standards Committee:
|Prof M. Göbel (chair)||(HKE)||chair, email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Prof R Dowse||(Pharmacy)||Pharmacy Faculty representative|
|n.n.||(Pharmacy)||Pharmacy Faculty representative|
|Prof S Vice||(Philosophy)||Humanities Faculty representative|
|Dr Mareli Stolp||(Musicology)||Humanities Faculty representative|
|Dr D Parker||(Zoology and Entomology)||Science Faculty representative|
|Ms H Kruuse||(Law)||Law Faculty representative|
|Prof M Schafer||(Education)||Education Faculty representative|
|Prof G Foster||(Information Systems)||Commerce Faculty representative|
|Prof C Young||(Psychology)|
|Prof C Boughey||(CHERTL)|
|Ms S Paphritis||Community Engagegment|
|Dr C Knox||(Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology)|
|Prof C de Wet||(Institute of Water Research, Anthropology)|
|Dr S Zschernack||(Human Kinetics and Ergonomics)|
|Ms M Mattison||(Human Kinetics and Ergonomics)|
|Prof A Craig||(Zoology and Entomology)|
|Prof H Kaiser||(Ichtyology)|
|Ms H van Zyl||(Psychology)|
The SANS Standard 10386: 'The care and use of animals for scientific purposes' can reviewed via the chairperson of the Animal Ethics subcommittee, Dr Dan Parker (email: email@example.com)