Rhodes>JMS>Student Resources>Ethical guidelines for academic research

Ethical guidelines for academic research

  • All research which involves human participants is guided by the National Health Act 61 of 2003 (Regulations relating to research with human participants). You can access a copy here: http://us-cdn.creamermedia.co.za/assets/articles/attachments/44920_r378.pdf 
  • Please read this legislation before completing any ethics application forms. 
  • Research at Rhodes University is administered by the Rhodes University Ethical Standards Committee (RUESC) and guided by the RUESC handbook. You can access a copy here: https://ruconnected.ru.ac.za/course/view.php?id=5399 
  • Please read this handbook before completing any ethics application forms. 
  • Please read the RUESC Standard Operating Procedure to ensure you are required to submit an application form. Please note – any textual analysis of publicly available data which does not involve human participants does NOT require ethics approval. Data on social media does require ethical approval. Please check with your supervisor if you are unsure.
Process for JMS students applying for research ethics approval:

1. When submitting your research proposal to the JMS postgraduate committee you are required to also submit an ethics form.

Kindly note that the Ethical Review Application System (ERAS) can be accessed here:


  • A copy of the ERAS User Manual is available from your supervisor or the research office. PLEASE READ THE USER MANUAL BEFORE YOU START YOUR APPLICATION.
  • When your proposal is ready for submission to the JMS postgrad committee, complete the ERAS form and SHARE it with your supervisor. (DO NOT SIGN YOUR APPLICATION AT THIS STAGE)
  • Please ensure all supporting documents have been included in your project (e.g. informed consent forms, gatekeeper permissions letters, interview schedule, etc.)
  • Your proposal and ethics form will be reviewed by the JMS postgraduate committee and any comments will be communicated to you.

Supervisors Please Note – When you receive a notification that your student has shared an ERAS form online – you can download the form as a PDF and circulate it to the JMS postgrad committee with the proposal.

2. Once your proposal and ethics form have been approved by the JMS postgraduate committee, submit your PROPOSAL to the HHDC.

Supervisors Please Note – Please notify your students when their proposal has been approved by HHDC and remind them to complete and SUBMIT their ERAS form

3. When your proposal has been approved by the HHDC, please make any final changes or additions to your ERAS application. Once you are satisfied with your application, sign it and submit it. Your form then goes to the following:

  1. your supervisors for final sign off, Supervisors Please Note – You must ensure your students applications are ready for submission to RUESC and then sign-off their online ethics application once their proposals have been approved by HHDC.
  2. to the JMS departmental ethics representative for validation and
  3. to RUESC for review.

4. RUESC meets twice a month. Once your ERAS application has been validated by the Departmental Rep the process of hearing an outcome from RUESC should take approximately 3 weeks. PLEASE look out for an email from the RUESC coordinator who will send a notification about the outcome of your application. 

ONLY when you have received approval from RUESC can you start any fieldwork research




Last Modified: Wed, 04 Mar 2020 15:15:31 SAST