Research Ethics

Research Ethics Overview


At Rhodes University, the ethical conduct of research is a high priority. Ethical research is promoted as part of research training and supervision in Higher Degrees review processes, short courses for staff and students, and engagements with national experts. 

In addition, Rhodes has adopted the Department of Health’s research Principals, Processes and Structures (DoH, 2015) accredited by the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC).

There are four committees at Rhodes to provide ethical clearance for research by students and staff:

  • the Animal Research Ethics Committee;
  • the Education Faculty Research Ethics Committee for low-risk studies conducted in the Education Faculty;
  • the Humanities Faculty Research Ethics Committee for low-risk studies conducted in the Humanities Faculty;
  • the Human Research Ethics Committee for all other studies involving human participants.

Each of the RECs has an online application system on ERAS, and applicants should make sure they apply through the correct form. 

For overall deliberations on and support for research ethics, the Rhodes University Research Ethics Forum (RUREF) meets four times a year.

All these committees are under the auspices of the Research Office. Within the Research Office, an Ethics Coordinator is available to manage the system and support applicants. RUREF, in turn, supports the coordinator and RECs on strategic matters.



ERAS - Accessing the online system

Ethical Review Application System (ERAS)

ERAS is the online system through which Rhodes students and staff apply for and receive research ethics approval.

Applicants click here to access ERAS 

Reviewers click here to access ERAS

The ERAS system ONLY uses Rhodes University email.  Check your email regularly for notices from ERAS

For queries contact the Research Ethics Coordinator 

Dr Janet Hayward

046 603 7314

For step-by-step instructions on how to use ERAS, please download the manuals or watch the videos below:

ERAS videos:
Accessing ERAS Page and logging in
Creating a project in ERAS
Addressing comments in ERAS


Applying from Outside Rhodes

 Researchers outside Rhodes University wanting to conduct research involving human participants should obtain research ethics clearance at their home institutions, and provide proof of such clearance when approaching Rhodes to conduct research at the institution.

External or Non - Affiliated Research Application form

Researchers wanting to engage Rhodes students or staff as research participants should contact:

For Rhodes Staff members - the Human Resource Director:
Ms Susan Robertson and copy in
Ms Zimkhita Dyibishe

For Rhodes students –
Registrar and copy in
Ms Melanie Appollis

If the research involves the Counselling Centre, also contact the Director of Student Affairs
Dr Pakiso Tondi

The Gatekeepers Permission letter/s must be emailed to
Dr Janet Hayward

Final approval may only be granted once all Gatekeeper Permission letters have been received.


News, Training, Policies & Resources




 Research Ethics Training with Henriette van den Bergh:

28-30 September 2022

Contact Dr Janet Hayward for information and to attend.


Research Ethics Policy: Research Involving Human Participants
Structure of ethics committees at Rhodes
Ethics clearance application workflow at Rhodes
The Belmont Report



Examples of Consent and Permission requests to download and adapt according to your research.

Research Involving Animal Subjects

The Rhodes University Animal Research Ethics Committee (RU-AREC) reviews applications for ethical clearance for research and teaching activities involving animal subjects. RU-AREC is registered with the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC). Before you undertake any research/teaching that involves animals, be sure to read the Rhodes University Research Policy on Animal Ethics and navigate to the Research Involving Animal Subjects page. Applications for clearance can be done on the ERAS system using the Animal Ethics form.

Research Policy on Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics REC:
Prof Roman Tandlich
Deputy Chairperson –
Prof Ben Smit


Upcoming Animal Research Ethics Committee Meetings 

02 February 2023

02 March 2023

06 April 2023

Applications to be reviewed at a meeting need to be submitted at least TWO WEEKS before the meeting is to be held.

Animal Research Ethics Committee meetings 2023


Research Involving Human Participants

 Students or staff planning to undertake studies involving human participants or affecting humans must apply for research ethics clearance through one of two committees, each of which has its own forms on ERAS.

Please use the correct form for the application. 

For all research in the Education Faculty, apply through the Education Faculty’s REC and form on ERAS.

For research involving humans but NOT in the Education Faculty, apply through the Human Ethics REC and form on ERAS.

For queries and support NOT involving the Education Faculty you may contact the following:

Human Ethics REC:
Chairperson and Ethics Coordinator – 
Dr Janet Hayward
046 603 7314

The issuing of Gatekeeper Permissions for conducting research on Rhodes University students has been delegated by the Registrar to the Chair of the Human Ethics Committee.  Kindly contact Dr Janet Hayward for Gatekeeper Permissions.

Community Engaged Research

If you wish to design your research questions and methods and select your participants through engagement and interaction with community members, Apply for Scoping Approval.

Upcoming Human Research Ethics Committee Meetings 

       25 August 2023

       22 September 2023

       27 October 2023

Applications to be reviewed at a meeting need to be submitted at least TWO WEEKS before the meeting is to be held.


Human Research Ethics Committee Meetings 2023




Research in Education

For all research registered in or associated with the Education Faculty, apply through the Education Faculty’s REC.

Click HERE to access the form

For queries and support you may contact the following:
Faculty of Education REC:
Chairperson -
Prof. Eureta Rosenberg
Deputy Chairperson -
Dr Pamela Vale
Faculty Officer of Education:
Ms Shehnaaz Asmal-Motara

In Education, researchers gain approval through two Faculty committees: The Education Faculty Higher Degrees Committee reviews the proposal and the REC reviews the ethics application.  Approval for both takes place via ERAS.

All the info you need for applying for Research Ethics clearance in the Education Faculty can be found here.

Meeting Dates and Deadlines 2022

Meeting Dates and Deadlines 2023

News & Updates

Read All News

Upcoming Events


Any member of the public or Rhodes fraternity who is concerned that Rhodes staff or student research might be contravening ethical research principles is asked to report their concerns. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results
  • not respecting the principles of anonymity, confidentiality and informed consent
  • negative impacts of the research on research participants or researchers

You will not be asked to provide your name or contact details, simply to explain your concerns, which will be forwarded the relevant Research Committee Chairperson for investigation and follow up where necessary. Please click on the button below to report unethical research conducted by Rhodes university staff or students.