GERAIS 2011 666Kb
REC Charter 59Kb
Plain English Statement 621Kb
AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee
The AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee (REC) is concerned with reviewing the ethical aspects of research projects, including ethical suitability and oversight as appropriate during the course of a project. (The REC charter)
The quality of research projects in other respects the responsibility of the Researcher.
The AIATSIS Council appoints a minimum of eight members to the Research Ethics Committee. These eight members are voted in, and then assigned a role, these roles are: chairperson, layman, laywoman, person involved in caring professions, minister of religion or indigenous elder, a lawyer and finally at least 2 people knowledgeable about research in the area. AIATSIS Council required that at least four members be Indigenous, additionally its practice is that the Chair should also be Indigenous.
The current members of the REC are:
Committee members contribute their personal capacities as members of the Ethics Committee, and not as representatives of community interest groups. The REC operates under the Commonwealth Authorities and Corporations Act (CAAC Act) and the provisions of the Australian Public Service including the APS Code of Conduct. All the contents of protocols and of committee proceedings are confidential. Information will be made available only to those authorised to receive it, namely members of the RAC and Council. The REC is concerned with the clearance of community based research to be carried out by its staff (including Research Fellows, Visiting Research Fellows and consultants) and grantees as well as external research projects requiring ethical clearance.
The REC is responsible for reviewing only the ethical aspects of research projects, not the overall quality of research itself, which remains the responsibility of the researcher. The REC also ensures that grantees (internal and external) are informed through its Guidelines and feedback from its assessment of grants on the culturally appropriate methods of carrying out research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is the premier national, multidisciplinary research institution focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. It has a special mission to assemble this knowledge and increase understanding of Indigenous cultures and societies within Australia and internationally. It is for the purpose of increasing knowledge that the AIATSIS council established the Ethics Committee in 1996. The REC meets to review the ethical content of grant applications in line with the online grant guidelines and its own Guidelines for Ethical Research in Indigenous Studies (AIATSIS 2002), which are considered a national standard in Indigenous research. In 2005 the AIATSIS REC applied for accreditation with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). In 2006 the AIATSIS REC became an affiliate of the NHMRC. Through this, as well as at the direction of AIATSIS Council, the REC has obligations and responsibilities to report on its activities.
The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans 1999 (the National Statement) stipulates that organisations that conduct research involving humans should ensure that such research is subjected to rigorous ethical review by a properly constituted and operating Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). All HRECs should be structured and function in accordance with the National Statement and related NHMRC Guidelines. The AIATSIS REC had to ensure that they meet the National Statement and this required the REC to follow a number of procedures. These are in effect, the ‘terms of reference’ of the REC.
For contact information or information on dispute resolution or complaints, please follow this link.