All research in which UQ students are involved, either as a course requirement, an extracurricular project or a HDR must have ethics approval for that research.

Does a student assignment or activity always require research ethics review?

Research involving human participants requires ethics review.  Such activity may involve the analysis of already collected individual-level human data, or data to be collected by way of survey or interview of people. The use of such methods (dataset, survey, interview), in itself, would not make the activity subject to ethics review.  The underlying criterion to trigger the need for ethics review is that such activity is “research” in the academic sense. 

The term “research” is sometimes used in a broad generic way covering anything that involves collection and analysis of data.  For the purposes of considering whether an activity requires ethics review, a more considered focus should be applied. 

If the intention of such activity is to formally publish as research, then ethics review will be required.  However, if the purpose of the activity is in essence an educational or learning exercise for students in the form of a class assignment or assessment piece with no intention of formal publication, then ethics review would not normally be required.  If there is an additional further intention that the data would be used for research purposes in the future (e.g., a larger or contributing to a new project) then ethics review should be obtained before collection. 

If in doubt please check with the Office of Research Ethics:  

All information regarding application for UQ ethics approval for research can be found on the Human Ethics webpage. 

If the research is low/negligible risk, it may be approved through the Faculty of Medicine's Low/Negligible Risk (LNR) Ethics Committee. Faculty of Medicine LNR Review