Research & Ethics Unit

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The Alfred Ethics Committee

At Alfred Health, responsibility for the ethical design, review and conduct of human research is exercised principally by researchers and the Alfred Ethics Committee. In addition, responsibility is also exercised by Alfred Health which incorporates The Alfred, Caulfield Hopital and Sandringham Hospital, organisations funding the research, and by the Australian Government through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Researchers are responsible for the ethical design and conduct of research. The Alfred HREC is responsible for ethical review of the research. Alfred Health is responsible for ensuring that ethical review of the research occurs; and for ensuring the proper conduct of research.

The line of accountability for these responsibilities runs:

  • from researchers to the Alfred Ethics Committee
  • from the Alfred Ethics Committee to Alfred Health
  • from Alfred Health to organisations funding the research, and to NHMRC

This is usually done in the form of reports to the different agencies.

The Ethics Committee is constituted according to NHMRC guidelines and reports to the AMREP Council. It meets once a month to review research applications and address any ethical issues that have been brought to its notice.

The Committee comprises:

  • A chairperson
  • At least two laywomen not associated with the institution
  • At least two laymen not associated with the institution
  • At least three members with knowledge of, and current experience in professional care or treatment of people
  • At least three members with knowledge of, and current experience in the areas of research that are regularly considered by the Committee, including a nurse
  • At least two lawyers
  • At least two ministers of religion
  • A secretary

The Ethics Committee has two subcommittees, the Research Review Committee and the General Ethical Issues Subcommittee

[Members]  [Meeting dates]  [Terms of reference]



Research Review Committee

The Research Review Committee reviews all high risk research projects for scientific validity. Membership includes a clinical pharmacologist who reviews all CTN applications.

Meetings are held two weeks before the main Ethics Committee meeting. The Research Review Committee makes recommendations regarding approval or interviews to the Ethics Committee.

[Meeting dates]  [Terms of reference]



General Ethical Issues Subcommittee

The General Ethical Issues Subcommittee meets monthly to keep abreast of issues that are constantly arising with the emergence of new diseases, new medical and scientific technologies and changes in community attitudes. This subcommittee provides a forum for discussion of ethical matters relating to patient care from the points of view of both the patient and those providing patient care.

Alfred staff members who have any relevant issues that they would like to be considered by the General Ethical Issues Subcommittee, may direct enquiries by e-mail to

[Members]  [Meeting dates]  [Terms of reference]


This page was last modified on 06/01/12

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