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Research Ethics Committee

Following the University’s Policy on Research Integrity, HKU SPACE staff, taught postgraduate and undergraduate students who are the Principal Investigator (PI) of a research project involving the consent of human participants or the use of vertebrate animal subjects must refer their research protocols for review and clearance by the Research Ethics Committee (REC) of the School. Straightforward research protocols will be considered and approved by the Committee. For cases in doubt or appeal cases, they will be referred to the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) for deliberation.

The processing time from submission of application to notification of approval will normally take not more than 3 weeks, provided that the submitted application form is properly completed with all required documents attached.

It is the responsibility of the PI to make sure that such ethical approval has been obtained prior to any data collection/analysis taking place. Supervisors have to ensure that their students have obtained such ethical approval before starting data collection.  Failure to obtain necessary ethical approval may result in disciplinary action.

Applications for ethical approval should be submitted to the Secretary, Research Ethics Committee, c/o Room 313, 3/F, Admiralty Learning Centre, HKU SPACE. In case of queries, please send an email to the Secretary of the Research Ethics Committee: Students may also contact their supervisor or programme leader if they have questions.

The following relevant documents are attached for easy reference:-

  1. The Operational Guidelines and Procedures for Application for Ethical Approval for HKU SPACE Staff, Taught Postgraduate and Undergraduate Students
  2. A Flowchart showing the Procedures for Application for Ethical Approval
  3. Application Form for Ethical Approval (PDF Version)