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The Departments of Defence
and Veterans' Affairs
Human Research Ethics Committee

Submissions


Meetings


The committee meets up to ten times per year between February and November.

The meeting and submission dates are as follows:

Meeting Date New Submission Closing Date Resubmission closing Date
25 November 2019 28 October 2019 04 November 2019
17 February 2020 17 January 2020 24 January 2020
30 March 2020 27 February 2020 05 March 2020
11 May 2020 09 April 2020 16 April 2020
22 June 2020 21 May 2020 28 May 2020
03 August 2020 02 July 2020 09 July 2020
14 September 2020 13 August 2020 20 August 2020
26 October 2020 24 September 2020 01 October 2020
07 December 2020 05 November 2020 12 November 2020

Research governance requirements


Prior to submitting an ethics proposal for consideration by the DDVA HREC, researchers are required to obtain evidence of organisational support and in-principle command approval for research conducted by or involving Defence personnel (or their data). Approval should be obtained from a commander or manager of a rank/Australian Public Service (APS) classification no lower than one-Star/Senior Executive Service (SES) Band 1.

Individuals providing command approval must be in the direct chain-of-command of the area where volunteers are being sought. Where volunteers are being sought from multiple areas of the organisation, researchers will need to ensure that approvals for each relevant cohort are obtained.

Further detail on the requirements for organisational support and command approval is available in the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines , the Human and Animal Research Manual and in the corresponding Fact Sheets.

Failure to obtain organisational support and command approval prior to submission will result in delays in consideration by the DDVA HREC.

New proposals

When developing a new research proposal, researchers are encouraged to allow adequate time in their project timeline to obtain ethics approval and where appropriate, organisational support and command approval, for their research proposal. As a general rule, researchers should allow for the fact that their research proposal may not be granted ethical approval in the first instance and allow for a minimum of three months for ethical approval to be obtained. This timeframe is indicative only and timeframes may vary depending on the outcome of the ethical review.

The DDVA HREC Research Ethics Flowchart provides a snap shot of the steps involved in seeking ethical approval, organisational support and command approval. Researchers are also encouraged to ensure that they are familiar with the guidance provided in the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines and the DDVA HREC Fact Sheets when developing their research proposals.

Researchers are to submit a Project Description and all other relevant supporting documentation including, but not limited to, the Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form, surveys and recruitment materials and brief curriculum vitae (not exceeding five pages) for all research personnel are to be submitted to the DDVA HREC for consideration. Research proposals are to be written in clear and comprehensive lay language.

Applications are to be emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au by the submission closing date.

Following receipt of an application the Secretariat will acknowledge the application and an administrative review will be undertaken. The Secretariat will then advise if further information is required prior to consideration by the DDVA HREC.

Resubmissions

Following review of a research proposal, the DDVA HREC may request further information. The ethical review outcome letter will advise on whether the resubmission requires consideration at a scheduled meeting or out-of-session. For resubmissions that require full review, the resubmission is to be emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au by the submission closing date.

Amendments

The Principal Investigator is to seek ethical approval of amendments to approved protocols prior to their implementation. The Research Protocol Amendment Form and any relevant supporting documentation are to be emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au . Requests will be considered by the Chair, or delegate, in the first instance. Where consideration is required by the full HREC the request will be tabled for consideration at the next available opportunity.

Extensions to the period of ethical approval

In accordance with the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines, ethical approval is valid for up to three years. If research is to extend beyond the date specified, an extension to the period of ethical approval will be required. The Principal Investigator can either request an extension of period of ethical approval by submitting a Research Protocol Amendment Form or in the Research Project Progress Report for the preceding period prior to the expiration of ethical approval.