Research Ethics Compliance
Requirements for the Conduct of Research Involving Human Participants and Live Animals
As stipulated in the University’s Policy on Research Integrity, staff members and research postgraduate (i.e. MPhil and PhD), 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 appropriate ethics committee of the University.
The university-wide ethical committee structure consists of three ethical approval bodies:
- Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)*
Principal Investigators (PIs) who are academic/research staff members or research students (MPhil/PhD) in Faculties other than Medicine and Dentistry should apply to the HREC for research involving human participants.
- Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong/Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster (HKU/HA HKW IRB, the “IRB”)*
If a research project involves a PI who is an academic/research staff member or student of the Faculties of Medicine or Dentistry, an application for ethical review should be sent to the Secretary, HKU/HA HKW IRB, 9/F, Administrative Block, Queen Mary Hospital. For further details, please refer to the IRB web-site and the HKU Clinical Trials Registry.
PIs of research protocols involving living animals should send their application to the Secretary of CULATR, c/o Faculty of Medicine. For further details, please refer to CULATR’s website.
* Both bodies can refer applications beyond their remit to each other for review.
Overview of Procedures