Research ethics

Unisa Research Ethics Review Structure

    All research conducted by academics, professionals and students at Unisa must obtain ethics approval before data collection, including research involving human participants, animals, environmental and laboratory studies, secondary data, and desktop studies. Ethics approval is not granted retrospectively.

    Unisa follows a decentralised research ethics operational system. Each College has its own Ethics Review Committee (ERC). The College ERCs include the chairpersons of the various schools and departmental ERCs. The Unisa Research Ethics Review Committee (URERC) is a sub-committee of the Senate Research, Innovation, Postgraduate Studies and Commercialisation Committee (SRIPCC) with a strategic oversight function.  The URERC membership includes the different College ERC chairpersons and additional members to ensure the necessary qualifications and expertise.

    Unisa researchers and postgraduate students must apply for ethics approval from the College ERCs where they are registered. Applicants must complete a separate application form for each research category.

    Non-Unisa (external) researchers who wish to conduct research at Unisa involving Unisa employees, students, or data will apply for ethics approval from the Unisa Research Ethics Review Committee (URERC). Contact for more information. Unisa professional and administrative employees who wish to conduct research must apply for ethics approval from the Professional Research Committee Ethics Work Group (PRC_EWG). Please contact the administrator for more information.

    In compliance with the NHREC, all health and health-related research must obtain ethics approval certificate from an ERC that is registered with the NHREC. 

    Unisa has two Research Ethics Committees registered to the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC) that reviews health research.

    Research Ethics Information per College: 

    Last modified: 2023/08/31