The University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (UAHPEC)

Research involving human participants (including teaching sessions, laboratories, anonymous questionnaires and research carried out as part of coursework) must receive approval from the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (UAHPEC). All applications must be made electronically through the Human Ethics Module. See Create and Submit an Application for access to the module and User Guides.

Approval procedures

Please note the following:

  1. Students (including Doctoral, Masters and Honours) can create and edit an application in the system, but it can only be submitted by the Supervisor/Principal Investigator.
  2. Incomplete and/or poorly constructed applications will be returned.  The UAHPEC will not review the application until an adequate, revised application is submitted.

Before completing the application

  • Read the Guiding Principles. These guidelines are approved by Council and are reviewed every three years.

  • Go through the Applicants’ Reference Manual.  This manual outlines the mandatory items that must be included in the application and other information essential for making ethics applications.  
  • Failure to comply with all requirements outlined in the Applicants' Reference Manual will result in the application being returned to the applicant for completion.
  • Please proofread your application and public documents closely and ensure that these are edited by someone with an excellent grasp of English.
Refer to the Applicants' Reference Manual below (version August 2017)

Application process

For all studies, including Masters and Doctoral theses and staff research projects, there are two routes to ethical review: Low Risk Review and Full Review.

A low risk research project is one where there is a low risk of physical harm, psychological harm, exploitation or other potential adverse effect. Participants must give full informed consent and must have the right to choose anonymity in all reporting.

An example of a low risk application is an anonymous on-line questionnaire.

All applications are checked against the low risk criteria. An application is considered low risk, if it answers “no” to all the low risk criteria.  If any application is considered as low risk, it will be pre-screened and reviewed and we aim to provide an outcome to the applicant within three weeks. If the application is not deemed low risk, it will be automatically put into the next agenda for Full Review.

NOTE: In all cases, it is the Committee that decides whether an application is low risk.

Applications for full review will also be pre-screened prior to review and consideration by the UAHPEC.

Prior to submission, please proofread your application and public documents closely and ensure that these are edited by someone with an excellent grasp of English.  Consider consulting with the University of Auckland English Language Enrichment service.

If your proposed research proposal has impact on Māori persons as Māori, you must answer yes to Question 1 in Section F (Treaty of Waitangi issues) of the ethics application. This means that the application will automatically be routed to the office of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Māori) and then on to his nominee for sign off prior to the usual processes. Please ensure that you allow time in your preparation for this extra processing i.e submit a week earlier than the due dates below.

Ethics Advisors

Faculties and high user Departments have designated Ethics Advisors who can assist you with your application. For inquiries about research involving Māori participants, please contact Jim Peters.

Should you need any advice and guidance in addition to that given by your Faculty Ethics Advisor or Supervisor, please make an appointment to talk to one of the Research Office Ethics Advisors (see UAHPEC contact details below) well before the closing dates (see submission closing dates below).

UAHPEC Low Risk Criteria

Post Award Support Services

Research Office
Level 10, Building 620
49 Symonds Street

Phone: 3737599


Title Name Ext No.
Ethics Advisor (Arts, Education, Liggins, Science, Other) Fiona Cheal 81338
Ethics Advisor (ABI, Business, Engineering, FMHS, NICAI ) Colleen Altagracia 88293
Administrator Lizzie Grace 83025

Create and Submit an Application

All research and coursework submissions must be completed using the online Human Ethics Module.

User Guides

Researchers:     Quick Guide

Faculty sign off: Quick Guide

System Access

You may still draft your application using the Word Copy of the online form and copy and paste your final version into the online form.

Human Ethics Module:

Submission deadlines

Please note: For online applications, hard copy signatures of ethics advisors and HODs are no longer required. Applications get routed automatically to the appropriate person(s) for sign-off in each Department.

Because this process takes place after the application is submitted, you are advised to submit your application at least one week before the deadline listed below so that there is sufficient time for sign-off so that the application can be received at the Research Office by the specified deadline.

Please note: some faculties or departments may have special requirements for submission. Contact your faculty or department for more details.


2018 Submission deadline dates for Full Review applications

2018 UAHPEC meeting dates


Tuesday 23 January

Wednesday 14 February


Tuesday 6 February

Wednesday 28 February


Tuesday 20 February

Wednesday 14 March


Tuesday 6 March

Wednesday 28 March


Tuesday 27 March

Wednesday 18 April


Tuesday 10 April

Wednesday 2 May


Tuesday 24 April

Wednesday 16 May


Tuesday 8 May

Wednesday 30 May


Tuesday 22 May

Wednesday 13 June


Tuesday 5 June

Wednesday 27 June


Tuesday 19 June

Wednesday 11 July


Tuesday 3 July

Wednesday 25 July


Tuesday 17 July

Wednesday 8 August


Tuesday 31 July

Wednesday 22 August


Tuesday 14 August

Wednesday 5 September


Tuesday 28 August

Wednesday 19 September


Tuesday 11 September

Wednesday 3 October


Tuesday 25 September

Wednesday 17 October


Tuesday 9 October

Wednesday 31 October


Tuesday 23 October

Wednesday 14 November


Tuesday 6 November

Wednesday 28 November


Wednesday 5 December

Amendments to ethics protocols after approval

A request for an amendment to an approved ethics protocol can be made online through the Human Ethics Module of InfoEd.

This involves completing a one-page form and online submission by your Supervisor/Principal Investigator. Please follow the instructions in the Quick Guide below.  Minor amendment requests are approved by the UAHPEC Chair under delegation, but any major changes to a protocol will be reviewed at the next UAHPEC meeting.

Please ensure that any new or changes documents (such as PISs or CFs) are uploaded with tracked changes.

Amendment Request Quick Guide
Quick guide for adding amendment requests in InfoEd (196.1 kB, PDF)
General Guidelines for amendment requests
When to use an amendment request (390.7 kB, PDF)

If the ethics approval was given prior to 31 August 2011, the application will have a three digit number (e.g. 2010/000) instead of the current InfoEd numbering. Please contact the Ethics Administrators to get the corresponding InfoEd number for your protocol.

If you have any questions about the amendment request process please contact


Ethics training workshops

Workshops:  Preparing a Human Participants Ethics Application 

Benefits of Human Ethics training

Human Ethics training is designed to enhance the level of knowledge and understanding of the key principles applied when completing research that has a Human Ethics component or impact.

Human Ethics training will ensure participants are familiar with the Human Ethics approval processes at the University of Auckland.

Participants will:

  1. Learn how and when to complete a Human Participants Ethics application.
  2. Gain an understanding of the ethical issues associated with performing research involving human participants, and the role of the Ethics Committee.
  3. Receive information about where to find reference material for assistance when required.
  4. Have the opportunity to receive expert feedback and advice specific to an individual application.
  5. Gain an understanding of the ethics application approval process, for example, the difference between a low risk application and one requiring a full committee review.
  6. Have hands-on training using the online Human Ethics Module of InfoEd.

For registration, please email your name, department, contact number and whether you are staff or a student to at least 3 days before the workshop date.

2018 Workshop Dates

Location - Building-Room



Thursday 18 January

302-160 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 25 January

302-160 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 8 February



1 - 3 pm
Tuesday 20 February 260-016 (Owen G Glenn Building)


1 - 3 pm

Wednesday 7 March

260-028 (Owen G Glenn Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 5 April 302-160 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Tuesday 10 April

302-160 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Tuesday 1 May

302-190 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 10 May



1 - 3 pm

Thursday 24 May

260-016 (Owen G Glenn Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 7 June

302-160 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 21 June



1 - 3 pm

Wednesday 4 July

302-160 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 19 July

260-028 (Owen G Glenn Building)


1 - 3 pm

Tuesday 31 July



1 - 3 pm

Thursday 16 August

260-028 (Owen G Glenn Building)


1 - 3 pm

Friday 31 August

302-160 (Science Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 13 September



1 - 3 pm

Thursday 27 September

260-028 (Owen G Glenn Building)


1 - 3 pm

Thursday 11 October

260-028 (Owen G Glenn Building)


1 - 3 pm

Wednesday 24 October



1 - 3 pm

Friday 26 October 302-160 (Science Building) City 1 - 3 pm