Fundamental to all research is an active and robust research governance program. Effective governance ensures both the integrity of research projects and the accountability of the institutions conducting them. The Department of Forensic Medicine & VIFM have established a two tier review process for all research applications that involve the use of human tissue, data or live participants.
The Research Advisory Committee
Researchers must firstly submit an application to the VIFM Research Advisory Committee (RAC) for scientific review. The RAC is an internal VIFM Committee chaired by the Head of Academic Programs, Associate Professor Richard Bassed. If the RAC is satisfied that the project has scientific merit, it will approve projects determined to be Quality Assurance and will refer all other research projects to the appropriate Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) for ethical review.
All projects seeking data or human tissue held by the VIFM will be ethically reviewed by the VIFM Ethics Committee. All projects seeking data from the National Coroners Information System will be reviewed by the Justice Human Research Ethics Committee (JHREC). Researchers may be required to respond to questions raised by the RAC, prior to referral to the appropriate HREC.
VIFM Ethics Committee
The VIFM Ethics Committee reviews research applications involving the use of human tissue retrieved during or following autopsy and the use of information held by the VIFM.
The VIFM Ethics Committee is a sub-committee of the VIFM Council, which is the Institute's governing body. It is constituted under, and operates in accordance with, the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
The principal researcher or a member of the research team may be required to attend the Ethics Committee meeting to answer questions arising from the application. The submission and meeting dates for the RAC and VIFM Ethics Committee for 2018 are here.
Submitting a Research Application
Researchers must submit an application online through the Ethical Review Manager (ERM) system. Instructions on how to register as a researcher and to submit an application can be found here.
To register as a researcher in order to submit an application, please this link.
All correspondence with the principle researcher will be provided through the ERM system.
The VIFM has developed the following complaints procedure according to the requirements of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.