Responsible and ethical research
The University pursues a research ethos that promotes exceptional expertise as well as ethical responsibility in the quest for knowledge and the development, conservation and transfer of such knowledge. The University strives towards quality research that contributes to the South African society and to the international community. The University aims to achieve this by creating an enabling environment for researchers. Its role is also to protect the rights of the institution, the researcher and participants as laid out by the Constitution and applicable legislation.
For more information please contact:
Marisa Leask (Ethics Administrator)
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Ethics Application Process and Procedure
All researchers at the University of Pretoria must have their research protocol approved before doing fieldwork and be familiar with the relevant policies and procedure for responsible ethical research.
Click to view Application Process Flow
Apply for Ethics Approval
Students can only apply after successful defence of their proposal. University staff members also need to apply for ethics approval and can apply for the entire project, or multiple times to cover specific research activities as they unfold in the life of the project.
Ethics Application Form
The application form consists of three parts. The first part is an overview of the research project and the researcher’s biographical details. The second part is the Personal Declaration of Responsibility in which the researcher commitments to do research ethically and in terms of the requirements of the University of Pretoria. By signing this section the researcher agrees that the information collected belongs to the University of Pretoria. The researcher also agrees to inform the Ethics Committee of any amendments to the approved protocol. The third part consists of five sections. Only the section applicable to the type of research must be submitted by the researcher. The sections are:
- Section A: Individual Research involving human participants (first application),
- Section B: Research based on a community engagement project,
- Section C: Secondary analysis of existing data,
- Section D: Commissioned research,
- Section E: Amendments to approved application (where changes are required on the approved protocol).
Once completed, the application form must be submitted to the Department Representative a week before the committee meetings. The Departmental Representative checks that the form has been correctly completed and submits the application to the Ethics Committee at the monthly meeting. Examples on how to complete the application have been provided on the website. Currently electronic applications are not accepted.
The application is confidentially assessed by two independent reviewers on the Committee to evaluate if the information provided meets the ethical requirements and guidelines as set out in the University and Faculty policies. If the application meets all the criteria the protocol is approved. However, should the reviewer identify any ethical concerns on the application form a decision will be made on the seriousness of the issue. Applications with serious concerns have to be revised and resubmitted and minor concerns will be conditionally approved. All decisions made by the Committee will be communicated in writing to the researcher. Researchers who receive a revise and resubmit or conditional approval letter should respond within a month to the Committee clearly indicating the changes made as recommended in the letter.
At the end of the research a Clearance Certificate must be requested from the Ethical Committee together with a completed Integrated Declaration Form (D08) and proof of the registered title. The Clearance Certificate forms part of the final thesis or dissertation for marking.
Ethics Application Process and Procedure approved by the Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee
In cases where the participants are seen as vulnerable and/or the research topic intrusive, approval form Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee is also required. Vulnerable participants are incarcerated, institutionalised, marginalised, disadvantaged people and groups amongst other that have:
- Mental health conditions
These applications must be approved by both the Education and Health Sciences Ethics Committee. All applications must first be reviewed by the Faculty of Education Ethics Committee before the application can be submitted to the Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee. The application procedure and documentation Once approved by the Health Ethics Committee the researcher must notify the Education Committee thereof for an approval letter to be issued.
Click to view Application Process Flow
- Class approval - This group involves applications from lecturers at the undergraduate level who require their students to do research as part of fulfilling the requirements of a module. Teaching practice only requires ethical clearance if there is a clear research component involved. Research activities should be structured and prescribed and no undergraduate students should be permitted to design their own data collection instruments. Class approval applications are valid as long as the module content and the research project remains the same and applications need not be renewed annually.
- Honours students - applications for ethical clearance have to be submitted by the lecturer and students/group of students involved. This application can be submitted as a class approval if all students in a module are required to do the same research. However, if variations exist in the research projects among students, this application is best submitted per research project. Applications for ethical clearance are valid for 1 year from the date of consideration. Students who have not completed their degree in this time, or when the research design has changed significantly and substantially, should submit a new application.
Research Ethics Committee
- Prof Liesel Ebersohn (Chairperson)
- Dr Teresa Ogina (Deputy Chairperson)
- Ms Marisa Leask (Administrator)
- Prof MG Steyn (Department of Early Childhood Education)
- Dr Nosipho Jaca (Department of Education Management & Policy Studies)
- Ms Maesala Thabe (Department of Educational Psychology)
- Ms Tanya Smit (Department of Humanities Education)
- Dr Kimera Moodley (Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education)
- Dr Roy Venketsamy (Department of Early Childhood Education)
- Dr Nylon Marishane (Department of Education Management & Policy Studies)
- Dr Suzanne Bester (Department of Educational Psychology)
- Dr Annelize du Plessis (Department of Educational Psychology)
- Dr Phumlani Myende (Department of Education Management and Policy Studies)
- Dr Nevensha Sing (Department of Education Management and Policy Studies)
- Prof Funke Omidire (Department of Educational Psychology)
- Dr Sarina de Jager (Department of Humanities Education)
- Prof Pieter Du Toit (Department of Humanities Education)
- Dr Gerhard Genis (Department of Humanities Education)
- Dr Yolandi Woest (Department of Humanities Education)
- Dr Connie Makgabo (Department of Humanities Education)
- Dr Mia Abrie (Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education)
- Dr Marien Graham (Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education)
- Dr Portia Kavai (Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education)
- Dr Kgadi Mathabathe (Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education)
- Dr Ugorji Ogbonnaya (Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education)
- Dr Sonja van Putten (Department of Science, Mathematics & Technology Education)
Monthly Ethics Meeting dates 2020
- 12 February 2020
- 11 March 2020
- 15 April 2020
- 13 May 2020
- 10 June 2020
- 22 July 2020
- 19 August 2020
- 23 September 2020
- 21 October 2020
- 18 November 2020
Ethics Department Representative
Applications must submitted a week before the meeting dates to their Department Representative.
Completed application form examples
Documents: Education Faculty
Documentation: Health Sciences Faculty
Department of Education Information