Proposal Procedures

Research Proposal

It should be borne in mind that the research proposal forms an integral part of the research. The evaluation by the respective Departmental Research Committees of the scientific basis of the proposed research is principally based on the contents of the proposal. It is therefore important that the nature and content of the proposal is of such a nature that it allows the Committees the opportunity of formulating an objective evaluation of the intended research.

Suggestions for the completion of the application for ethical clearance

When planning research, ask yourself whether there is anything that, during the course of the research project, could prove to be detrimental to the human subject(s). Also ask yourself how serious or subtle in nature this detriment may be. Establish that any possible risks will be minimal or slight in nature, viewed within the context of the complete research project.

A further question that you must ask yourself is whether the benefits that you expect will accrue from the research are sufficiently meaningful in nature that any possible risks connected with the research and the effects on the human subjects and/or informants can be justified.

Whenever you make use of consent and indemnity forms by human subjects and/or informants, it is expected that you will thoroughly weigh up the following aspects:

1. The letter of informed consent is only valid if the human subject(s) and/or informant(s) who signs it is of sound mind and is informed as to the nature of the research project, the procedures in which he/she will participate and the possible consequences of such participation.


2. People with psychological disturbances, the physically sick and those in specific contexts - schools, church congregations, hospitals, old age homes, hostels, governmental institutions - require written consent from the appropriate custodians and/or authorities.


3. People who are recruited as human subjects and/or informants and who do not understand the communication language of the researcher must be instructed by an acceptable interpreter as to the nature of the research and the procedures involved before permission for participation can be obtained.


4. The participation of minor children necessitates the acquisition of written permission from a parent/lawful guardian or charge. Should the nature of the research require it, written permission must also be obtained from the school concerned.


The following aspect is also important when human subjects and/or informants are to be recruited: any decision to include in a research project human subjects and/or informants who stand in any relationship of dependency to the researcher must be taken with due prudence and responsibility. Should this be the case, a motivation must be included with your application showing how any possible contamination effects due to this dependent position will be reconciled. Finally, it is expected that the application for ethical clearance be fully completed.


A researcher must ensure that their research proposal together with the application for ethical clearance (and all the supporting documentation) is approved by his/her study leader/ promoter and is submitted to serve on the Departmental Research Committee, and is approved by the Department and thereafter the Cluster before being lodged with Mrs Petru Woest (Information Technology Building 2-9) before the 10th of any month. Applications will then be considered by the Research Ethics Committee at the next meeting.

The application for ethical clearance and the landscape form (“dwarsvorm”) must be completed in full and signed by the Study Leader/Promoter, the Departmental Research Committee chairperson, the Head of Department and the Head of Cluster. The applications must include the following in duplicate

(i) the research proposal,
(ii) the completed application for ethical clearance, including all relevant attachments,
(iii) the landscape form (“dwarsvorm”) for registration purposes,
(iv) the Faculty declaration of data storage form

Copies of any letters or advertisements for the recruitment of human subjects and/or informants, letters in which informed consent is provided by the human subjects and/or informants or lawful guardians of such persons, written instructions, questionnaires and interview schedules as well as indications of any test instruments to be used must be affixed and/or described. Questionnaires and interview schedules may be presented to ResEthics at a later stage. If any researcher is uncertain of any of the application procedures, they can approach any member of the ResEthcis Committee for clarification. This is especially the case in respect of research projects where the possibility exists that the effects on the human subject may not be immediately evident.

ResEthics will inform the study leader/promoter, in writing, of the result of the application. If, after approval by ResEthics is obtained, either the research procedures during the research process or the research topic are so altered that the research project obtains new meaning, it will be expected of the researcher and the Study Leader/Promoter to submit an altered proposal to ResEthics, before continuing with the research.

An appeal against decisions reached by ResEthics can be lodged with the Faculty’s Research Committee (Rescom). On their part, ResEthics will refer problems that cannot be resolved through negotiations with the parties involved, to the Rescom.

Research programmes 

"Research programme" means research of which the nature and range is such that a group of researchers share in the programme of research. A departmental research committee must discern whether or not a programme is encompassing enough that the individual researchers, notwithstanding their team approach, can research autonomous and independent topics, despite a degree of overlapping in respect of differentiated contents and titles. A main theme in the registered topic and title is acceptable as long as the secondary section of the title clearly delineates the differentiated areas, for example, in the case of a programme about intimacy (both mini-dissertations for the MA (Clinical Psychology): January 1998).

• Mongwe, M. The development of a video presentation on African intimacy; a guide for female youth; and
• Peta, NAH. An evaluation of a video presentation on African intimacy.

Procedures for research application
Research applications should follow the following routes. The various actions which are expected en route are shown below:

Procedures for research application

Research applications should follow the following routes. The various actions which are expected en route  are shown below:

1. Researcher and study leader/-promoter
1.1 Draw up research proposal
1.2 Complete application for ethical clearance
2. Departmental Research
2.1 Approve research proposal
2.2 Application for ethical clearance signed by student/researcher, study leader/promoter, chair of departmental research committee
3. Head of Department
3.1 Approve all the above through signing the landscape form (“dwarsvorm”) and the application for ethical clearance
4. Departmental Administration
4.1 Send all documentation - in duplicate - to Cluster Research Committee
5. Cluster Chair/ Cluster Research Committee
 5.1 Approve all the above
5.2 Sign landscape form (Dwarsvorm) and application for ethical clearance
5.3 Send all documents to Student Administration
6. Faculty Student Administration 6.1 Receive in duplicate the research proposal, application for ethical clearance and landscape form (“dwarsvorm”).
6.2 Log application information on Peoplesoft system
6.3 Send all documentation in 5.1 to Committee Administrator
7. Committee Administrator
7.1Send all documents in 6.1 to two members of the Research Ethics Committee.
8. Research Ethics Committee 8.1 Members report on full package of documentation at next ResEthics committee meeting
8.2 Provided the application is approved, ResEthics Chair signs the response letter, application for ethical clearance and landscape form ('dwarsvorm') - for dispatching to Faculty Administration by the Committee Administrator
8.3 Chair provides final feedback to student/ researcher via study leader/promoter
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