Research ethics

Ethical research practices are crucial to prevent research abuses and to improve the quality of scientific research. Application for ethical clearance is essential to protect the University of Pretoria (UP), its faculties and researchers from possible legal action.

To achieve these goals, all research projects (undergraduate, postgraduate, or studies by personnel) in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (NAS) that involve biotechnology and genetic engineering, human subjects in research, including an individual, a group or a community, occupational hazards and biohazards, animals, experimental (laboratory) research, and the use of internal or external data, that may impact on man, animal and plant life need to apply for ethical approval.

Note that you may not proceed with the research project until ethical approval has been obtained. Each approved ethics application has a unique reference number for use in reporting and publication of research findings.

The application for ethical clearance is fully online.

Online application instructions:

How to get to the online application:

Login to UP Portal  (  / MyTUKS Login)
On the UP Staff Portal, UP Student Portal and UP Guest Portal, find the “Research Grants & Ethics” section.
Click on the Research Grants & Ethics link, see below:

On the Homepage, click on the “Ethics Application & Approval” tile:


The submission deadline is the first (1st) of every month

Ethical approval is granted for the duration of the research (e.g. honours studies: one (1) year, master's studies: two (2) years, and PhD studies: three (3) years) and should be renewed when the approval period lapses. 
Post-approval submissions including the application for ethics extension and amendments to the approved application should be submitted online via the ethics work centre. 
Other relevant forms for studies involving human participants (Adapt to be informative and specific to your project):

Other relevant forms and links (for studies involving human participants):

All NAS applications for ethical clearance related to health research will be automatically rerouted to the Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (HSREC) for approval once the applications meet the requirements for NAS ethical clearance. 

All NAS animal research applications for ethical clearance will be automatically rerouted to the Animal Ethics committee (AEC) once the applications meet the requirements for NAS ethical clearance. 

NAS Research Ethics Committee


Prof V Maharaj

[email protected]

Administrative Assistant

Ms T Reis

[email protected]

Animal Applications

Prof C Maritz-Olivier

[email protected]

Biohazard Applications [Organismal]

Prof D Berger

[email protected]

Biohazard Applications [Chemical]

Prof P Forbes

[email protected]

External and Internal Data

Mr A Masenge

[email protected]

Experimental (Laboratory) Research

Dr Romina Henriques [email protected]

Genetically Modified Organisms

Prof J Vorster

[email protected]

Human Participants

Ms T Reis

 [email protected]

Please direct all correspondence to [email protected]


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