CPHMVS Health, Safety and Ethics

Health, Safety and Ethics

The College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Science is committed to protecting the health and safety of its staff and students. Due to the varied and often hazardous nature of the courses’ activities, the College is governed by stringent Workplace Health and Safety regulations. Staff and students are often exposed to infectious agents and toxic chemicals, handle animals and work with biological and cadaveric material. Those entering the grounds and buildings of the College are expected to familiarise themselves with and respect the health and safety rules to ensure a protected and safe workplace.

In addition to Workplace Health and Safety considerations staff and students must be aware of biosafety practices, vaccination requirements, laboratory regulations and standard operating procedures to be able to work and study within the College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Science.


Research, Teaching and Learning projects performed at James Cook University involving any form of human or animal participation, observation of activity, or access to databases must submit an ethics application to the University. The information below aims to guide the successful application and submission of the appropriate level of ethics required.

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research guides institutions and researchers in responsible research practices. The code promotes integrity in research for researchers and shows how to:

  • Manage breaches of the Code and allegations of research misconduct
  • Manage research data and materials
  • Publish and disseminate research findings, including proper attribution of authorship
  • Conduct effective peer review
  • Manage conflicts of interest

It also explains the responsibilities and rights of researchers if they witness research misconduct.

Developed jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia, the Code has broad relevance across all research disciplines. It replaces the Joint NHMRC/AVCC Statement and Guidelines on Research Practice (1997). James Cook has adopted the principles set out in the Code incorporating JCU-specific policy; see the Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research in the policy library.

Human research is conducted with or about people, or their data or tissue. Human participation in research is therefore to be understood broadly to include the involvement of human beings through: taking part in surveys, interviews or focus groups; undergoing psychological, physiological or medical testing or treatment; being observed by researchers; researchers having access to their personal documents or other materials; the collection and use of body organs, tissues or fluids (e.g skin, blood, urine, saliva, hair, bones, tumour and other biopsy specimens) or their exhaled breath; access to their information (in individually identifiable, re-identifiable or non-identifiable form) as part of an existing or published or unpublished source or database.

Information on Human Ethics submission process and information that aims to assist you with the  process, including what activities need approval, advice on completing applications, timeframe for approvals, meeting closing dates and forms and Guide lines can be found at the Human Ethics Page.

The University recognises the significant role played by animals in the progression of human knowledge.  The University’s research and teaching activities involving animals are critical to the mission of the James Cook University. In this respect the University uses animals only when their use is justified and when no alternatives are available.

The University has a strong commitment to the welfare of animals and activities involving animals must only be conducted in in line with university policy, compliance with relevant legislation and after approval by the university’s Animal Ethics Committee (AEC). Such approvals are only issued if the potential benefits of the work are likely to outweigh the effects on the animals concerned.

The University upholds the principles of reduction, refinement and replacement (the 3R’s). Ethical use, appropriate care and respect for animals involved are central to the University’s policy and procedure framework.

Information on the AEC submission process and information that aims to assist you with the  process, including what activities need AEC approval, advice on completing applications, timeframe for approvals, meeting closing dates and common reasons that AEC applications are not approved can be found from the AEC Applications Page.