Research and Innovation Services Ethics and Research Integrity

Ethics and Research Integrity

JCU Research and Innovation Services Ethics Team is responsible for ensuring that research involving animals or humans at James Cook University (JCU) is conducted ethically.

The team provides training and support for researchers to assist them to conduct their studies in accordance with relevant legislation, codes and guidelines.

JCU recognises the significant role played by animals in the progression of human knowledge. JCU uses animals only when their use is justified and when no alternatives are available.

Activities involving animals must only be conducted 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 the 3Rs: Reduction, Refinement and Replacement. Ethical use, appropriate care and respect for animals involved are central to the University’s policy and procedure framework.

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All human interaction, including the interaction involved in human research, has ethical dimensions. However, "ethical conduct" is more than simply doing the right thing. It involves acting in the right spirit, out of an abiding respect and concern for one’s fellow creatures.

The JCU Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) oversees human research carried out by JCU staff and students to ensure all human research at JCU is carried out ethically and with the wellbeing of the participants in mind.

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James Cook University recognises the importance of undertaking culturally appropriate research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

If you are thinking about conducting research involving Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities or where you are likely to have a significant number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander participants there are additional considerations that need to be taken into account. Please contact the Research and Innovation Services Ethics Team for more information and advice.

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A clinical trial is a form of human research designed to find out the effects of an intervention, treatment or diagnostic procedure. It can involve testing a drug, a surgical, therapeutic or preventive procedure or a diagnostic device.

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The James Cook University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy (Research Code) outlines the expectations upon JCU and its researchers to foster and maintain a research environment of  intellectual honesty, integrity and scholarly and scientific rigour. The Policy was adopted from the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (National Code) and the Principles of this Policy and the National Code provide core behaviours of an honest, ethical and conscientious research culture.

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Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs) are persons appointed by the University to promote the JCU Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Research Code) and provide advice to those with concerns or complaints about potential breaches of the Research Code.

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Contact the Research and Innovation Services Ethics Team

Visit the Research and Innovation Services Ethics team in Level 3, Room 310, The Science Place Building 142 Townsville.

General inquiries: