Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

Some material may contain terms that reflect authors’ views, or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded, but may not be considered appropriate today. These views are not necessarily the views of AIATSIS. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.

Application process

All research projects that involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples require ethical clearance approval before the project begins. This provides Australian Indigenous communities who are involved in the research with assurance that their rights, culture and heritage are respected, that they understand the aims and methods of the research, and that they will share in the results of this work. This is a requirement of the Guidelines for ethical research in Australian Indigenous studies (GERAIS), which embody the best standards of ethical research and human rights.

To download the flow chart, click here (PDF, 600KB)

The following steps will assist you in completing an application:

  1. Read GERAIS. This​ will allow you to be aware of the ethical practices involved and your obligations to participants in research related to Australian Indigenous studies. 
  2. The Ethical Clearance Proposal is the primary application document that will outline all of the details relating to your proposed research for the ethics committee to review. It also includes a checklist at the bottom to ensure you have included all of the relevant information for ethical review.
  3. The Participant Information Sheet and Informed Consent Form will outline to the participants what the proposed research is about and how it will be carried out and ensure their free, prior and informed consent when participating in any aspect of the proposed research.
  4. Letter of Support from the participating organisations/Indigenous communities: In accordance with GERAIS principle 2 and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans 2018 chapter 4.7, paragraph 4.7.2: “There should be evidence of support for the research project from relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or groups and the research methodology should engage with their social and cultural practices”.

We highly recommend sending us a draft application before the closing submission date. The secretariat will review and provide feedback prior to the application being sent to the committee. This can save considerable turnaround time.

Applications can be emailed to the Research Ethics Committee Secretariat: or via post to Research Ethics Committee Secretariat, PO Box 553, Canberra ACT 2601

Note: Please be aware of size limitation (currently 10MB) when you send your application by email. The Secretariat will send a confirmation email with the number of attachments received. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact us as soon as possible so that your application will be considered at the next meeting.

Current Fees:

Type of submission Price (inc. GST)
Ethics Application $770.00
Ethics Application – Student* $275.00
Resubmission $385.00
Resubmission – student* $137.50
Project variation $385.00
Project variation – student* $137.50

* Student concession prices are subject to proof of enrolment and a statement that confirms the project is not funded by any organisation

Last reviewed: 21 Aug 2018

AIATSIS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community.

We pay our respects to elders past and present.

Application process | Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies


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