Conduct during the research process should be ethically sound in order to protect the NWU, the researcher, the research team, the research participants and the environment.  Therefore it is important to receive ethics clearance from the relevant research ethics committee (REC) before commencing with a research project, or when any amendments to the original approved application are made.  To receive ethics clearance, a completed application form with supporting documentation must be submitted electronically to the relevant REC via InfoEd or as specified by the REC coordinator.

Only upon receiving a research ethics certificate as well as upon signing the NWU code of conduct for researchers and REC members the researcher may continue with their specific research project.

This page has documents available for download that vary in size.

 

Policy and rules for research ethics at the NWU

The policy provides an indication of how research that is in line with the ethical principles adopted by the NWU should be managed and conducted.  The policy consists of a policy statement, a code of conduct for researchers at the NWU, and rules for the management of research ethics at the North-West University.  Since the policy has been approved by Council, it now has the same status as any other NWU policy.

The latest version of the policy and rules for research ethics can be downloaded here: Policy document (PDF).

Research ethics committees (RECs)

The NWU has 16 research ethics committees (RECs) that function under one regulatory body, namely the Research Ethics Regulatory Committee (RERC). The structure of these committees includes the following:

 

Research Ethics Regulatory Committee (RERC)

This committee serves as the regulatory body for the other research ethics committees across the NWU.

Chairperson: Prof Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya

Committee contact person: Mr Nkosanathi Machine or 018 299 4849

 

Mafikeng Campus

 

Animal Research Ethics Committee

Registered with the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC)

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications relating to animals and animal health from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on the Mafikeng Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Upenyu Marume

 

 

Health Science Ethics Committee

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications relating to humans from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on the Mafikeng Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Lesetja Motadi or 018 289 2598

 

Human Resources Research Ethics Committee, Mafikeng Campus

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Law on the Mafikeng Campus.  (Please note that this may change due to the restructuring of the NWU.)

Chairperson:  Prof Betchani Tchereni

Committee administrative coordinator:  Mr Stephen van Zyl or 018 289 2486

 

Potchefstroom Campus

 

Animal Research Ethics Committee (AREC)

Ethics Committee on Animal Care, Health and Safety in Research (AnimCare)

Registered with the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC) reg no. AREC-130913-015

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications relating to research on animals from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Natural Sciences on the Potchefstroom Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Christiaan Brink

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Hildah Melamu

Web page: http://health-sciences.nwu.ac.za/healthethics/about-us

 

Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences on the Potchefstroom Campus.

Chairperson: Prof. Bennie Linde

Committee administrative coordinator:  Mrs Linda Grimbeek or 018 299 1399

 

Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Arts

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Humanities on the Potchefstroom Campus, excluding applications from the School of Languages. (The name of this REC might change due to the restructuring of the NWU.)

Chairperson: Prof. Andre Duvenhage 

Committee Administrative Coordinator: Mrs Yvette van der Merwe 

 

Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Education

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Education on the Potchefstroom Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Jako Olivier

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Erna Greyling or 018 299 4656

 

Health Research Ethics Committee (HREC)

Registered with the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC)

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications relating to research on humans and their health from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Natural Sciences on the Potchefstroom Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Wayne Towers

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Carolien van Zyl

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Leanie van Ronge

Web page: http://health-sciences.nwu.ac.za/healthethics/about-us

 

Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Law

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Law.

Chairperson: Prof Elmarie van der Schyff

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Rieëtte Venter

 

Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Theology

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Theology on the Potchefstroom Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Rudy Denton

 

Education, Management, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee (EMHS-REC)

This ethics committee will be registered with the NHREC and handles all research ethics applications involving non-health research with a medium to high risk level.

Chairperson: Prof Lukas Meyer

Committee administrative coordinator:  Mrs Jessica Mabaso or 018 299 4707

 

Engineering Research Ethics Committee (EngREC)

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications involving non-health research from the Faculty of Engineering.

Chairperson: Mr Willem van Niekerk

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Tania Visser

 

Vaal Triangle Campus

 

Ethics Committee for Language Matters

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the School of Languages on the Vaal Triangle Campus and Potchefstroom Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Johann van der Walt

 

Ethics Committee for Economic Sciences and Information Technology

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences on the Vaal Triangle Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Dawid Jordaan

 

Humanities and Health Research Ethics Committee (HHREC)

Registered with the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC)

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Humanities on the Vaal Triangle Campus (excluding applications from the School of Languages).

Chairperson: Prof Chrizanne van Eeden

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Daleen Claassens or 016 210 3441

 

Basic and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee (BaSSREC)

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications that involve non-health research with human participants in the Faculty of Humanities on the Vaal Triangle Campus.

Chairperson: Prof Jaco Hoffman

Committee administrative coordinator:  Mrs Marinda Malan or 016 210 3515

 

Code of conduct for researchers and REC members

Upon approval of a research ethics application the researcher is required to sign the NWU code of conduct for researchers. 

The latest English version of the code of conduct can be found here.

The latest Afrikaans version of the code of conduct can be found here.

 

Gaining access to the NWU to conduct research (gatekeeper process)

If a researcher would like permission to access the NWU to include the university’s staff or students as participants in their research study or if they would like to gain access to data (held by the NWU) for research purposes, a specific process needs to be followed.  All such requests are reviewed by the research data gatekeeper (RDGC) under guidance of the registrar.

To apply to the RDGC for permission to access such data or the relevant NWU stakeholders, please complete the following application form: RDGC application form (PDF).

For more information regarding the RDGC’s purpose and processes, please contact Mr Nkosinathi Machine.

Risk level descriptors

A document was compiled to assist researchers in classifying their research projects in terms of the level of risk they contain.  This will enable the researcher to take adequate steps to minimise harm and maximise benefits for participants and research subjects.

Please find an example of such risk level descriptors below:

Application process for ethics clearance for research

Applying for ethics clearance is necessary before a researcher may commence with their research study.  Please contact the committee administrative coordinator for the committee to which you wish to apply to enquire about the committee’s application process.

 

If the committee makes use of the InfoEd/RIMS application process:

  • A profile needs to be created for you on the InfoEd/RIMS ethics module.  Please click here for more information. 
  • Please find the document explaining how to submit an ethics application on InfoEd here.

General enquiries on ethics-related matters must be submitted to the relevant ethics committees.  For enquiries relating to the InfoEd ethics module and system you may contact:

Ms Teresa Smit or Mr Nkosinathi Machine

 

Access to InfoEd/RIMS

If a profile needs to be created for you on the InfoEd/RIMS ethics module, please send an email to Mr Nkosinathi Machine or Ms Teresa Smit asking them to create a profile for you.

 

Such an email needs to include the following information:

  1. Your request.
  2. Your name and surname (please include maiden name if applicable).
  3. Your NWU student or personnel number.
  4. Your faculty, department and/or research entity.
  5. Your email address.

The new link to access InfoEd: https://rims.nwu.ac.za/

 

Issuing ethics certificates

Your proof of ethics approval comes in the form of an NWU ethics certificate signed by the chairperson of the IRERC.  The certificate is issued by Mr Nkosinathi Machine once the notification of approval has been received from the relevant ethics committee.

Please contact Mr Nkosinathi Machine if you have any queries regarding the ethics certificate for your research project.

Please note: An ethics certificate will only be issued once the ethics committee that reviewed your application has sent a notification of final approval to Mr Nkosinathi Machine at the Research Support Office.

 

Alternative ethics resources