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: Research Ethics Policy Document (PDF).

Research ethics committees (RECs)

The NWU has 14 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:

 

Senate Committee for Research Ethics (SCRE)

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 Nkosinathi Machine or 018 299 4849

 

 

North-West University Animal Production 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.

Chairperson: Prof Upenyu Marume

 

Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science Research Ethics Committee

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

Chairperson: Prof Oriel Thekisoe or 018 289 2598

 

North-West University Animal Research Ethics Committee 

Ethics Committee on Animal Care, Health and Safety in Research 

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.

Chairperson: Prof Christiaan Brink

Committee administrative coordinator: Ms Christel van Eeden

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.

Chairperson: Prof. Bennie Linde

Committee administrative coordinator:  Ms Dalene Voster or 018 299 1529

 

Arts Research Ethics Committee

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the Faculty of Humanities on the Potchefstroom Campus, excluding applications from the School of Languages. 

Chairperson: Prof Willie van Wyk 

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.

Chairperson: Prof Jako Olivier

Committee administrative coordinator: Mrs Erna Greyling or 018 299 4656

 

North-West University Health Research Ethics Committee 

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.

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 Wian Erlank

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.

Chairperson: Prof Rudy Denton

Committee administrative coordinator: Tienie Buys

 

North-West University Education, Management and Economics Sciences, Law, Theology, Engineering and Natural Sciences Research Ethics Committee (NWU-EMELTEN-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:  Ms Marlize Bisschoff or 018 299 4707

 

Engineering Research Ethics Committee 

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

Chairperson: Dr Rojanette Coetzee

 

Ethics Committee for Language Matters

This ethics committee handles all research ethics applications from the School of Languages.

Chairperson: Prof Chizanne Van Eeden

 

North-West University Human Social Sciences 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.

Chairperson: Prof Chrizanne Van Eeden

 

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. 

 

 

 

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 clearance letter signed by the chairperson of the REC.  

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

Please note: An ethics approval letter 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