The Research & Innovation Office

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Research Ethics

Obtaining Ethics Approval

All projects undertaken by staff and students at The University of the South Pacific that deal with people or animals for the purposes of gathering information must be approved before they begin by the University Research Ethics Committee. The Ethics Policies of the University of the South Pacific are intended to guide researchers in their understanding of the University’s views on ethical research, particularly in the Pacific Islands region.

Approval begins with the completion of a Screening Questionnaire (they are available here) by the researcher and its submission to their Academic Unit Research Committee accompanied by their proposal. The only exception to this is when a researcher knows that their proposed research will involve animals (so they complete an Animal Ethics Application instead of the Screening Questionnaire). If necessary, researchers will then be required to complete additional forms for consideration by the University Research Ethics Committee. This Committee does not seek to reject research proposals but to guide researchers into undertaking research that is ethically sound.

Further Reading:
An all-encompassing statement on research ethics is the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, published by UNESCO. (Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights)

Also available online for public viewing is the Code of Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Human Participants. (

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