Students Conducting Research
Special considerations when investigators are students. (A student is an investigator who is conducting part or all of the project in partial fulfilment of the requirements of a degree)
· Students are a special category of Investigator. As learners, they require more support, training and supervision than appropriately qualified Investigators. It is preferable, therefore, that the supervisor of a student project is named as the Co-ordinating Principal Investigator, not the student. Contact the Executive Officer of the Ethics Committee if you would like to discuss this.
· When a student is added to an existing project, an ethics amendment, not a site amendment, is required. This is to enable the HREC to consider whether adequate supervision will be provided and also to update the study documents, which can only be done via an ethics amendment.
· The Protocol and Participant Information Sheet should name students and their supervisors and the degrees being undertaken, e.g., ‘NAME is conducting the study to contribute to the requirements of NAME OF DEGREE under the supervision of NAME(s).’
· The Protocol should also specify which aspects of the research students will conduct for a degree. Being named is important evidence of the student’s involvement in the project and of the aspects of the research for which they can claim credit. The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018) provides more information about the institutions’ responsibilities in relation to the needs of students who are conducting research.
· The Educational Institution where the student is enrolled, e.g., the University, rather than the Local Health District should be the sponsor of research that is conducted as a student project.