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Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment & IT

Faculty Committee for Research Ethics & Integrity

Application for approval of a research project

Please read the material below before submitting an application. Application forms appear at the bottom of this page.

Code of Ethics for Research

The application form must be completed only after you have familiarized yourself with the University Code of Ethics for Research:
Download Code of Ethics for Research

Procedure for applications

1. Medium of communication

All documents must be submitted as electronic copies via e-mail only, unless requested otherwise. All correspondence is normally conducted via e-mail only. All documents regarding regulations and procedures are available electronically (via links on this page).

2. Contact details of the EBIT ethics committee

Chair: Prof JJ Hanekom, School of Engineering (
Secretary: Mrs Mari Ferreira (

3. Submission and feedback

Completed forms should be sent to Mrs Mari Ferreira at
The deadlines for submission for 2014 are given below.

Deadline for submission of Ethics Applications
Submission deadline Feedback by
24 January 28 February
21 February 28 March
11 April 9 May
9 May 6 June
6 June 4 July
25 July 22 August
22 August 19 September
19 September 24 October
24 October 28 November
28 November 23 January 2015
23 January 2015  

Please note: Applicants may be requested to provide additional information, or to make corrections. These requests will be sent to you via e-mail, usually within a few days after the submission deadline. Corrected applications need to be submitted no more than one week after the original deadline. If not received in time, the application will be considered in the next round of applications. Therefore, please ensure that your e-mail address as given on the application form is correct.

Upon approval, an e-mail notification will be sent to the applicant. Also, the official letter of approval (including any conditions of approval) will be sent to the applicant with regular mail. Therefore, ensure that your postal address as given on the application form is correct.

If you are a student, ensure that you provide the details of your study leader and academic department in the relevant section of the application form.

Ensure that all documents use correct grammar and spelling.

Note that the ethics committee considers whether the research to be conducted complies with ethical guidelines, not whether the research or research methodology is correct or appropriate. Therefore, research proposals must be approved by the departmental research committee (of the department where the research originates), before requesting clearance from the ethics committee. An e-mail message from the chair of the departmental research committee or head of department to confirm that the research proposal has been approved should be submitted to the ethics committee when the application form is submitted.

Under certain circumstances, the ethics committee may refer applications to other ethics committees. In particular, studies involving human subjects typically are either where people are used as informants, or where they partake as research subjects.

All applications received by the Faculty of EBIT ethics committee that use people as informants, will be evaluated by this committee.
However, where people partake in research as research subjects, the EBIT ethics committee may decide to refer the application to either the Faculty of Humanities or the Faculty of Medicine ethics committees. It is expected that very few studies in the Faculty of EBIT will be referred to either of these committees. When they are, the applicant will be notified and the application will have to comply with the operating procedures of the relevant ethics committee.

Submission checklist

You have to provide the following documents to the committee:

  • (i) Proof that the research proposal has been approved by the relevant departmental research committee (see explanation above)
  • (ii) Application form for clearance by the ethics committee
  • (iii) Questionnaire, where applicable. If interviews are to be conducted, you still need to provide the list of questions to be used
  • (iv) Declaration by researcher. Statement by researcher regarding confidentiality and conflict of interest (print out, sign, scan and send - i.e. a copy with your signature is required)
  • (v) Informed consent form, to be completed by research subjects (not by the researcher), before the research study commences and to be kept on record by the researcher.

    If any of the above is not submitted, your application will be delayed.

Important notes
  • Applicants may not commence with research before clearance is received from the ethics committee.
  • Conducting research requiring clearance from the ethics committee without approval is a serious offence. In such a case, all data gathered will be null and void and will not be allowed as part of the requirements of a degree (e.g. masters dissertation or PhD thesis). This is strictly enforced. No ethics clearance will be given ex post facto.
  • As a general rule, surveys that request personal details of respondents will not be approved (i.e. details like name, address, telephone number, ID number, student number).
  • If you require any of these from respondents in a survey, you may expect questions from the ethics committee which may delay the process: age, gender, aids status, income and other information that may be seen as private. To save time, decide whether you actually  need to know these. If yes, motivate clearly in your application.

Click to download:
Application form
Declaration by researcher
Informed consent form (example)

Completed forms should be sent to Mrs Mari Ferreira at