Top of page
Global Site Navigation

Research

Local Section Navigation
You are here: Main Content

Resources and support

ECU acknowledges and pays respect to the Noongar people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which its campuses stand, and programs operate. We recognise the ongoing connection to this land and pay respects to Elders, past and present.

ECU is committed to engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to ensure our students, graduates, staff, and executive committee contribute positively to sustainable community development. We are also devoted to working collaboratively to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff with support to assist them in realising their potential.

Research has great scope to improve services and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities. Appropriate preparation and planning in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and community-controlled organisations, can ensure that research projects respect shared values as well as recognise the diversity, priorities, needs, and aspirations of these communities.

ECU has a responsibility to facilitate ethical research that engages and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants as part of the research journey. We provide links to the guidelines and protocols that should be embraced by ECU staff and students when planning and conducting a research project with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and/or communities.

The National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines Framework, shows how all of the relevant research guidelines in Australia are linked and provide the framework for how researchers and participants should be working together on research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities.

National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Universities Australia joint national guidelines

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 (the Code) establishes a framework for responsible research conduct that provides a foundation for high-quality research, credibility and community trust in the research endeavour.

The Code has an essential role in promoting good research governance. The Research Code sets down the broad principles of responsible and accountable research practice, and identifies the responsibilities of institutions and researchers in areas such as data and record management, publication of findings, authorship, conflict of interest, supervision of students and research  trainees, and the handling of allegations of research misconduct.

ECU Resource: Research Integrity webpage

The purpose of the National Statement is to promote ethically good human research providing research participants the respect and protection that is due to them and ensuring benefit for the wider community.

The National Statement is designed to clarify the responsibilities of institutions and researchers for the ethical design, conduct and dissemination of results of human research and review bodies in the ethical review of research.

The National Statement will help researchers to meet their responsibilities: to identify issues of ethics that arise in the design, review and conduct of human research, to deliberate about those ethical issues, and to justify decisions about them.

ECU resource: Research Ethics website

National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines

Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders provides a set of values and principles to ensure research is safe, respectful, responsible, high quality and of benefit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

Keeping research on track II was developed to provide advice on how the values and principles outlined in Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders can be put into practice in research.

This guideline supports research participants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities to:

  • Make decisions that ensure the research journey respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ and communities’ shared values, diversity, priorities, needs and aspirations.
  • Make decisions that ensure the research journey benefits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities as well as researchers and other Australians.
  • Recognise and understand their rights and responsibilities in being involved in all aspects
  • of research.
  • Better understand the steps involved in making research ethical.

The Guidelines Framework shows how all of the relevant research guidelines in Australia are linked and provide the framework for how researchers and participants should be working together on research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities. Adherence to these guidelines will be a requirement of the NHMRC funding agreement.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Guidelines

The purpose of the AIATSIS Code is to promote ethical and responsible practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research in Australia, to increase the contribution of Indigenous knowledge to Australian research, to ensure research has a positive impact for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to continuously improve the quality and standards of research in this area.

This guide provides advice for researchers in applying the principles in the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code). It is also useful for ethics review bodies to identify practical ways in which the principles should be evident in project design.

Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee

The Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC) is a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) recognised and registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The WAAHEC was established to promote and support quality research reflective of the needs of the Aboriginal community. The WAAHEC approves and monitors ethically sound and culturally appropriate research.

ECU Policy and Support

Integrity is one of ECU’s core values - being ethical, honest and fair. Integrity is also a key component of world-class research. In Australia, all researchers are required to comply with The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code). The Code sets out the eight principles that characterise an honest, ethical and conscientious research culture that facilitate high quality research.

The code dives deeper and sets out responsibilities for institutions who have an obligation to encourage and support responsible research conduct and provides responsibilities for researchers to uphold in all aspects of their research.

At ECU, our approach to Research Integrity and meeting the principles and responsibilities of the code, is addressed through three components of world class research, and three supporting structures:

Research Integrity: Responsible Research; Working with others; and Professional Conduct.

Contact: For more information see the Research Integrity webpage or contact

The central objectives of ECU’s research ethics arrangements are to nurture ethical conduct and facilitate quality research. This is achieved by resourcing the reflective practice of ECU’s research.

All research undertaken at ECU must be tested through the Research Ethics Management System (REMS) to establish the level of ethical review required to ensure principles of research merit and integrity, justice, beneficence and respect are met and to ensure all ECU research is aligned with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

Contact: For more information see the Research Ethics webpage or contact research.ethics@ecu.edu.au

Researchers have a responsibility under the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code) to retain clear, accurate, secure and complete records of all research, including research data and primary materials and where possible allowing access and reference to these by interested parties.

Effective data management ensures responsible conduct of research, and plays a vital role in managing risk. All research is subject to a range of data-related risks such as data loss or corruption, and privacy or copyright breaches. These risks come with potentially significant consequences. Effective research data management can support managing and mitigating such risks.

All research projects at ECU should have a data management plan in place.

Contact: For more information see the  Research Data Management or Research Data Management Planning webpages or contact researchdatamanagement@ecu.edu.au

Prior to conducting research or project work, staff and students must ensure that they have consulted with key agencies and/or people within the scope of the proposed project. This ensures Indigenous Australian peoples and communities are consulted on the purpose of the project, approach, the ownership of the outcomes and intended use of the findings.

The project should consider including a consultation strategy, which aims to ensure that all appropriate and relevant community organisations are consulted about the project and given an opportunity to provide comment. The first consultation should seek people’s views about the proposed project, the nature of, and the suggested approach to be used. This includes outlining the type of questions and protocols to be used and seeking from the community what other issues they may want included in the methods. In the initial consultation stage, it is also necessary to raise the issue of who will have ownership of and access to the results. Researchers should be quite open regarding design until they have participated in an initial consultation. An integral aspect of the consultation process is the relevance of the project to Indigenous Australian people and communities. Staff and students need to consider how the project and outcomes will incorporate and work with the priorities and needs of communities.

Consultation should achieve a mutual understanding of what each party regards as the purpose of the project and expects from the process, as well as the way in which the project will be conducted. It should also establish how the outcomes will be disseminated to the community and participants. This process includes identifying what benefits or returns the community wants from the process and whether these can or will be met by the outcomes. Staff and students need to consider how they will ensure that a return or benefit valued by the community is provided.

Contact: Kurongkurl Katitjin on ISAC@ecu.edu.au

You may already have some idea of your research topic or the kinds of questions you’d like to answer before you start your research. Even if this is the case, it’s essential that you put a lot of time and thought into your research design. Involving your research team in your planning and design phase is critical.  You must be rigorous in your approach to undertaking your research. By the time you’re ready to collect data you should be confident that you’re asking the right questions and applying the right methodologies.

If you are seeking research funding, all applications (research grants and tenders) must be reviewed by the Research Services Pre-Award team who will then submit your application to the funder on your behalf.

Contact: For more information see the Research Funding webpage or contact research-preaward@ecu.edu.au

Whether you are new to ECU, early in your career or an experienced researcher, ECU provides support and training to help you build the knowledge, competencies and skills required to have a successful research career including:

  • Researcher professional development framework - is an evidenced-based framework underpinned by the needs of the ECU research community that is designed to provide a holistic view of researcher development across an academic career.  The framework is organised in to four domains which represent the important competencies for a research academic.
  • Training workshops and events - Professional development programs can be undertaken through workshops and seminars, online courses, professional experience, collaboration, networking, mentoring and independent study. Below you will find information about all research-related professional development opportunities offered across ECU.

New to ECU - For researchers new to ECU we have compiled useful information to assist you with getting started, getting connected and staying updated.

Contact: For more information see the Researcher Professional Development webpage or contact researcher.development@ecu.edu.au

All ECU staff and students involved in a research project are required to sign either a Staff or Student Intellectual Property Deed assigning ownership of intellectual property to ECU. Completion of the deeds by ECU staff and students ensures that there isn’t any uncertainty about the intellectual property ownership and enables ECU to enter into agreements that include intellectual property arrangements.

Research Services sends a request for deeds to be signed to the Chief Investigator who is responsible for arranging the deeds from the research team and providing them to Research Services in person or through internal mail.  The Chief Investigator also arranges for new research team members to sign and provide deeds to Research Services when they join the project.

Contact: For more information see the IP deeds webpage or contact research-grants@ecu.edu.au

Research agreements are required under ECU Policy, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, and Higher Education Research Data Collection and funding organisations. They are typically prepared after a has been awarded however must be completed before the Finance and Business Service Centre will open the project code and funds can be accessed. The contract will affect how the Chief Investigator may use the research findings, including publishing and intellectual property ownership and licensing.

Along with research agreements, Research Services can also assist in preparing moral rights waivers, confidentiality agreements and materials transfer agreements.

Contact: For more information see the research agreements webpage or contact research-grants@ecu.edu.au

Additional External Resources

The Ethics Hub aims to guide researchers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, researchers, research participants, community organisations, students and supervisors, and ethics committees through the ethics of undertaking research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Applicants working with Indigenous Australian artists, who are funded by the grant assessment panels of the Australia Council, are required to adhere to the Indigenous Cultural protocol guides published by the Council as a condition funding.

This protocol guide endorses the rights of Indigenous people to their cultural heritage and supports Indigenous creative practice. This protocol guide encourages self-determination and helps build a strong and diverse Indigenous arts sector.

The NHMRC has established an advisory committee to seek advice on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and health research issues.

ICIPR is a reference to Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their heritage and culture. Indigenous People’s heritage is a living heritage and is passed down from generation to generation. Usually particular objects, sites and knowledge pertain to a particular Indigenous group or territory.

Heritage includes all aspects of cultural practices, traditional knowledge, resources and knowledge systems developed by Indigenous people as part of their Indigenous identity.

Skip to top of page