AEC approvals & forms

Learn about the required approvals and forms for using animals as part of your research.

When to notify or seek approval

  • All research and teaching involving animals must receive approval from the AEC before commencing.
  • All research and teaching involving the use of animal tissue must be notified to the AEC via the tissue notification form.
  • VU researchers and teachers using animals in work at external institutions are required to inform the VU AEC via the working at an external institution form.

Note: Outdated forms will not be accepted for review by the AEC. All new applications must be submitted on the current version of the application form available in the 'Application Kit' section below.

Before you submit

Research and teaching staff must ensure that the research and teaching projects adhere to all ethical principles and complies with relevant legal requirements.

The application to the AEC must be clear and written in lay language in order to allow thorough assessment of the application. Failure to submit a well written, thorough application to the AEC will result in the AEC requiring the application to be re-submitted.

Prior to completing an application form, research and teaching staff are required to complete:

Both documents are designed to assist applicants.

The Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) is available to pre-review applications, pre-review of a research proposal is mandatory and applications for pre-review must be submitted to the AWO at least 10 days before the application cut-off date. Pre-review of research proposals significantly improves approval timeframes.

What you must submit

It is essential that research and teaching staff carefully read and follow the instructions on the application form. To avoid unnecessary delays, all applications must be submitted using the current version of the form. Researchers are required to consider:

  1. The 3Rs - Replacement, Reduction and Refinement
  2. Federal and State legislation, codes of practice, guidelines and University policy and procedure.

Researchers must forward the following documents to the AEC Secretary:

  • an electronic application must be emailed to the AEC Secretary, original only, scanned copies will not be accepted (refer to Committee & Dates for forwarding details)
  • acceptable attachments to the Application form are:
    • completed Application Review Checklist
    • Monitoring Checklist (where appropriate)
    • supporting documentation (e.g. ethics approvals and/or letters of approval from other organisations, etc.).

Applications will not be processed without the appropriate authorisation.

Application & notification forms

Please ensure that all new ethics applications are completed on the Application and Notifications form provided below. Old superseded ethics application forms will not be accepted by the AEC.

Note: Electronic copies of ethics applications must be submitted prior to the close of agenda for applications to be considered at the following committee meeting.

Prior to submitting a request to amend an existing application or notification the responsible person must contact the AEC Secretary to obtain the most recent approved version of the document. Failure to do so will result in the AEC not considering the request.

Following confirmation of the AEC minutes, the AEC Secretary will email a soft copy of the ethics notification to the Chief Investigator within fourteen (14) working days of the meeting.

Researchers should be aware that application approvals can take an average of 70 days till final approval.

You may only commence your research project when the AEC have approved your project.