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Special Responsibilities

Researchers have special responsibilities when working with human research participants

Working with some groups of people involves particular responsibilities unique to that group. Researchers should be familiar with these responsibilities.

Research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples spans many methodologies and disciplines. There are wide variations in the ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, communities or groups are involved in, or affected by, research. 

Researchers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals should be familiar with:
Values and Ethics - Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (2003);
Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (2012); and
Keeping research on track: a guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about health research ethics (2006).

Appropriate consumer involvement in research should be encouraged and facilitated by Macquarie University and its researchers. Health researchers working with consumers should be familiar with the Statement on Consumer and Community Participation in Health and Medical Research (2002).

Researchers also have special responsibilities when working with particular groups of people. The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, updated March 2014) provides guidelines for working with these groups, including:

  • women who are pregnant and the human foetus;
  • children and young people;
  • people in dependent or unequal relationships;
  • people highly dependent on medical care who may be unable to give consent;
  • people with a cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, or a mental illness;
  • people who may be involved in illegal activities; and
  • people in other countries.

If you have any questions about conducting research with these groups, please contact ethics.secretariat@mq.edu.au

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