Human research has contributed enormously to the human good. Research participants are essential to the conduct of human research. Without the altruistic contribution of participants, human research would not be possible.

Protecting your rights and wellbeing

All research conducted at the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) is approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). The purpose of the HREC is to ensure the rights and wellbeing of research participants are protected, in line with the guidance outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

As a research participant, please be aware of the following:

  • It's voluntary: Participation in human research is always voluntary. A person’s voluntary decision on whether to participate in research should be based on sufficient information and adequate understanding of the research and its implications.
  • You can ask questions: You are able to ask as many questions as you need, to understand what your participation involves so you are able to provide informed consent.
  • You can opt-out: The HREC may approve an opt-out approach where you are included in research unless you choose to opt-out, or a waiver of consent where you are not asked to consent. In these situations, the HREC has approved this approach in line with criteria outlined in the National Statement. If you believe the approach is unethical, please contact the researchers or the HREC. 
  • Withdrawing from research: You can withdraw from a research project at any time and withdrawing from research will not impact your access to medical care, or your relationship with SALHN.
  • Benefits and risks: These should be explained to you by the researchers.
  • Alternatives to participating: These should be outlined to you prior to your decision regarding whether to participate.
  • Services: Should you be adversely impacted by the research, the researchers should explain what services will be provided to you.
  • Researchers' contacts: The contact details of the researchers should be provided to you.
  • Discuss your decision: In most cases, you should have the opportunity to discuss your decision regarding participation with friends and family, or a trusted medical professional.
  • Privacy: You have a right to privacy. The researchers should explain how they will ensure any research data will remain confidential. If they plan to share the research data, they need to outline what they will share and who they will share it with.
  • Costs: Any costs of participating should be explained to you. This may include travel and parking costs. If participants will be reimbursed, this reimbursement should be outlined.
  • How results are published: The researchers should explain how the results of the research will be communicated to both participants and the wider community. This may include a scientific publication, group forums, or news articles.

Your complaint rights

If you are a research participant and you feel like your rights have been breached, or the researchers have adversely impacted your wellbeing, you have a right to complain. If you wish to register a complaint regarding the conduct of research occurring at SALHN, please contact the SALHN Research Hub at or (08) 8204 6285.

Additional resources