Depending on what the research entails regarding location, participants, and type of data, you may be required to obtain support letters and permits from other organisations and communities to accompany your ethics application or before your research can be implemented, such as:
  • Royal Darwin Hospital and other Top End Health Service Sites

For NT Health Site Specific Assessment and NT Health data access requirements, please consult the NT Health research governance office at and the NT Health research website

Where TEHS is the Lead Organisation, please contact the Top End Health Service Research Governance Office (TEHS RGO) to confirm the appropriate delegate to sign the Organisational/Institutional Head in Part E of the HREC Application Form.

A separate letter of support from Top End Health Service Research Governance Office (TEHS RGO) is not required to be lodged with an ethics application.

Endorsement from TEHS Divisional Co-Directors, General Managers and Unit heads is no longer an ethics requirement but a site Governance requirement. The TEHS RGO ( advise you to seek early engagement about the site specific requirements for your study, this includes necessary endorsements by TEHS Divisional Co-Directors, General Managers and Unit heads to support your Site Specific Assessment (SSA) application, the SSA process is relevant to all sites listed below.

The SSA process can occur concurrently with preparation of a Top End HREC submission. Organisational Authorisation will be emailed from the TEHS RGO to researchers upon review and assessment of the SSA, or if authorisation is withheld, additional information will be sought and/or guidance provided.

TEHS sites include:

  • Royal Darwin Hospital
  • Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre
  • Gove District Hospital
  • Katherine Hospital
  • Palmerston Regional Hospital
  • Top End Mental Health Service (TEMHS)
  • Alcohol & Other Drugs Service (AODS)
  • Top End Primary Health Care (urban and remote sites including correctional service clinics)

Any research that involves TEHS requires submission to the TEHS Research Governance Office for authorisation. You will be required to submit a signed copy of the Top End HREC form and associated documents to the

  • Alice Springs Hospital and Central Australian sites
    • For site specific assessments for Alice Springs Hospital, Central Australia Health Service, and Barkly Health Service please contact
  • NT Primary Health Care Branch
    • remote primary health clinics (NT Gov clinics)
    • NT Correctional Centre health clinics

For studies being undertaken through NT Correctional Services including studies at correctional services health clinics, a letter of support is also required from the NT Corrections Health Advisor.

Please contact the TEHS RGO ( to facilitate support from Top End Primary Health Care (PHC). TEHS RGO will forward your request to the appropriate PHC unit.

  • NT Corrections

For studies being undertaken through NT Correctional Services including studies at correctional services health clinics, a letter of support is also required from the NT Corrections Health Advisor.

  • Access to Department of Health data

Access to existing NT Health data is via the NT Health Data Quality and Governance division. Information about this process can be found on the NT Health website If you have queries about the process please contact Applications for data release can be submitted in parallel to ethics applications.

The data owner for TEHS local/client data is the Executive Director Clinical Innovation & Research. Researchers requiring access to TEHS local/client data are advised to indicate this when applying for Site Specific Authorisation, so that authorisation for data access can be included in the SSA by the Top End Health Service Research Governance Office.


  • Peak bodies
    e.g. AMSANT 
    All major research projects involving Aboriginal primary health care should be submitted to AMSANT for review, ideally in the design stage prior to application for ethics clearance. Please refer to the AMSANT health research guidelines for more information or Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
  • Permits to enter Aboriginal land for the purposes of research 
  • Aboriginal Corporations and Health Service Providers
    e.g. Danila Dilba, Miwatj Health, Wurli Wurlinjang, Malabam Health
  • Support from specific individual Aboriginal communities
    e.g. Council of elders or elders designated to speak on behalf of their people
  • Northern Territory Department of Education

If any part of the research will be conducted within Department of Education (DoE) facilities, including within schools, approval must be sought from DoE Research Advisory Committee as well as individual schools. Please note that although the DoE has a Research Advisory Committee, support from them does not constitute ethical approval, and research should not commence until both ethics approval and DoE support has been received.

For further information: visit the DoE research page or contact the Research and Evaluation Team at the NT Department of Education.  Email:  / Ph: (08) 8999 3535 

  • SA NT Datalink

Projects intending to access linked data via SA NT DataLink require a ‘Letter of Feasibility’, signed by the Director of SA NT DataLink, to be submitted with their ethics application.  Please contact:  to request this letter at least six weeks in advance of the ethics application submission date.  

  • Private Pathology Services
    e.g. Western Diagnostics 
  • Other stakeholders as necessary
    e.g. NT Hearing Health, ALPA
  • Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs HREC (DDVA HREC)

    The DDVA HREC (NHMRC Reg no. EC00460) will review research proposals involving human participants where one or more of the following apply:   
    • Research is conducted on Defence members, ex-serving personnel or other Defence personnel, their information or tissue.
    • Participants are to be recruited, either directly or indirectly, through a service provided by Defence or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).
    • Research is conducted by Defence or DVA personnel.
    • Research is conducted on/in a Defence establishment.
    • Research is sponsored, endorsed or funded in any part by Defence or DVA.

Researchers from Menzies and DoH will require DDVA HREC approval in addition to DoH-Menzies HREC approval if conducting research with Veterans or Defence personnel. 

Website: DDVA HREC website