The Human Research Ethics Committees of the Northern Territory described here are registered with the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and operate in accordance with the NHMRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007).
1. Department of Health and Menzies School of Health Research HREC (NT HREC) (NHMRC Reg no. EC00153) 

The NT HREC is registered with the NHMRC and certified for multi-site review.

The NT HREC will review all research applications from:

  • Staff and students from the Menzies School of Health Research regardless of where that research will take place or where the researcher is based (mandatory review).
  • Staff and students from NT Health who will be conducting their research in the northern regions of the Northern Territory, including the service areas Top End, Big Rivers and East Arnhem Regional Health Service (TERHS) including Top End Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Services, Top End Population and Primary Health Care, Centre for Disease Control.
  • Any researcher, including those who have already obtained approval from another HREC, who will be accessing NT Health sites, staff, service provision and/or data, or NT-wide health data.
  • Researchers from any other institution or organisation who will be conducting their human research in any field in the Northern Territory and who require local ethics clearance including those who have already obtained approval from another HREC. (This does not include staff and students of CDU – see below.)
  • Clinical trials being undertaken at any site in the NT
  • Projects accessing NT-wide existing data.
  • If specific regional risks are identified, further review may be required by CAHREC.

National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) Scheme for single ethical review

  • The Northern Territory has agreed to be part of the NMA.
  • The NT HREC has been certified for multi-site review and may accept the review and approval granted by another NMA certified HREC when the application conforms with NT requirements.
  • More information regarding the NMA process.


The NT HREC consists of a main committee and several sub-committees:

  • Qualitative Ethics Sub-Committee advises the main committee on issues relating to qualitative research methodology
  • Aboriginal Ethics Sub-Committee advises the main committee on issues relating to research specifically involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Fast-Track sub-committee reviews lower risk studies and more complex variations.
  • Audit sub-committee reviews low risk clinical audits and case studies.
NT HREC contact details:
2. Central Australian HREC (CAHREC)
(NHMRC Reg no. EC00155)

The Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee (CAHREC) is a Committee of the NT Department of Health and the Centre for Remote Health. Ethics clearance should be sought from CAHREC for research being undertaken in areas of the Northern Territory that are approximately east and west of Tennant Creek, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, parts of the Barkly region, and south to the SA-NT border.

For clinical trials and other projects accessing NT-wide existing data, application need only be made to NT HREC, unless specific regional risks are identified.

CAHREC contact details:
3. Charles Darwin University HREC (CDU HREC)
(NHMRC Reg no. EC00154)

CDU HREC will generally review projects from staff and students of CDU and their collaborators. Occasionally it may be necessary for a researcher to obtain CDU ethics clearance as well as from the NT HREC e.g. a CDU student accessing health department data; or a Menzies student enrolled through CDU.

Instructions for CDU reciprocal approval can be found on the CDU Ethics website. The application will be processed as a reciprocal application with executive review but will not hold up the project, i.e. the student can start data collection once granted NT HREC clearance ahead of being approved by the CDU HREC.

CDU also has an Animal Research Ethics Committee.

CDU HREC contact details: