All Faculty of Health Sciences research staff, postdoctoral fellows and students who wish to conduct research and teaching activities involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, as well as potentially hazardous biological agents, including but not limited to pathogens, must get approval from the Faculty Biosafety Committee before commencement.
Application forms and templates
- Use this form for requesting biosafety approval for research or teaching involving the use of biological hazards eg recombinant DNA, pathogens, GMOs Application form Faculty Biosafety Committee
Amendments and Modifications
- Protocol amendment form - use this form when making changes to study related procedures
- Staff amendment form - use this form when making amendments to study staff/personnel eg removing or adding a student to an approved project.
Continuing review (Annual Progress Reports) and Final Reports
- Use this form to submit annual progress reports to the FBC Annual Progress Report
Guidelines and Policies
UCT Biosafety Policy
National Regulations and Guidelines
Meeting and Submission dates
Dates for 2023
The submission dates for 2023 are as follows: LINK
Protocols should be submitted as early as possible BEFORE the submission date.
Please only use the latest forms available here. Older versions of the forms will not be accepted.
Currently there are no fees payable for faculty biosafety review administration
Faculty Biosafety FAQs
Why do I need Biosafety (FBC) approval?
It is UCT’s institutional policy that all research involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs), recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules and potentially hazardous biological agents (pHBAs) must be approved by the F/IBC.
Can I commence research involving recombinant DNA and potentially hazardous biological agents before getting FBC approval?
No. All research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules or pHBAs must be approved by the F/IBC before work can be initiated. Note that F/IBC approval cannot be given retrospectively.
I already have human ethics approval, can I start my research without FBC approval?
No. If your work involves potential biological hazards e.g. recombinant DNA, GMOs or infectious pathogens, you can only commence your research after FBC approval, in addition to other required approvals such as HREC (for human research) or AEC (for animal research).
What forms should I complete for biosafety approval?
Please refer to the Application forms and templates section of this webpage for all latest FBC application forms.
Can I submit my protocol directly to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)?
No. All IBC applications must be submitted to the FBC; where required, applications will be escalated to the IBC for final review and approval (see Table 2 in IBC Policy Document for guidance)
Do I still need to submit to the FBC if I already have HREC and/or AEC approval?
Yes. If your research involves GMOs, or recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules and pHBAs, it will require FBC approval. Please do not commence any work without FBC approval as this constitutes noncompliance/research misconduct which can lead to disciplinary measures.
Can I submit a protocol to the FBC for retrospective review?
No – FBC can only give prospective review before any work commences. Therefore, please use a project start date that will accommodate the F/IBC review timeline.
Do I still need approvals from regulatory agencies if I have FBC approval?
Yes, having FBC approval does not exempt you from other required regulatory approvals. It is recommended that you submit your FBC application prior to, or concurrent with your DAFF Section 20 permit applications, if your research protocol involves animals, respectively. Please refer to their webpage for the required paperwork.
Can I make changes to my project post FBC approval?
Yes – any amendment to an approved protocol requires approval by the FBC. Please submit your changes via the latest amendment application form found on this page.