All health research involving human participants must be reviewed and approved by an accredited human research ethics committee prior to the start of any research activities in accordance with the National Health Act No 61.2003. 

It is a legal and institutional requirement for all persons associated with the University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences to obtain appropriate ethical approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee before commencing any research activity involving human participants.


Application forms and templates

New Submissions
  • Application form: Research involving human participants (FHS013 - 30.05.2022)
  • Application form: Undergraduate student research projects (FHS021 - 16.02.2022)
    • Checklist for undergraduate student applications
  • Application form:  Registering databases, registries or repositories (FHS020 - 16.02.2022)
  • Application form: Health-Related Case report or Case Series (FHS035 - 11.07.2023)
  • Application Form: Health Research Using Cell Lines (FHS036_6.11.2023)
  • Application Form: Reciprocal approval of minimal risk research already approved by another South African Research Ethics Committee (FHS037 -11.09.2023)
  • Application form to conduct research at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital [Download]

    • Requirements to conduct research at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital [Download]
    • Form A: Ministerial consent for non-therapeutic research with minors <18 years of age (Form A)
Amendments and Modifications
Continuing review (Annual Progress Reports) and Final Reports
Reporting incidents (adverse events, deviations and so on)
Accessing UCT staff or students for research purposes
  • Research Access to students (DSA 100)
  • Access to UCT Staff for Research Purposes (HR194a and HR194b)

Guidelines and Policies

UCT Research Ethics Policies

National Research Ethics Guidance
International Research Ethics Guidance


Ethics training resources

Online Research Ethics Training

Meeting and Submission dates

Dates for 2023


Fee Structure

Fee Structure
  • Fee Structure


Human Research Ethics FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Research Involving Human Participants

Which forms do I need to complete for human research ethics approval?

Please refer to the Application forms and templates section of this webpage for all latest application forms.

Can I submit to HREC for retrospective review?

No – only prospective review is considered. Therefore, please submit your project for approval before commencing any research activities