The responsible conduct of research at UCT is supported through university-wide and faculty-specific policies, senate-level committees, and faculty-level research ethics committees (RECs):

  • The RECs take responsibility for the review and oversight of research projects that engage with research participants through interactions and/or interventions, and/or use individually identifiable data about living individuals.
  • Their work is shaped by core principles of justice, beneficence, and respect for people.
  • RECs typically require detailed protocol information relating to:
    • the reasonableness and minimisation of risks  
    • the balancing of risks and benefits associated with participation
    • assurance as to the equitable representation of persons, and
    • support for the voluntarism associated with ethics research.
  • RECs also undertake special scrutiny of research that engages with vulnerable populations including, among others:
    • children
    • pregnant women and foetuses
    • prisoners
    • migrants, and
    • people who are cognitively impaired.
  • Faculty-level animal ethics committees provide similar oversight for animal welfare and well-being in research projects ranging from laboratory research to wildlife-field studies.


UCT Guideline for Risk-Based Ethical Review of Research (Human Participants)

Guidelines and recommendations for the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools in research


Senate-level research ethics committees (RECs)

Human Subjects

Animal Subjects

Faculty-level research ethics committees (RECs)

Human subjects

Animal ethics


For more information on research integrity contact the Office of Research Integrity