The Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (2010), developed during the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity in 2010, foregrounds the importance of adhering to “particular principles and professional responsibilities that are fundamental to the integrity of research wherever it is undertaken”. This requires that all researchers should acknowledge and enact the principles of honesty and accountability and endeavour to display professional courtesy, fairness and good stewardship toward all persons involved in any scientific inquiry.

To this end, the BaSSREC-team is committed to advise and assist you to the best of our ability to comfortably (yet critically) navigate your way through the ethics process. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions relating to your ethics application.

When do you submit an ethics application to BaSSREC?

This ethics committee manages all low and minimal-level research ethics applications from the Faculty of Humanities (excluding the School of Languages) on the three campuses of the NWU that involve non-health research with human participants. Refer to the risk-level descriptors page below for more information.

Please consult the following pages which will guide you through the steps of the ethics application, the documents that you are required to complete and submit and our contact details.

No post facto ethics approval will be granted

In an email dated 11 November 2019, the Deputy Dean, Research and Innovation, professor Mirna Nel, communicated the following information relating to retrospective ethics approval for studies:
Please note that if there are still students and projects where data have been collected but there is no ethics approval (including no and low risk studies) no post facto approval can be given. After 30 January 2020 the study leader and student will have to take responsibility to re-collect data (with ethics approval), as submission of the study for examination will not be allowed otherwise. No exceptions will be made in this regard.

How do you submit your ethics application to BaSSREC?

Please email your full application to Yvette van der Merwe and  submit it on the InfoEd portal (this is a NWU Research Office requirement).

You submit amendments and monitoring reports via email to Yvette van der Merwe.

How does submission via InfoEd work?

Email Mr Nkosinathi Machine to request him to create a link to your unique InfoEd profile:

Include the following details in your email:

  • Your full names and surname
  • Student or staff number
  • Email address
  • School or research focus area/unit your programme/degree is under
  • Title of email: InfoEd Profile Request for Ethics Application

Mr Machine will then create a profile and forward you the log in details.

For the InfoEd website link, click here.

You are also welcome to consult the following presentation to guide you through the InfoEd process. If you experience any problems with InfoEd, please contact Mr Machine.

Steps in the ethics application process

Risk levels

COVID-19 information for researchers

Important documentation and templates to include in your ethics application


Ethics training

As part of your ethics application, the supervisor and primary investigator (e.g. postgraduate student) have to submit proof of Ethics Training. Proof of such training should accompany your ethics application. If you have not completed any ethics training before, you need to choose between the following two options:

Faculty of Humanities Ethics Workshop

Attend any of the scheduled Faculty of Humanities one-day Ethics Workshops scheduled during 2021. You will be introduced to the two indispensable components that will inform your ethics applications:

  • The non-negotiable ethical principles associated with scientific research (e.g. anonymity, confidentiality, privacy, respect, etc.); and
  • The process and documentation associated with your ethics application.

Directly following the one-day workshop, we will forward you a link to an online multiple-choice questionnaire. After you have answered these questions and successful submitted it online, we will issue you with a Certificate of Attendance which you may include as part of your ethics application as proof of training.


TRREE Online Ethics Training

If you are unable to attend any of the above sessions or rather prefer to do so, you may complete the following free online Training and Resources In Research Ethics Evaluation (TRREE) modules:

After the successful completion of each module, you will be provided with four certificates that you have to attach to your ethics application.

Important dates for 2021

Contact persons and submissions

Prof Jacques Rothmann

Chair: Basic and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee (BaSSREC)

018 299 1595


Ms Yvette van der Merwe

Committee administrative coordinator

018 285 2301