The Council and Principal Committees of the NHMRC are established under Section 20 and 35 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 (the NHMRC Act) respectively. Under the NHMRC Act the Minister must establish Principal Committees called the Research Committee and the Australian Health Ethics Committee. The Minister may also establish such other Principal Committees the Minister thinks are necessary to assist Council to carry out any of its functions.
For the 2012-15 triennium the Minister for Health, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, deemed that NHMRC would require six Principal Committees (see below) in addition to Council.
Members of Council and the Principal Committees are appointed by the Minister, on a part-time basis, for a period of up to three years. Members are eligible for reappointment. The membership for Council and the Principal Committees for the 2012-15 triennium is a mixture of new members and members that have previously served NHMRC.
The Chair of each Principal Committee, other than the Embryo Research Licensing Committee, must be a member of Council [Sections 35(6) and 35(9) of the NHMRC Act].
Principal committees are appointed under section 41(1) of the NHMRC Act.
The functions of the Principal Committees were published in the Commonwealth Gazette of 28 March 2012.
Expert Advisory Committees
NHMRC also retains expert advisory committees to advise on particular issues. NHMRC has two Expert Committees for the 2012-15 Triennium:
- TSEAC - Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee
- WQAC - Water Quality Advisory Committee
Other Committees and Groups
In addition to the Committees listed above, a number of working committees and reference groups exist to advise NHMRC on issues that arise from time to time. These include:
The NHMRC Committee centre allows registered users to log in and download meeting papers.