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NHMRC has a well-established role in the development of ethical advice for ART. The ART guidelines are used by professional organisations to set standards for the practice of ART. The ART guidelines are primarily intended for ART clinicians, clinic nurses, embryologists, counsellors and administrators, researchers, Human Research Ethics Committees, and governments.
NHMRC is currently working with an expert advisory committee to develop a new online resource for guideline developers that will update its current methodological advice.
We are committed to setting high standards in ethics in health care and research.
Guidelines and tools about assisted reproductive technology; clinical ethics; embryo research, stem cells and human cloning; organ and tissue donation and transplantation; privacy; research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We issue guidelines to support high-quality clinical and research practice. We also help other researchers and clinicians to develop guidelines in their areas of expertise.
NHMRC has responsibility for monitoring compliance and investigating potential non-compliance with the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 (RIHE Act) and the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 (PHCR Act).
Organ and tissue transplantation is an effective and well-established treatment, with the potential to drastically improve the health and life of recipients. However, despite increasing success rates and the broadening of recipient eligibility and organ suitability criteria, the demand for organs and tissues continues to exceed their availability.
The Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 requires that research on human embryos can only be conducted under a licence issued by the NHMRC Embryo Research Licensing Committee. Licensable activities include: some uses of excess assisted reproductive technology embryos; the creation or use of certain other human embryos; research or training involving fertilisation of a human egg by a human sperm, or other activities specified in the legislation.
Licence holders are responsible for ensuring that their organisations comply with licence conditions. Each person who is identified in the licence conditions as an authorised person must be fully informed about the licence and its conditions and the requirements of the legislation and any corresponding state or territory law.
Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) review all research proposals involving human participants to ensure that they are ethically acceptable. There are more than 200 HRECs in research organisations across Australia.
In multi-centre research, it is important that the policies and processes of an institution and its Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) comply with Australian guidelines, but that this requirement does not take time and resources away from researchers.
Multidisciplinary and multi-institution research is often the key to scientific advancement. NHMRC supports collaborative approaches to health and medical research. We facilitate collaborative networks and international research partnerships, and researchers can explore opportunities to work with NHMRC or use our facilities.
Knowledge growth through research underpins improvements in Australia's health and health services. This research can be fundamental or can be applied, directly addressing clinical problems, public and environmental health issues or the provision of health services.