Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​Research and Internationalisation Development and Support (RIDS)

Health Research Ethics

About the Health Research Ethics Office (HREO)

​The primary purpose of the Health Research Ethics Office is to support Stellenbosch University researchers towards compliance in the protection of human participant safety, rights and welfare in health research.

Functions of this office include the administration of Stellenbosch University's two Health Research Ethics Committees; providing general guidance on meeting local and international health research ethics requirements; and building institutional health research ethics capacity.

Health Research Ethics Committees (HRECs): Ethics Review

Our office manages the systems, administration and operations of Health Research Ethics review. All health research must, in terms of the Health Act No 61.2003 be approved by an accredited research ethics committee, prior to the start of research activities that anticipate interaction with human participants, the use of potentially identifiable personal records, information or tissue specimens, and human progenitor or stem cells.

Stellenbosch University has two Health Research Ethics Committees. The composition and functions of these committees must meet standards laid down in the Department of Health’s Ethics in Health Research: Principles, Structures and Processes, 2015, and requirements specified in the US Federal Wide Assurance. The committees aim to meet these requirements as far as reasonably possible.

Consult Service


We strive to create a service friendly environment where researchers can access support and guidance for all ethical and regulatory aspects of health research. Contact our office to book a consult where you will be provided with one-on-one guidance on getting your research protocol to meet local and international ethics standards.

Health Research Ethics Capacity


Our office develops and participates in selected health research ethics capacity development and training at FMHS and on Stellenbosch campus. Look out for health research ethics sessions in the following workshops and Faculty syllabi:  

  • Masters in Clinical Epidemiology;
  • Pre-doctoral short course;
  • One day research overview workshop;
  • Postgraduate supervision workshop;
  • Research protocol writing workshop;
  • Short course in clinical research;
  • Short Information Sessions on Health Research Ethics