About us

Bellberry Limited is a national, private not-for-profit organisation providing streamlined scientific and ethical review of human research projects across Australia.

Our aim is to promote and improve the welfare of research participants and the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of research.

Bellberry was formed in 2004 following the recognition of a need for a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) to service the valuable human and health research being conducted within the private sector. Bellberry not only reviews clinical drug trials, but also provide review for social science and observational studies.

Bellberry Limited started with one Human Research Ethics Committee offering a monthly meeting to researchers in South Australia. The concept of the private, unaffiliated, non institutional based HREC grew and today Bellberry HRECs are able to provide the same high quality, independent ethics reviews with eight committee’s running 2 meetings each week.

Any surplus funds generated by the activities of the Committees are donated back into the Australian medical research community.

Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committees comply with the strict guidelines for clinical trials as set by the NHMRC and ensure that “all kinds of research involving or impacting on humans conform to the highest standards of ethical practice and academic integrity.”

Bellberry’s NHMRC certified HREC’s are the first of their type within Australia and were recognised in the McKeon review as a Best Practice example. Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) are professionally managed and operate 24/7 through a dedicated electronic portal providing a paperless and secure HREC process.

eProtocol – Online submission of research proposals

Bellberry use eProtocol for the fast, secure online submission of all research proposals. eProtocol enables us to offer a turnaround time of approximately 20 working days, from submission of application to the review decision (this does not include the time the application is back with the investigator). As eProtocol is an online secure web based system we are able to provide eligible participating organisations with view access of the system. This keeps institutions informed about research being conducted in their organisations and by whom. It provides the ability for the organisation to view all communications between the Committee and the Investigator and will assist in relevant record keeping.

Dedicated Bellberry staff provide support at every stage of the application process.

We are continually upgrading and enhancing the eProtocol system to further streamline processes for our users. Please visit eProtocol help for the current User Guide and details of latest system updates.

For further Company information please visit Our Company pages or our Blog for the latest Bellberry news.

Study Review Fees

A fee is charged for providing a review of a research project. The review process starts when the investigator clicks “submit”. The study review fee is therefore committed to at that time.

New Protocols

The study review fee funds the cost of any pre-submission assistance; the initial review; costs of the ongoing review of adverse events; protocol violations; site visits and the monitoring of research progress. Ongoing monitoring of the study is included in the study review fee.

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Guidelines and Resources

The guidelines section is intended to provide you with information to assist you in preparing your submission and complying with the Bellberry requirements. It include’s guidance on preparing your Protocol and Participant Information Sheet & Consent Forms.

Policies, SOP's & Guidelines

This section contains specific Bellberry Policies and Statements of particulars in order to support you with submitting your application.

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The National Approach

The National Approach to Single Ethical Review of Multi-Centre Research (National Approach) aims to reduce the duplication of ethics review and improve timelines for research start-up.

Bellberry Approach

Bellberry has been providing multi-centre ethical reviews since 2005 and recognises the importance of gaining certification under the National Approach. Bellberry has been granted certification of our ethical review processes relating to all eight Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committees A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H.

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