I’m a Researcher

A complete resource for Researchers and Investigators

Welcome to Bellberry!

Bellberry HRECs provide high quality, independent ethics reviews. With eight committee meetings held every month we are able to offer an approximate turnaround time of 20 working days from submission of application to review decision. Dedicated staff provide support at every stage of the process.

In 2009 as part of Bellberry’s commitment to continual business and quality improvement, we implemented an online submission system called eProtocol. eProtocol provides a common tool for principal investigators and research staff to prepare, submit, review, and communicate about research protocols.

Bellberry provide review for social science and observational studies as well as clinical drug trials.

Why Come to Bellberry for independent ethical review?

Bellberry’s Committees have reviewed well over 1,000 studies since its beginnings in 2004 including approximately a third of all clinical studies registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration in recent years. Bellberry Committees are able to review all phases of clinical drug trials and social science studies. They currently review on average 38 studies per month (2018/19). With over 100 Committee members throughout Australia and a pool of experts supporting our Committees, we are well placed to provide in depth and robust review of research studies.

Our focus in the HREC review process is on Quality and Timeliness of Review, and our turnaround time is 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). Bellberry was recognised by the 2012 McKeon Review as “setting the benchmark” for Australian HREC review services.

Also see Bellberry Benefits

To access the eProtocol system you will require a user name and password.  Visit our eProtocol Guidance page for further help and information.

Visit our Guidance & Resources pages for information to assist you in preparing your submission and complying with the Bellberry requirements.

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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The Medicines Australia Standard form of Indemnity and HREC Review Only form of Indemnity can both be found at the Medicines Australia website along with the Clinical Trials Compensation Guidelines.

Bellberry does not require the submission of Standard Indemnities. Researchers and Sponsors can find information on Bellberry’s requirements for HREC Only Indemnities in BA G15 Insurance and indemnities

Our HREC Committee meetings are usually held on a Wednesday. A Principal Investigator can expect to receive comments detailing the committee’s deliberations two business days following the HREC meeting. Comments are provided via eProtocol.

Refer to BA G1 Submission requirements and responsibilities

When you register for eProtocol for the first time you will be asked to enter a user ID. We recommend that for your unique user ID you use your surname followed by your first name initial, for example SmithJ.

Refer to BA G2 Registrations Guidance