South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation


The mandate of the Ethics Committee
All intramural research conducted by the MRC on humans has to be reviewed by the Ethics Committee. Currently, multi-site and collaborative research also has to be reviewed by the Ethics Committees of any other institutions that are involved, e.g. universities.

The Ethics Committee’s terms of reference are determined by national research ethics guidelines, as documented by the Department of Health in their “Ethics in health research: principles, processes and structures”, second edition, 2015.

Federal wide assurance (FWA) number of the MRC Ethics Committee
The MRC Ethics Committee is registered as an institutional review board (IRB) with the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) of the USA Dept of Health and Human Services; IRB organisation identifier: IRB00001569. The Medical Research Council's unique Assurance Number is FWA00002753, and the unique Organisation Number is IORG0001163 as well as OLAWA5726-01.

Contact details: Ms A Labuschagne
MRC President's Office
Tel: (021) 938-0687
Meeting dates - 2016 & 2017


Closing date for submissions to the Ethics Office Meeting date
1 February 22 February
8 March

29 March  

5 April

26 April

9 May

30 May

7 June

28 June

5 July

26 July     

8 August

29 August

6 September

27 September

4 October

25 October 

7 November

28 November  


Closing date for submissions to the Ethics Office

Meeting date

6 February

27 February

7 March

28 March  

4 April

25 April

8 May

29 May

6 June

27 June

4 July

25 July     

7 August

28 August

5 September

26 September

10 October

31 October 

6 November

27 November 

Please note:

  1. All applications to the Ethics Committee must have gone through scientific review first. Please allow enough time prior to the above submission dates for this review process (typically 3-4 weeks); the process entails identifying reviewers, allowing them enough time to review, responding to their comments, and asking them to approve changes made in response to their reviews. Email protocols for review to Adri Labuschagne's office.
  2. Documents for new applications must be final, i.e. without track changes, and submitted as one unbound hard copy. Responses after meetings, on the other hand, must be submitted with track changes to make it clear to the Committee where changes have been made.
  3. The SAMRC Ethics Committee may review research protocols of non-MRC research. This will be done at a cost of R6000 per application.
Committee members

Prof D du Toit (Chairperson)
Head: Department of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences
Tshwane University of Technology
Tel: (012) 382-6306/082-908-2493

Ms A Labuschagne (Secretariat)
MRC Ethics Office
Tel: (021) 938-0341

Prof DM Kayongo
Director: Regional Training Centre HIV/AIDS
Tel: 047-502-2294 / 082-200-7675

Dr NE Khomo
Retired clinician and MCC member
Tel.: 082-781-5950

Ms N Morar
HIV Prevention Research Unit
MRC Durban Westville
Tel: 031-242-3600 / 082-447-0389

Prof NK Morojele
Deputy Director
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit
MRC Pretoria
Tel: 012-339-8535

Dr Steve Olorunju
Biostatistics Unit
SAMRC Pretoria
Tel: (012) 339 8553 / 072 592 8427

Prof H Oosthuizen
Head: Dept of Criminal and Medical Law
University of the Free State
Tel.: (051) 401-2619

Mr D Rebombo
Agincourt Health Centre
Agincourt Village
Tel: 083 650 4995

Dr Y Sikweyiya
Gender & Health Research Unit
MRC Pretoria
Tel: 012-339-8619 / 076 365 6169

Prof A van Niekerk
Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit
MRC Cape Town
Tel: 021- 938-0399

Submission documents

Supporting documents

Guideline documents (click to view)

The five guideline booklets were produced between 2002-2004 by the MRC. They will not be revised in view of the fact that the National Health Research Ethics Council of the Department of Health has produced research guidelines for the country as listed below. These five booklets are outdated and should only be consulted as background information.

Arrow Book 1 (pdf format, 272 kb)
Guidelines on Ethics in Medical Research: General Principles.
Arrow Book 2 (pdf format, 208 kb)
Guidelines on Ethics in Reproductive Biology and Genetic Research.

Book 3 (pdf format, 250 kb)
Guidelines on Ethics in the Use of Animals in Research.

Arrow Book 4 (pdf format, 119 kb)
Guidelines on Ethics in the Use of Biohazards and Radiation.
Arrow Book 5 (pdf format, 308 kb)
Guidelines on Ethics in HIV Vaccine Trials.


Research Integrity
Ethics Committee for Research on Animals (ECRA) (click to view)

Contact persons: Chairman of the ECRA Prof D. du Toit (012) 318-6265 or Secretary Mrs G Fourie at 021-955 1902 / 021-938 0672

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Last updated:
12 September, 2016
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