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 (click to view)


Closing date for submissions for scientific review Closing date for submissions to the Ethics Office Meeting date
16 January 6 February 27 February
14 February 7 March 28 March  
14 March 4 April 25 April
17 April 8 May 29 May
16 May 6 June 27 June
13 June 4 July 25 July
17 July 7 August 28 August
15 August 5 September 26 September
19 September 10 October 31 October 
16 October 6 November 27 November 
  1. When a protocol is submitted for scientific review, it must have an accompanying letter from the applicant’s Unit Director or another senior scientist in the unit, stating that they are satisfied with the protocol.
  2. 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; the deadlines for submission for scientific review are indicated above. These deadlines will be strictly enforced and NO exceptions will be allowed. The scientific 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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 K Moodley (Chairperson)
Centre for Medical Ethics and Law
Stellenbosch University
Tel: 021-938-9600

Ms A Labuschagne (Secretariat)
SAMRC Ethics Office
Tel: (021) 938-0687

Prof L Burgess
TREAD Research cc
Tygerberg Hospital
Tel.: 021-938-5501

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

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

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

Dr L Nair
Desmond Tutu HIV Research Centre
University of Cape Town
Tel.: 021-406-6966

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

Mr D Rebombo
Agincourt Health Centre
Agincourt Village
Tel: 076 411 2665

Dr Y Sikweyiya, Deputy Chairperson
Gender & Health Research Unit
SAMRC Pretoria
Tel: 012-339-8619 / 076 365 6169

Prof Jerome Singh
Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal
4041 Durban
Tel.: 031-260-4473

Guideline documents

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.
Submission documents

Supporting documents

Research Integrity

Ethics Committee for Research on Animals (ECRA)

Contact details of Secretariat: Ms Amanda Sickle, Tel: +27 21 938 0832; Email:

Meeting and Submission dates

Closing date for submissions for scientific review

Closing date for submissions to the Ethics Office

Meeting date

13 April

12 May

30 May

14 July

11 August

29 August  

13 October

10 November

28 November

Email applications for scientific review to

Email applications for submission to

ECRA Members

Prof D du Toit
Head: Dept of Biomedical Science
Faculty of Health Sciences
Tshwane University of Technology
Private Bag X680

012-318 6265
082 908 2493

Ms Erika Vercuiel
National Inspector
Research Ethics Unit
National Council of SPCA’s
PO Box 1320

011-907 3590/1/2/3
079 879 9043

Dr Christo Muller
PO Box 19070

021-938 0824

Prof Barbara Huisamen
Dept Medical Physiology & Biochemistry
Faculty of Medicine
University of Stellenbosch
PO Box 19063

021-938 9252
083 454 8784

Dr Willemien van Wyk
Veterinarian: Kenridge Animal Hospital
Exotic Animal Hospital at Panorama

082 7885 590

Dr Gift Chauke
Director: PUDAC
PO Box 19070

021-938 0369

Ms Heleen van der Westhuizen
Conservation Services
Western Region, Driftsands
MRC Complex
Brentwood Park

082 773 4278

Dr Liana Maree
Lecturer: Dept Medical Bioscience
University of the Western Cape

021-959 2917
083 556 1496

Submission documents

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Last updated:
10 August, 2017
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