If you work with biological material or in areas where work with biological material is being undertaken, you need to be aware of and abide by the relevant legislation, standards, procedures and guidelines that apply to you and the work you're performing. Read the Biosafety Policy [2.40.01] for more information.

Hazardous biological material and potentially infectious microorganisms

You must have approval from the UQ Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee (IBSC) or Biosafety Advisors before you start any work involving hazardous biological material or potentially infectious microorganisms.

Section 5 of the Working with Potentially Hazardous Biologicals Procedures [2.40.15] lists material that is considered hazardous or potentially infectious at UQ and requires approval.

Apply to the Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee

To submit an application: 

  1. Follow the Working with Potentially Hazardous Biologicals Procedures [2.40.15] and complete any required forms.
  2. Email your application to the Biosafety Advisors. They'll assess and approve applications involving standard Risk Group 2 microorganisms, and unscreened or diagnostic specimens. For applications that are considered higher risk, they'll complete an initial assessment and advise if you need to provide more information.

You must finalise your application at least 2 weeks before the next IBSC meeting date to guarantee it will be considered at that meeting.

For new projects, we recommend discussing your application with a Biosafety Advisor or your area's safety manager as soon as possible. You may need to leave time to update your application based on their advice.

Genetically modified organisms

You must have appropriate authorisation for all dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Import, export and transport

You must have required training and permits to import, export or transport biological materials.

Collecting biological material

To take and use native biological material from state land or Queensland waters you must obtain a collection authority from the Queensland Government.

You need appropriate authorisation to access Australian biological resources outside Queensland.

Provide a copy of any collection authorities or permits you obtain to the Biosafety Advisors.

Pest and invasive plants

You must have a permit to work with restricted invasive plants or prohibited invasive plants.

You must apply for a restricted matter permit from the Queensland Government.

Tell the Biosafety Advisors:

  • when you receive the permit
  • if you are contacted by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland about your permit application or inspections related to an existing permit.

Restrictions also apply to the movement of certain plants, soil and related equipment throughout Queensland.

Ethics approval

You need ethics committee approval for research involving people or animals. You need: