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.

All dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be appropriately authorised, including:

  • conducting experiments with GMOs
  • making, developing, producing or manufacturing GMOs
  • breeding GMOs
  • propagating GMOs
  • using GMOs in the manufacturing of non-GM products
  • growing, raising or culturing GMOs
  • importing GMOs
  • possessing, using, transporting or disposing of GMOs for the purposes of or in the course of any other listed dealings.

Determine the category of your research

Consult the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 to determine which category your work falls under. The authorisation you need depends on the category.

Category Authorisation process
Exempt dealings You must apply to the UQ Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee.
Notifiable low risk dealings (NLRD) You must apply to the UQ Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee.
Licensed dealings not for intentional release (DNIR) You must apply to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) via the UQ Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee. Contact the Biosafety Advisors before you start this type of application.
Licensed dealings for intentional release (DIR) You must apply to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) via the UQ Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee. Contact the Biosafety Advisors before you start this type of application.

Apply to the Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee

If your dealings are:

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. 

To submit an application: 

  1. Follow the relevant procedures and complete any required forms.
  2. Submit your application via the UQSafe-Lab Activity application register (staff login required). If you need more information about the application register, read the UQSafe application guide (PDF, 386.8 KB) or talk to your local safety or compliance contact. 
  3. Applications that do not meet the requirements by the submission deadline will not be submitted to the committee. Visit the IBC page to see meeting dates and submission deadlines.

OGTR guidelines and best practice recommendations constantly evolve, which means that even previously approved applications may require amendments when submitted for renewal.

Any enquiries should be directed to the IBC via biosafety@uq.edu.au rather than direct to the OGTR, as per UQ protocol.

Regulation and policy

For UQ policies, procedures and guidelines, see Biosafety Policies [2.40].

The National Regulatory Scheme for Genetically Modified Organisms includes federal and state legislation. It is administered by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).

See the OGTR website for legislation and guidelines for dealings with GMOs, including:

OGTR guidelines must be followed.

Storage and labelling

The requirements for labelling, record keeping and storage are outlined in the Requirements for the Identification of Genetically Modified Organisms in Storage Guidelines [2.40.07].

Contact the Biosafety Advisors for information about GMO labels.