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Research Ethics

Research Involving Human Participants

The Senate of York University affirms that researchers must respect the safety, welfare, and dignity of human participants in their research and treat them equally and fairly. The University values the academic freedom of its researchers, and the ethics review process should not be used unfairly to censor researchers who support unorthodox views. However, academic freedom is complemented by the requirement to respect the rights of human participants.

York University acknowledges the need for continuing interpretation and refinement of applicable policies to account for changes in research methods, contexts, and cultures.   It is imperative for researchers to strive for ethical conduct, and the ethical guidelines need to be refined and revised as necessary. Thus, continued awareness and debate of the topic in the research community is essential. The University's principal reference is the Tri-Council ( SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) Policy Statement (TCPS): Ethical Conduct For Research Involving Humans.

York University has formulated policies for conduct of research involving human participants. This policy is intended to serve as joint protection for the researcher, the study participant and the University in order to ensure attention to various rights and responsibilities of the respective parties to the research endeavour. The Human Participants Review Committee (HPRC) is responsible for ensuring that research involving human participants is consistent with the guidelines set by the University.  

"It is the policy of the University that researchers intending to use human subjects must obtain approval of their research protocol by the HPRC before a grant application may be endorsed by the University. "


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Alison Collins-Mrakas
Senior Manager & Policy Advisor
Office of Research Ethics
York Research Tower, Fifth Floor
Tel: 416.736.5914

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