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When Is Ethics Review Required?
All research involving human participants is considered research subject to review. The Principal Investigator (researcher) of any research project involving human participants:
- MUST have a protocol that describes how the researcher(s) will interact with the human participants; and
- MUST have that protocol reviewed and approved by the appropriate Research Ethics Committee before the research commences; and
- MUST obtain informed consent from ALL research participants. For minor age participants (Those under the age of 16 for minimal risk research), both parental consent and participant assent is required.
All undergraduate and graduate student researchers must complete the TCPS tutorial to establish that they have completed the necessary education component and attach their certificate of completion to their protocols. Protocols will not be accepted for review unless a valid TCPS tutorial certificate is attached.
NOTE: Failure to obtain ethics approval prior to the commencement of Research Activities is considered both a breach of Senate Policy as well as research misconduct. All such instances of non-compliance will be addressed by the appropriate institutional office.
Graduate, Undergraduate courses; Undergraduate theses, Independent projects and Graduate MRPs
All research involving human participants for graduate and undergraduate courses; Undergraduate theses, Independent projects and Graduate Major Research Papers (MRPs) that is non-funded and minimal-risk must be reviewed by the relevant unit level Delegated Ethics Review Committee. Research subject to review includes, but is not limited to: surveys, questionnaires, interviews, participant observation and secondary data analysis.
For the purposes of research ethics review, “minimal risk” research is defined by the TCPS as research in which the probability and magnitude of possible harms implied by participation in the research is no greater than those encountered by participants in those aspects of their everyday life that relate to the research.
NOTE: Research conducted by students that is more than minimal risk and /or involves Aboriginal/Indigenous peoples and/or involves clinical trials, must be reviewed by the Human Participants Review Committee (HPRC). For these types of research, students are required to complete the HPRC protocol form. Please contact the Office of Research Ethics (ORE) at email@example.com for further information.
For more information on ethics review requirements for Graduate and Undergraduate course-related research and MRPS, please go to, “Ethics Review Requirements" for Course-Related Research by Students. For further information and/or access to forms, guidelines, and other resources, please go to Faculty of Graduate Studies Research Ethics.
Theses, Dissertations and Pilot Projects Involving Human Participants
Graduate students conducting research for the purposes of completing a graduate thesis or dissertation are subject to review by a delegated ethics review committee comprised of the Associate Dean(s), Research, Faculty of Graduate studies and the Chair/Vice-Chair HPRC. Where delegated reviewers decide that a protocol should not be approved, the protocol will be referred to the HPRC for full board review.
All graduate student researchers must complete the TCPS tutorial to establish that they have completed the necessary education component and attach their certificate of completion to their protocols. Protocols will not be accepted for review unless a valid TCPS tutorial certificate is attached.
For graduate student research involving human participants for the purposes of completing a thesis, dissertation or pilot projects, please go to Faculty of Graduate Studies Research Ethics for further information and/or access to forms, guidelines, and other resources.