Research Ethics

Notice from Office of Research Ethics: Protocol Submission DeadlinePlease be advised that given the 20-day turn around time for protocol approvals, protocols received after Friday November 28th, 2014 will not be circulated to the committee until the new year.In addition, protocols received up to and including Friday November 28th, 2014 will be reviewed by the committee; however, committee comments and/or approvals may not be forwarded to the researchers until the first week in January 2015.If you have any questions about this process please contact Wendy Jokhoo at ext. 55201 or at wjokhoo@yorku.ca

York University is committed to the highest standards of integrity in research. All projects involving the use of Human Subjects, Animals and Biohazardous Materials are subject to review by the appropriate University committee. York University has formulated policies for the conduct of research involving all three of these areas. Graduate student research involving human participants which takes place as part of a graduate course or Major Research Project (MRP) is reviewed and approved at the graduate program level. Master’s theses and dissertations are reviewed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Office of Research Ethics, and all such research proposals and informed consent documents must be approved by York University’s Human Research Participants Committee (HPRC) before students may proceed with their research.

Forms

Theses and Dissertations

Please carefully review the procedures that are relevant to your project, and ensure that you submit your research proposal to your graduate program along with the required forms and documents. Submitting all of the required documents, and carefully preparing them, will help ensure the expedient review and approval of your research project by FGS and the HPRC. The review and approval process takes, at minimum, 20 business days from the time of submission to your graduate program.

Graduate Courses

FGS Annual Ethics Report

Appendices

Tri-Council

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Procedures

1. Jurisdiction and Scope

The Faculty of Graduate Studies is governed by the Senate Policy for the Ethics Review Process for Research Involving Human Participants. The Senate Policy for the Ethics Review Process for Research Involving Human Participants states that all University-based research involving human participants, whether funded or non-funded, faculty or student, scholarly, commercial or consultative, is subject to the ethics review process.

Graduate students undertaking graduate courses, major research papers, theses, or dissertations and graduate program faculty members teaching graduate courses or supervising major research papers, theses, or dissertations in which research involving human participants occurs will familiarize themselves with the following:

  1. Senate Policy for the Ethics Review Process for Research Involving Human Participants
  2. SSHRC/NSERC/CIHR Tri-Council Policy Statement Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
  3. Complete the TCPS Tutorial and have the completion certificate placed in their graduate program file

Information relating to these documents can be found at the Office of Research Ethics.

2. Publication Mechanisms

Graduate Programs will distribute a copy of these guidelines to all students and faculty. They may also include the guidelines in Graduate Program Handbooks. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will add the guidelines to the Faculty of Graduate Studies website, and to the Faculty of Graduate Studies calendar.

Students undertaking research with human participants may not begin that research until their proposal has received approval from the appropriate body, as outlined below. Graduate faculty and students are advised to consult the Senate Policy for the Ethics Review Process for Research Involving Human Participants for definitions of “minimal risk,” “human participant,” “research,” and “Principal Investigator.”

3.1 Procedures for Graduate Courses and Major Research Papers Involving Unfunded Minimal Risk Research

Please note: Effective January 2006, course directors of graduate courses have the option of submitting a general course work protocol or requiring each student to complete a TD2 (.pdf). The course work-related protocol (Form: CW1) is designed for instances when all students in a course are conducting research using the same methodology and instrument. At the graduate level, these instances will be less frequent than at the undergraduate level and will most likely be associated with research method courses. In other course work, graduate students will most likely still need to complete a TD2 form, as they develop their own Informed Consent Forms, interview questions, surveys, etc. There is a reporting requirement for this general blanket protocol (Form: CW2)

Prior to conducting their research, students are required to complete the TCPS Tutorial.

3.1.1 Each student will submit the following to the Graduate Program Office:

3.1.2 The York University Graduate Student Human Participants Research Protocol Form (TD2), and the Written Informed Consent Document or the Script for the Verbal Informed Consent Statement will be reviewed by the Graduate Program/Department Ethics Review Committee under an expedited review process (maximum of a 2 week turnaround).

3.1.3 Ethics Review Committees for research conducted in courses and for MRPs must be composed of a minimum of two faculty members who are in an arm’s length position in relation to the research. The Committees may take the form of a standing Program or Department Research Ethics Committee OR, where such committees do not exist, may be composed of the Graduate Program Director (or designate) and one faculty member from the program who is at arm’s length from the research.

3.1.4 For both course work and MRP research, each Graduate Program will retain, for a period of two years following the conduct of the research, a record of the York University Graduate Student Human Participants Research Protocol Form (TD2), and the Written Informed Consent Document or the Script for the Verbal Informed Consent Statement.

3.2 Procedures for graduate courses and Major Research Papers involving research that is not minimum risk or that is funded

3.2.1 Coursework or MRP research involving human participants that does not meet the definition of minimum risk as outlined in the Senate and Tri-council policies must be reviewed by the Human Participants Review Sub-committee (HPRC) of the University.

3.2.2 Coursework or MRP research involving human participants that is funded must be reviewed by the Human Participants Review Sub-committee (HPRC) of the University. The definition of “funded” does not include funding in the form of student OGS scholarships, SSHRC fellowships, NSERC scholarships, or CIHR studentships. These awards are intended to support students through their studies and do not require reports from students on the specific research activities conducted. The definition of “funded” does apply to grants awarded for specific research projects, whether those projects be the student’s own research project or research being conducted as part of a faculty member’s funded research project. Typically, for funded research, granting agencies require reports of the research conducted.

3.2.3 Students whose course work or MRP research is not minimum risk or whose research is funded must submit to their Graduate Program Office:

  1. one copy of the research proposal,
  2. one TD4 form (.pdf) when the research being conducted is part of a faculty member’s funded project OR one copy of a completed appropriate form as instructed by the Office of Research Services.

In order to obtain research clearance from the HPRC of the University, students must contact the Office of Research Services and follow the procedures outlined by that office.

3.3 Procedures for thesis and dissertation research involving human participants that is unfunded and minimum risk

Please note: Prior to conducting their research, students are required to complete the TCPS Tutorial and submit a TCPS tutorial certificate dated within the last two years. Please see below for instructions on updating  an expired TCPS tutorial certificate.

3.3.1 Each student will submit the following to the Faculty of Graduate Studies:

3.3.2 An alternate human participants research protocol form may be used in place of the York University Graduate Student Human Participants Research Protocol Form (TD2), as long as the alternate form includes all of the issues addressed in the York University Graduate Student Human Participants Research Protocol Form (TD2).

3.3.3 Proposals and forms will be reviewed by one of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Associate Deans (Academic or Student Affairs) and the Chair (or Vice-Chair) of the University’s Human Participants Review Committee (HPRC).

3.3.4 Students who have taken the TCPS tutorial more than two years ago are required to provide an updated TCPS tutorial certificate dated within the last two years. Students may provide either of the following: 1) a new certificate generated by a new TCPS tutorial account created with a different email address, 2) a printout of the list of tutorial modules retaken in the original TCPS tutorial account, so long as the list includes the most recent date of completion.

 

3.4 Procedures for thesis and dissertation research that is not minimum risk or that is funded

3.4.1 Thesis and dissertation research that does not meet the definition of minimum risk as outlined in the Senate and Tri-council policies must be reviewed by the Human Participants Review Sub-committee (HPRC) of the University.

3.4.2 Thesis and dissertation research that is funded must be reviewed by the Human Participants Review Sub-committee (HPRC) of the University. The definition of “funded” does not include funding in the form of student OGS scholarships, SSHRC fellowships, NSERC scholarships, or CIHR studentships. These awards are intended to support students through their studies and do not require reports from students on the specific research activities conducted. The definition of “funded” does apply to grants awarded for specific research projects, whether those projects be the student’s own research project or research being conducted as part of a faculty member’s funded research project. Typically, for funded research, granting agencies require reports of the research conducted.

3.4.3 Students whose thesis or dissertation research is not minimum risk or whose research is funded must submit to the Faculty of Graduate Studies one copy of the research proposal, along with the FGS Thesis and Dissertation Proposal Form (TD1) (.pdf) and one Statement of Relationship Between Proposal and an Existing HPRC-Approved Project (TD4) (.pdf) when the research being conducted is part of a faculty member’s funded project.

3.4.4 Students whose thesis or dissertation research is not minimum risk or whose research is funded must submit to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Office the appropriate package and documentation as requested by HPRC along with six additional copies in order to obtain research clearance from the HPRC of the University. Students must contact the Office of Research Services of the University to follow the procedures outlined by that office.

3.4.5 Students who have taken the TCPS tutorial more than two years ago are required to provide an updated TCPS tutorial certificate dated within the last two years. Students may provide either of the following: 1) a new certificate generated by a new TCPS tutorial account created with a different email address, 2) a printout of the list of tutorial modules retaken in the original TCPS tutorial account, so long as the list includes the most recent date of completion.

4. Record keeping

4.1 Annually, each Graduate Program will compile the following:

  •  A listing of all courses in which research was conducted involving human participants
  • A listing of the titles of MRPs involving human participants and the names of students who undertook the MRPs

These listings will cover the period from June 1st to May 31st and will be forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies who will report to HPRC by July 1st. Sample reporting forms are included in Appendix C (.pdf) and Appendix D (.pdf).

4.2 The Faculty of Graduate Studies will forward a list of all Major Research Paper proposals and graduate courses involving research with human participants to the University’s Human Participants Review Committee (HPRC) by July 1st.

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