Research Ethics

Researchers contribute to human welfare by acquiring knowledge and applying it to human problems. They simultaneously consider two types of obligations in the design and conduct of research. One of these obligations is to conduct research as capably as their knowledge permits, and another is to protect the dignity and preserve the well being of human research participants.

Who is required to obtain ethics approval for research?

All persons who intend to conduct research involving human participants or using human remains, cadavers, tissues, biological fluids, embryos/fetuses, or records not in the public domain must have their plans reviewed and approved prior to the commencement of the research. Examples of items that must receive ethics clearance are: research by faculty, staff and students in the above categories; student class project involving human participants; projects involving remains or records not in the public domain.

All members of the University community must receive research ethics approval before any research with human participants takes place.

Honours Students completing theses for the Honours Program

Honours students are directed to consult closely with their supervisors during the preparation of their ethics statements, as well as the relevant proposals.

Research conducted by students as part of a course requirement must receive research ethics approvals. Although course instructors can apply to the Arts, Sciences, Law Research Ethics Board on behalf of all students enrolled in the course, in the case of unique student projects such as honours theses, it is likely that an individual ethics proposal will need to be filed.

Research Ethics Office