Research ethics review is geared at protecting participants by minimizing the harms or risk to which they are exposed during research activities.
What exactly is "research"?
The University of Alberta has adopted the standards of the Tri-council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (2010), which defines research as:
"an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation."
When is ethics review required?
Approval from a University administered ethics board is required for any research that is:
- conducted by the staff or students of the University, and/or
- involves the facilities or resources of the above institutions, and/or
- involves human participants, and/or
- involves any research, teaching or testing using animals.
Failure to obtain and maintain ethics approval is noncompliance, which will result in an allegation of misconduct under the Research and Scholarship Integrity Policy, and the immediate suspension of access to funds.
Ultimately the Research Ethics Office makes the final determination as to whether or not ethics review is required for a study; if there are any questions about whether or not review is required, please contact REO before commencing your research.