When engaging in primary research involving human subjects (i.e. research involving the collection of primary or original data, such as observations and materials), researchers are subject to additional requirements for review.
Note: Some classes may already have undergone ethics reviews and received approval to proceed with the research process. Your instructor will make this known beforehand if this is the case. When class ethics approval is given, it is specific to a narrow scope of research methodologies. Students completing projects that do not adhere to the class-based research plan may still be subject to individual research review.
The types of research that requires additional review includes most forms of participant observation, as well as any interviews, surveys, focus groups, participatory research, etc. The purpose of this type of review is to ensure that all steps that can be taken to reduce risk (both physical and mental) to subjects and researchers that may result from the research process are taken.
The research ethics approval process requires student researchers to clearly articulate the objectives and methodologies of their research ahead of time. The process of identifying these steps can be incredibly valuable in helping a student organize their project efficiently. Though it is important to note that a research project may not be able to proceed prior to ethical review and approval.
Student researchers will need to familiarize themselves with the Human Research Ethics Handbook, as well as the processes of review. More information on these and other resources can be found from the UFV Research Ethics office.
- Timeline: Students applying for a research review will need to budget a minimum of two weeks for review (though three weeks is encouraged). Often, the initial application for review will require some revision prior to approval, and this two-week or more window allows time for this revision.
- Forms: Forms can be found on the UFV Research Ethics site. Talk with your faculty supervisor for assistance in completing the forms.
- Faculty Pre-Review: Once a student application for ethical review is completed, submit this to your faculty advisor or instructor for final review, and then submit it to the Chair of the Departmental Research Ethics Committee (DREC).
Research involving children automatically requires review by the full institutional Human Research Ethics Board (HREB). Allow 3-4 weeks for review and approval.