In many cases it may be appropriate to use an approved faculty or departmental review procedure for course projects that require students to conduct research involving human participants. Research that involves vulnerable populations, deceit, or that presents more than a minimal risk to the participants must undergo a full review.
- Departmental Review Guidelines
- Currently Approved Departmental Ethics Review Procedures
- Developing a Departmental Review Ethics Procedure
These guidelines are intended to help you determine when a departmental review procedure is appropriate for student research activities.
When projects are part of course content and research skill development approved departmental procedures may be acceptable.
Examples of such projects are:
- Conducting interviews, administering standard tests, circulating questionnaires, and facilitating focus groups
- Actual research projects where students make observations, pose question(s), collect data, formulate conclusions and present findings (for the purpose of developing research skills)
Departmental review procedures are appropriate when:
- “Departmental Approval of Certain Student
A department or faculty with procedures approved by the VIU REB can use its own procedures to approve student research projects, provided these projects:
- are part of a course in the department or faculty, and,
- do not involve deception, and,
- are of ‘minimal risk’ (TCPS, C1).
Student projects so approved have the same status as those approved by the Committee itself.” (VIU Procedure 31.03.001, Section 6.1)
- Research is regarded as ‘minimal risk’. Minimal risk is defined as follows:
“if potential participants can reasonably be expected to regard the probability and magnitude of possible harms implied by participation in the research to be no greater than those encountered by the subject in those aspects of his or her everyday life that relate to the research then the research can be regarded as within the range of minimal risk.” (TCPS, 1998).
Departmental Review Procedures are not appropriate and research therefore requires review by the VIU REB when:
- Research does not meet minimal risk requirements.
- An undergraduate student is carrying out research that is part of a faculty member's own research program.
Faculties or Departments with their own approved Departmental Ethics Review Procedures:
- Health and Human Services
- Media Studies
- Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) (formerly the Department of Physical Education
Overview of the process Involved
- Consult checklist for Creating Departmental Ethics Review Procedures <link>
This checklist is intended to help you ensure your faculty or departmental ethics review procedures include the necessary components. It may be used as a basis from which to build your own procedures. It is not intended to be used on its own as an approved procedure.
- Read relevant resources linked below
- Consult already approved Departmental Ethics Review Procedures above
- Create Procedures
- Submit to VIU REB for approval
Once a Faculty or Departmental Ethics Review Procedure has been formulated and before it is used for student research proposal ethical reviews, it must be submitted to and approved by VIU’s Research Ethics Board.
- Once approval is obtained student research may be reviewed using Departmental Ethics Review Procedures
- Departmental Ethics Review Procedures must be renewed yearly.
The following resources should be considered when developing a Departmental Review Procedure:
- VIU Policy: Policy 31.03 Research Involving Human
- VIU Procedure: Procedure 31.03.001 VIU Research Ethics Board (VIU REB)
- Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Human participants
- The submitting Faculty’s/Department’s own Code of Ethics, such as The Canadian Nurse’s Code of Ethics, American Anthropological Association’s Code of Ethics etc.
- Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving
Humans - TCPS
2: CORE Tutorial
The Tri-Council Policy Statement Tutorial will be helpfull in understanding ethical issues and principles associated with research involving human participants. The tutorial is mandatory for all students who conduct research involving humans. It can be completed in as little as two hours and may be completed in more than one sitting. It is available free of charge at the following link: http://pre.ethics.gc.ca/eng/education/tutorial-didacticiel/. A certificate is provided upon completion.