In this course, you will be conducting research with human participants. It is therefore required that you become familiar with human research ethics and the ethics review process here at the University of Guelph. Please ensure that you attend the guest lecture on the ethics submission process on January 25th to be given by Ms. Sandra Auld, Research Ethics Coordinator for the University of Guelph. Also, please visit the following link for more information and the form that your group will be required to fill out (Form B) http://www.uoguelph.ca/research/humanParticipants/classProjects.shtml
Before you can begin your research project, you will be required to submit an ethics form (one per group) to your instructor for review. Please be sure to include all related materials (consent form, materials, script/protocol, debriefing form). Only when you have been granted clearance by your instructor can the project go forward. After your group submits its ethics form, your instructor will either approve it "as is," or he will have questions and/or required changes. If this occurs, you must resubmit a complete ethics form (with all related materials) with a cover letter indicating how you have dealt with the queries and/or required changes. EVERY ETHICS SUBMISSION MUST BE COMPLETE WITH THE SIGNATURES OF ALL GROUP MEMBERS. This is required because your instructor will be sending all complete and approved ethics forms to the Office of Research.
Ethical Considerations Your Research Project
a) The research participants must be drawn from the general adult population, capable of giving free and informed consent and may not include vulnerable participants such as children; persons who are not legally competent to consent; mentally incompetent persons; legal wards or persons dependent upon the researcher(s) for therapeutic care.
b) The student projects must not involve any personal, sensitive or incriminating topics or questions which could place participants at risk.
c) The student projects must not manipulate behaviour of participants beyond the range of “normal” classroom activity or daily life.
d) The student projects must not involve any physically invasive contact with the research participants.
e) The student projects must not involve deception.
Important Tips for Filling Out Your Ethics Form
1. The consent form must appear on letterhead. That is, the consent form must have the University of Guelph logo. Please go here to get it.
2. Please visit here for a sample consent form that you can adapt to your own purposes.
3. When discussing any (necessarily minimal) risks, indicate how those risks will be mitigated. In particular, consider the possibility of psychological and social risk.
4. Also when discussing any risks, indicate why alternate procedures, of even lower risk, cannot be used.
5. Remember that anonymity means that participant withdrawal cannot occur subsequent to the time of data collection.
6. Do not ask about illegal activity.
7. Remember to include all materials (consent form, questionnaire, scripts/protocols, debriefing) in all of your ethics submissions.