Human participant face-to-face research update

As Ontario moves into a three-step plan for reopening, the Human Participant Face-to-Face Research working group has updated the Frameworks for Phasing-In Human Participant Face-to-Face Research at University of Guelph (On Campus, Off Campus) and the Guidelines for Human participant Face-to-Face Research.

The provincial plan focuses on non-essential workplaces and increased numbers of individuals in public spaces. Within the human face-to-face research enterprise, the University will remain in the conservative ‘red’ zone with updates to vaccination affordances until further notice.

Within this zone, the following guidelines apply:

  • All research activities will comply with Public Health guidelines
  • Human Face-to-Face Research data collection can proceed under the guidelines approved in individual Research Management Plans (RMPs). This includes strict adherence to approved RMPs, and appropriate PPE and mitigation procedures, including enhanced protections for protocols involving exercise. 
  • Participation in a lab activity should include the minimum number of people to perform data collection, following University of Guelph guidelines for capacity, up to a maximum as per Public Health guidelines for indoors spaces.
  • On-campus research can include participants who are already part of the on-campus community such as staff, students and faculty as well as members of the community, when deemed safe to do so*. For on campus recruitment, efforts will be made to recruit participants from the campus community, outside of the immediate study team, where at all possible.
  • Off campus research requiring community participants may proceed with RMP approval by College/Department.
  • As with high-risk RMP applications, the second-tier review committee is available for consultation on exception requests.

*Recruitment can be expanded to community participants if they are single dose vaccinated (+2 weeks and no greater than 16 weeks) or double dose vaccinated.

Research involving populations at higher risk of negative outcomes (described as ‘vulnerable populations’ by the Public Health Agency of Canada) is only being considered for human face-to-face research activities when there is a compelling evidence to do so.

Consideration of exceptional cases to work with higher risk populations can be requested within RMP, provided there are effective protection measures to reduce risk to these individuals (e.g., fully COVID-19 vaccinated).

If you have any questions, please contact:

Katelyn Wadleigh
Manager, Research Ethics

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