The Office of Research Services offers a number of resources to researchers (faculty, staff and students) interested in conducting research internationally.
The Office of Research Services will provide assistance to researchers in:
- Preparing international research proposals, seeking funding opportunities for international research projects and linking with international partners
- Memoranda of Understanding with international institutions or organizations (“International MOUs”) which contemplate research activity are drafted, reviewed and approved by the Office of Research. International MOUs which contemplate both research and academic activity (such as exchange of personnel and/or students) are also drafted, reviewed and approved by the Office of Research but will require input and review from the Centre for International Programs. International MOUs which contemplate only academic activity are processed by the Centre for International Programs.
An International Memorandum of Understanding (“International MOU”) is a statement of goodwill between University of Guelph and a foreign academic institution, government organization, or non-governmental organization that demonstrates strong interest from a group within University of Guelph to form a relationship with the foreign institution or organization to generate reciprocal benefits. International MOUs do not normally apply to industrial partners or for-profit entities. Although typically stemming from one particular academic unit, potential benefits for other University of Guelph academic units should also be considered.
- Understanding how Research Ethics requirements are met when research involving human participants is conducted abroad
- Understanding roles and responsibilities regarding the supervision of students and other personnel engaged in research projects in the field (applies to faculty).
Key points for international research
- Requests for funding for international research require University review and approval at the proposal stage. Student scholarships where funds are payable to and managed by students individually (and not payable to/managed by the University) do not require review.
- Researchers (faculty, staff, students) are NOT to sign agreements with international organizations or agencies for their research. Such agreements require review by the Office of Research Services and are signed on behalf of the University by appropriate signing officers.
- All research conducted by University researchers (faculty, staff, students) which involve human participants must receive approval from the Research Ethics Board (REB). Changes to REB protocols – even when they arise in the field – must be submitted to the REB for review. If a change must occur due to time pressures or difficulty in communicating from the field, the REB must be notified as soon as reasonably possible (firstname.lastname@example.org), using a Change Request Form.
Where REB protocols involve travel for international research, the REB notifies the Centre for International Programs by copying Lynne Mitchell (Director) on the receipt of the ethics application. The Centre for International Programs assesses the safety and security situation for the research destination(s) in keeping with the Safe International Travel Policy. Students and advisors are contacted if there are travel restrictions for the research destination(s) as outlined in the Policy.
- Faculty advisors to graduate students have responsibilities outlined in the University’s Graduate Calendar. In particular:
“Advising the student of regulations designed to provide him/her with a safe environment. These include relevant safety and/or workplace regulations as well as policies designed to protect individual rights and freedoms. Alerting the student to any personal risks that may be encountered in the course of the research and providing training, guidance and adequate equipment appropriate for those risks.”
- Faculty advisors are responsible for their students in the field to the extent that they must ensure that they have fully educated their students about the requirements (legal and administrative) for research both in Canada and in the foreign country(ies) to which their students will travel. Students must be made aware that they must follow the requirements – as outlined by their supervisor and pursuant to University policies. Any requests or demands to change these requirements must be referred to the faculty advisor, the Office of Research Services, or the Centre for International Programs.
- Faculty advisors may also have responsibilities as Supervisors under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. These responsibilities include ensuring that those individuals reporting to them are advised of potential or actual dangers to their health and safety and taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstance to protect the workers. These responsibilities are outlined further in the Competent Supervisor and Due Diligence training offered by Environmental Health and Safety.
The Centre for International Programs also provides information related to safe international travel for University activities, including:
- Safe Travel Advisory Service (STAS) for faculty, staff, students
- Safe International Travel Policy for students
- DepartSmart pre-departure orientation for students and/or faculty travelling with students
- Ready, Set, Go! Pre-departure workbook for students – available from the Centre for International Programs or the Campus Book Store
- Conducting Research Abroad tips for students
- Waivers signed by students conducting research abroad are sent out with confirmation of registration in DepartSmart
- Emergency Contact cards include numbers to contact the University and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs in case of difficulty abroad
Environmental Health and Safety provides other relevant resources, including:
All applications must be submitted to the Office of Research accompanied by a completed OR-5 form in order to be processed.