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IPDR Office

Institutional and Pedagogical Development and Research

IPDR Office

Research Ethics Screening Tool

This tool will be used by the PSI Office and the REB Chairperson to determine whether a research project requires review by the Research Ethics Board, and whether it requires full review or may undergo a Delegated Review.

1. If the answer to any of the following questions is YES, the project should go to the REB for review (full or delegated).

a) Does data collection involve human subjects or identifiable data previously gathered from human subjects?

b) Does data collection have a purpose besides individual self-improvement?

c) Does the project require ethics review at Vanier as part of its funding arrangements? (CHSRC, NSERC, SSHRC etc)

d) Does the project impose any additional burdens or require any additional time or effort from participants than they would normally experience during their educational/employment experiences at Vanier?

e) Does the project require the disclosure of any information about participants that would normally not be accessible to the researchers, or normally not be used for this purpose?

f) Data collection for the purposes of Program Evaluation, Formative or Summative Evaluation of teachers by departments or deans, course evaluations and data requested by MELS are not subject to REB review.

g) There are exceptions to review procedures for data collection as a class activity. See the guidelines for teachers (insert link here).

2. If the answer to any of the following questions is YES, the project must go to the REB for full review.

a) Does the data collection involve any physical, medical or clinical procedures, tests or treatments?

b) Does the data collection require deception or intended incomplete disclosure of the nature of the study?

c) Is there any potential conflict of interest involving the researchers, college or funding agencies?

d) Does the research involve any questions or procedures that might cause participants psychological distress, discomfort or anxiety beyond what a reasonable person might expect in day-to-day interactions?

3. If the answer to any of the following questions is YES, the REB Chair must assess the level of risk to participants. If the risk is judged to be greater than ‘minimal’, the project should go full review.

a) If there were a breach of confidentiality, could the information gathered place participants at risk of legal liability, or damage to educational standing, financial standing, employability, or reputation?

• Assess risk of breach of confidentiality.
• Assess level of potential damage.

b) Does the research involve questions about sensitive issues such as sexual practices or orientation, illegal behavior, stigmatizing conditions or diagnoses, religious or cultural beliefs or practices that might be sensitive or controversial?

c) Does the research involve vulnerable populations (other than Vanier students who may be under the age of 18, but are old enough to consent to their own participation in research). Vulnerable research participants are those persons who are relatively or absolutely incapable of protecting their own interests. This definition usually includes;

• Children (under the age of 14)
• Prisoners
• Comatose patients
• People of limited mental/cognitive capacity (may also include people whose capacity to consent may be questionable)
• People with severe psychiatric disorders or neurological conditions
• People with severe substance abuse
• Terminally ill people
• Other institutionalized people (ie hospitals, care homes, old-age homes)

d) Is there any power relationship between the researcher(s) and the participants?

e) Is there collection of identifiable data such as voice, video, digital or image recordings?

f) Is there collection of other types of data that may allow identification of participants by the researchers (ie psychological tests, interviews or focus groups, observations of public behavior in which participants may be identifiable)?

Any REB board member carrying out a Delegated Review (including the Chair) may request that the project go to full review at any time, if potential moderate or high risk becomes apparent, or there are other significant concerns (relating to conflict of interest, quality of research, etc).

A project having already been reviewed for research ethics by another institution (research institute, university, etc) is not automatically granted a Delegated review; it must meet the same conditions as any other project.

A project that is flagged during a Delegated Review as requiring change greater than ‘minimal’ (for ethical reasons) in order to receive REB approval must be sent for full review.

Material adapted from ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool 2010