Student Research Ethics Guidelines

Student Research Ethics Officer

The Department of Anthropology encourages students to engage in research, sometimes as part of course-work or their Honours thesis project. To ensure that student research complies with disciplinary ethical standards, students planning substantial research projects involving humans must have their projects approved by the Department of Anthropology’s Student Research Ethics Officer (The Ethics Officer). The Ethics Officer will make his or her evaluation of the proposed research using the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. The Ethics Officer is responsible for maintaining a record of the approval process in the Department of Anthropology office.

The Research Ethics Officer

The Ethics Officer will be a member of the Department of Anthropology elected for a 1 year term. An alternative Ethics Officer will also be elected to review the research applications of students conducting research under the direction of the Ethics Officer.

Research Ethics Officer for 2018-2019: Dr. Jane McMillan

Application Process

Students planning to conduct research involving humans will complete an ** Application to Conduct Research and submit it to the Ethics Officer. Copies of consent forms, questionnaires, interview schedules, or any other relevant material should be attached to the application.

All students completing an Honours thesis project or an advanced major project involving humans must submit an application for approval by the Ethics Officer. In the case of regular course work, whether students must submit an application will be decided by the instructor. For small and low-risk research projects, the instructor may give ethics approval himself or herself. In this case, the instructor should keep a copy of the approved application(s) and any consent forms in his or her office.

** Application form: Application to Conduct Research

** PLEASE NOTE: application must be downloaded to your computer before filling it out. Then rename it with your name at the end before printing or emailing it to faculty members.


Approval process

Primary research done by students must be conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor (e.g., course instructor, thesis supervisor). The faculty advisor should supervise the preparation and submission of the student’s “Application to Conduct Research”. The advisor will read and approve each application prior to its submission to the Ethics Officer. The Ethics Officer will review the application in a timely fashion, normally within one week. If the application is inadequate, the Ethics Officer will return the application to the student for revision and resubmission. Otherwise, the Ethics Officer will approve the application and the student will begin the section of their project involving humans.

Retaining consent forms

In keeping with Tri-Council guidelines, consent forms are to be retained by the faculty advisor (acting as the primary researcher).