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Decisions of the ICEHR

Normally the ICEHR arrives at decisions by consensus. However, on the occasion when consensus is not achieved, a formal vote will be held and the decision will be based on majority vote of those present. The Chair votes in the case of a tied decision.

All proposals receiving approval through the expedited review process are presented to the full committee for notification. Proposals not delegated to expedited review will be reviewed at the meeting.

Conflict of Interest

Members shall not be present or otherwise participate in the ICEHR discussions of research with which they are associated as principal or co-researcher, as collaborator, or as supervisor of student research, whether the proposal is from a student, faculty member, or external researcher. Similarly, members shall not be involved in the expedited review of research with which they are associated. Members shall also not participate in the review of any proposal where the researcher is someone with whom they have or have had a close personal or financial relationship. It is expected that any members perceiving any other conflict of interest will declare the conflict and excuse themselves from the review of the relevant proposal.

Decisions / Possible Outcomes of the Review Process

The outcome of the review process will normally be one of the following decisions:

  • Approval without modifications. The research can proceed as proposed for a one-year period, renewable. 
  • Approval with modifications, no report required. Normally this requires minor changes to materials for participants or potential participants. When the ICEHR makes approval contingent on changes to the proposal, it shall provide the researcher with written grounds for the decisions. Once these changes have been made, the research can proceed for a period of one year, renewable.
  • Decision pending submission of additional and/or revised materials, report required. The review is incomplete pending receipt of additional and/or revised information from the researcher required to fulfill the intention of the TCPS. The ICEHR makes suggestions for additions and/or modifications that should bring the research into compliance with TCPS. The research may NOT proceed until a report detailing intended modifications has been received, reviewed and approved by the ICEHR. Once the revised proposal has been approved, the research may proceed for a period of one year, renewable. 
  • No approval, suggestions for re-submission. The research in its present form does not meet TCPS 2 standards, and the ICEHR has provided the researcher with the reasons for this decision and given the researcher an opportunity to reply before making a final decision. The proposal will have to be re-submitted with substantial changes, reviewed, and approved before research can begin. No approval, and none likely. The research cannot be undertaken without violation of some of the provisions of the TCPS 2 and the ICEHR has provided the researcher with the reasons for this decision and given the researcher opportunity to reply before making a final decision. 

Reconsideration of Decisions

Researchers have the right to request, and the ICEHR to provide reconsideration of decisions affecting a research project. Such request shall be made in writing to the Chair of the ICEHR.

When the ICEHR is considering not approving a proposal, it shall provide the researcher with the reasons for the prospective decision and give the researcher an opportunity to reply before making a final decision.

Appeal Process

If you believe that there has been a procedural problem (e.g.., a conflict of interest of one or more of the ICEHR members) in the consideration of your proposal, you can appeal the ICEHR’s decision. Please refer to Memorial University’s Policy on Ethics of Research Involving Human Participants. The decisions of the ICEHR cannot be overridden by the University, except in the case of a successful appeal on procedural grounds.