Research ethics

Health Research Ethics Board/Health Research Ethics Authority

How is the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) affected?

The Research Ethics Office is currently open and its operations are continuing as usual. Staff are working remotely, which is facilitated by online platforms (ROMEO/Researcher Portal and VPN access). All REO staff will continue to be accessible via email and phone.

How are the HREB meetings affected?

In an effort to minimize in-person interactions and practise social distancing, the HREB meetings will be held electronically until further notice. To accommodate these meetings, we are asking all HREB members to utilize the Researcher Portal to its full capacity.

What is the process as it relates to applications with the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB)

For research – new or ongoing – requiring approval from the HREB, following approval process described here, prior to resuming their research, researchers must follow Memorial’s COVID-19 Research Working Group (CRWG) Framework for a Phased Approach to Returning to On-Campus Research Spaces, Fieldwork and Face-to-Face Interactions with Research Participants process and go back to the HREB in the event that there are subsequent changes to the research protocol as a result of the Environmental Health and Safety or decanal approval. For all research requiring ethics clearance, researchers must ensure that such permissions and ethics clearances, or amended protocols/clearances, are linked or uploaded in ROMEO. You can learn more by reading this Sept. 28, 2020, update from the vice-president (research) regarding research activities.

Who should I contact if I have questions for the HREB?

If you require any assistance, please contact info@hrea.ca.


Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research and Grenfell Campus Research Ethics Board

How are the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) and the Grenfell Campus Research Ethics Board (GC-REB) affected?

ICEHR and GC-REB staff are doing their best to continue ethics review processing during the pandemic and reviewers are continuing to provide their reviews for new ethics applications that are submitted. Please be patient and expect longer wait times, as ICEHR and GC-REB staff are working remotely from home, facilitated by online platforms (ROMEO/Researcher Portal and VPN access). 

How are the ICEHR and GC-REB meetings affected?

As usual, submission and review of ethics applications is ongoing via the Researcher Portal, rather than in committee meetings. New ICEHR applications are assigned to a delegated review team of three members for assessment of risk, and feedback to the ethics officer and the chair of ICEHR within 10-12 days. Review of research judged to be above minimal risk and subject to full review by the entire committee may be delayed depending on availability of members to attend a meeting remotely.

In an effort to minimize in-person interactions and practice social distancing, the GC-REB meetings will be held electronically until further notice. To accommodate these meetings, we are asking all GC-REB members to utilize the Researcher Portal to its full capacity. 

Will new research be approved by ICEHR and GC-REB?

Prior to resumption of research activities, under level 2 of Memorial's COVID-19 Research Working Group (CRWG) Framework, researchers must first complete the relevant request forms, which include an activity-specific COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan that details the measures to be put in place within research spaces under the control of the principal investigator, submit the forms to their dean or school head, and subsequently provide a copy of the request forms and approvals to ICEHR. Access the Face-to-Face Interactions with Research Participants Request Form here; the Fieldwork Request Form here; and the On-Campus Research Request Form here. ICEHR reminds researchers that the CRWG Framework stipulates that research that can be carried out remotely will continue to be done remotely; and researchers are asked to request to carry out on-campus research activity, fieldwork, or face-to-face interactions with research participants only if absolutely necessary. Learn more by reading this Sept. 28, 2020, update from the vice-president (research) regarding research activities, as well as this Nov. 24, 2020, update.

My ICEHR or GC-REB approved research activities were supposed to include in-person interactions. What should I do now?

Researchers with approved ICEHR protocols involving in-person, fieldwork, and/or on-campus research cannot resume research activities until they obtain approval from (1) the dean or school head and (2) Environmental Health and Safety (or the campus equivalent) using the relevant request forms (access the Face-to-Face Interactions with Research Participants Request Form here; the Fieldwork Request Form here; and the On-Campus Research Request Form here) and subsequently submit a copy of the request forms and approvals to ICEHR using the ICEHR - Post-Approval Document Submission form via the Applications: Post-Review link in the Researcher Portal. Otherwise, researchers with approved ICEHR protocols involving in-person, fieldwork, and/or on-campus research must either modify their recruitment and data collection to use remote rather than in-person methods, or suspend the activity until in-person research is permitted to resume. Researchers who opt to replace in-person interactions with remote communication must first submit an ICEHR amendment request, to be reviewed and approved before proceeding.

Likewise, researchers who have submitted new ICEHR applications or amendment requests for revised protocols involving in-person, fieldwork, and/or on-campus research will not receive ICEHR approval until they obtain approval from (1) the dean or school head and (2) Environmental Health and Safety (or the campus equivalent) using the relevant request forms noted above, and a copy of the request forms and approvals is provided to ICEHR.

ICEHR reminds researchers that Memorial's CRWG Framework stipulates that research that can be carried out remotely will continue to be done remotely; and researchers are asked to only request to carry out on-campus research activity, fieldwork, or face-to-face interactions with research participants if absolutely necessary.

Who should I contact if I have questions for ICEHR or GC-REB?

Contact ICEHR staff via email at icehr@mun.ca or leave a voicemail for Ethics Officer Theresa Heath at 709-864-2861.

GC-REB staff member Lan Ma is accessible via email at gcethics@grenfell.mun.ca and phone at 709-639-7596. 


Indigenous Research

How can I continue or start my research with Indigenous Groups?

Memorial has had requests related to resumption of Research Impacting Indigenous Groups. Where research impacts on Indigenous groups, the resumption of any on-campus research, fieldwork or research – new or ongoing – involving face-to-face interactions with research participants must, in addition to the required Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) or Health Research Ethics Authority (HREA approval), also have permission from the appropriate Indigenous group/s as a condition of approval to resume research, including documentation of consent to resume research activities within already-existing research approvals. Please contact Indigenousresearch@mun.ca to provide documentation of appropriate permissions, or seek advice as needed. For all research requiring ethics clearance or Indigenous group permission, researchers must ensure that such permissions and ethics clearances, or amended protocols/clearances, are linked or uploaded in ROMEO. You can learn more by reading this Sept. 28, 2020, update from the vice-president (research) regarding research activities as well as this Nov. 24, 2020, update.

Contact

COVID-19

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000