Successfully Navigating the BREB / RISe Human Ethics Online

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Transcript Successfully Navigating the BREB / RISe Human Ethics Online

Deirdre Kelly
Workshop, April 20, 2011
Remember to apply for a RISe number (can take
up to 2 weeks to obtain!)
Obtain department letterhead from Roweena for
consent & some other official documents
You must answer items with a red asterisk; if
need be, put N/A (not applicable)
Assume your audience is intelligent and
informed, but not necessarily in your field
◦ Avoid jargon
◦ Define key terms
◦ Spell out acronyms
When in doubt, answer to the best of your ability
& do it in multiple fields in the form
Looking at examples is helpful (I will show
you some in today’s presentation).
Because, however, each study is specific, you
would be wise to request examples from
professors on your committee or fellow
students doing related work who have
recently gotten ethics approval.
It's possible for examples to get out of date,
1.1 – Principal Investigator
◦ Use the name of your research supervisor
◦ If you have co-supervisors, confer with them
◦ All things equal, pick the one with most experience
1.2 - Primary Contact
◦ List yourself if you’re a regular email user
◦ Otherwise, list your research supervisor (the PI)
1.3 – Co-Investigators
◦ List yourself as graduate student
◦ Optional: List other members of your committee
1.7 – Project Title
◦ Be as descriptive & non-evaluative as possible
◦ Avoid clever titles & postmodern slashes
◦ This title will appear on all correspondence and on
consent letters to participants
◦ You do not need to use the same title for your final
1.8 – Nickname
◦ This is a short version for internal use
◦ If need be, you can be clever
2.1.A – Project Period Start Date
◦ Do not list a date that is—or could possibly be—
prior to your approval coming through
2.1.B – Project Period End Date
◦ Consider period of analysis where you might need
to check back with participants
◦ Cannot hurt to put a date closer to your graduation
◦ In other words, do not err on the side of optimism
2.2 – Types of Funds
◦ Not applicable (N/A); students are typically not
funded for particular studies (faculty are)
Does not exist!
4.4.B – Internal Peer Review
◦ Your proposal undergoes internal review by your
supervisory committee; mention this
4.5 – Minimal Risk
◦ “... magnitude of possible harms implied by
participation in the research to be no greater than
those encountered by the subject in those aspects
of his or her everyday life that relate to the
◦ Example: professionals, experts who are being
interviewed for their expertise
◦ Most studies will not qualify as minimal risk
5.2 – Inclusion Criteria
◦ Summarize who will be included
◦ If K-12 students, mention age/s, grade/s
5.3 – Exclusion Criteria
◦ Some examples of responses:
 “Nobody will be excluded” (only if true, of course!)
 “Participants who do not meet the criteria stated in
 “Teachers who have not taught media literacy for at
least three years will not be included.”
5.4 – Method of Recruitment
◦ Consider whether you are in a position of relative
power or authority over participants
◦ If so, explain how potential coercion can be
 Third-party recruitment
 Arrange for participants to submit consent forms in
sealed envelopes at a trustworthy site (e.g., in a
school-based study, in the counsellor’s office)
 Etc. (will very much depend on nature of your study)
6.1 – Time Dedicated to Project
◦ “...beyond that needed for normal care”
 Pre-engagement protocols will vary & might be
considered “normal care”
 Exclude time spent negotiating access & focus on
actual time you anticipate participants will spend in the
interview, filling out questionnaire, etc.
◦ Okay to give a time range
◦ Be sure that the time range listed in field 6.1
matches that given in all supporting documents
(e.g., consent letter)
◦ Goal of the question appears to be “truth in
6.3 – Risks/Harms of the Proposed Research
◦ Consider your social location/s in relation to
participants & the proposed study
◦ Are you recognizing & attending to the
power/authority dynamics?
◦ If potentially traumatic experiences might surface,
describe nature of counselling resources you will
make available
6.4 – Benefits to Participants
◦ A common possible benefit is the opportunity to
reflect on one’s own experiences
◦ Another is to honour or validate the work or
knowledge of participants
6.5 – Reimbursement for Expenses,
Payments, Gifts-in-kind
◦ Err on the side of caution in describing
reimbursement (e.g., describe providing snacks)
◦ Be aware of how reimbursement might be seen at
6.6 – Who Will Explain the Consent & Invite
Participants to Participate?
 1. Who will approach the participant to obtain consent?
 2. Who will inform & take the consent from the participant?
 3. What is the relationship of the person obtaining consent to
the participant?
◦ If doing teacher research in your own classroom, consider
having a trusted adult explain the study to students (your
own students are seen as a “captive audience”)
6.7 – How Long to Decide Whether to Participate?
◦ A few days up to one week is typical
◦ Too little time might be coercive; too much time & people
forget to get back to you
6.8 – Competence to Consent
◦ Tick “No” if students under 19 are involved
◦ Strongly consider an assent form for children &
youth (use age-appropriate language in the form!)
◦ If youth might be harmed by seeking parental
consent, it’s possible to make a case for older
youth to consent on their own behalf (e.g., study
with queer or questioning youth who may fear
asking their parents’ permission; a population
where some might be emancipated minors)
7.1 – External Approvals
7.1.A – Other Institutions [not UBC]
◦ Indicate “yes” if the study is conducted at another
◦ Note: An institution has official letterhead, a chain
of authority, etc.
◦ Note: You are doing research at an institution if you
will recruit, observe, or interview people there
◦ This “external approval” is the same thing as the
ethics approval from that site
7.1- Other relevant information
7.1.B – Add Name/s of Institution/s
◦ Letter of conditional approval : the non-UBC
institution may require UBC BREB to issue a letter of
conditional approval (UBC BREB can do so)
◦ All things equal, make a “concurrent application” to
UBC BREB & the other institution where you will
conduct your study (e.g., Vancouver School Board
and UBC BREB); this is common procedure for big or
complex organizations
◦ This is where you attach agency approval
◦ If you don’t have approval yet, see 7.1.E or 7.1.F
7.1.C & D – Other Jurisdiction or Country
◦ If doing research in a country besides Canada, need
to ALSO go through ethics process at an institution
where you will be carrying out the study (can take
7.1.E - Request for Ethics Approval submitted
◦ Following from 7.1.A, 7.1.C, or both, answer “yes”
or “no”
7.1.F – Explanation if “no” to 7.1.E
◦ A common reason is that the institution or country
does not have a formal ethics approval process;
thus, explain your informal steps to get approval
7.1.G – “Does this research involve aboriginal
communities or organizations; or aboriginals
as an identified subject category?”
◦ Background: colonialism; outsiders “parachuting” in
◦ Need to research the protocol for each Aboriginal
community (e.g., chief  band council  band
school advisory)
◦ Protocols will differ depending on if you are an
“insider” or an “outsider” to the Aboriginal
community or organization
◦ Example of “aboriginals as an identified subject
category”: “Aboriginal academics at UBC”
7.2.A – How Many Participants Enrolled?
◦ List possible total you will interview, collect work
from, observe (e.g., if you will select from a class of
20 and don’t know how many will consent to
participate, consider listing up to 20)
7.3 – Procedures or Methods
◦ The list contains methods that will come under
extra scrutiny. Common ones in EDST are:
 Action research: potential for coercion when
researching own site of practice
 Videotaping: need to protect non-participants
 Focus groups: researcher cannot guarantee that focus
group participants will honour confidentiality
 Ethnography: be specific about focus of observation
7.4 – Who Will Conduct Study & Their
◦ Mention completion of Tri-Council Tutorial
◦ Mention methodology courses, workshops
◦ Mention work experience that involved doing
research (e.g., RA-ship conducting interviews)
◦ Mention any special qualifications relevant to the
study (e.g., speaking the language of participants,
filmmaking, etc.)
8.1 – Security of Data
◦ All things equal, do not keep data & images on the
◦ Google Docs is not secure & is kept on a foreign
8.3 - Protection of Personal Information
◦ Common to assign pseudonyms (fake names)
◦ Possible to get permission to use adult participants’
real names to honour their contributions
 In consent letter offering this choice, add a separate
signature line, stating: “I agree to use my actual full
name in this study”
9.1 – Protocol
◦ Attach your committee-approved research proposal
9.2 – Consent Forms
◦ Check & re-check adherence to BREB guidelines
◦ Inattention to detail here is #1 cause of not getting
approval on the first go-around!
9.5 – Ads to Recruit [Participants]
◦ This might include a flyer, brochure, Internet
9.6 – Questionnaire, Interview Scripts,
Observation Protocol
◦ You only need to submit sample interview
questions (it’s OK if later need to add, cut, edit)
◦ If applicable: Give details about what, who, where,
when you will be observing (observation protocol)
9.7 – Letter of Initial Contact
◦ This would include third-party recruitment letters
9.8.A – Other Documents
◦ This is where to attach agency approvals from other
institutions go (some of these might be already
attached in 7.1.B & 7.1.D)