All non-essential research activity involving human beings should be suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, projects whose recruitment or data collection involves direct contact with human participants should be suspended until the end of the health emergency period.
Modification requests for a project whose recruitment or data collection involves direct contact may be made by contacting the REB, which will assess the possibilities of such modifications. If you have any questions, contact the Research Ethics Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I continue my research activities for which I received ethics approval?
If compliance with current public heatlh guidelines is not possible, research activities should be suspended until further notice, unless : (1) you are able to conduct the research virtually (with no risk to the health of others and to yourself), or (2) stopping the research poses a significant risk to the health or safety of the participants. For that second case, you must first obtain an authorization from the Chair of the Human Research Ethics Board (email@example.com). Online or phone interviews may continue or be postponed depending on the specific situation and context. All in-person interviews, focus groups, meetings or gatherings related to research activities are suspended, regardless of the number of people involved.
My ethics certificate is about to expire, what should I do?
The Human Research Ethics Board Secretariat will, as usual, send a renewal notice by e-mail the month prior to the expiry date. You will be able to renew your application by replying to the email. The renewal of your ethics certificate does not mean that your research qualifies for the type of research allowed to be conducted during the current emergency situation. However, your record will be up to date to resume your research activities once authorized by the INRS. For ongoing projects (see the question “Can I continue my research activities for which I received ethics approval?“), you must ensure that your ethics certificate is valid.
Is it possible to request modifications to a project that has already been approved by the Ethics board?
It is possible. However, the Human Research Ethics Board will prioritize modification requests related to projects that can be conducted virtually and research projects specifically related to the current emergency situation. The Ethics Board will also prioritize modification requests aimed at switching a project to virtual mode (e.g., conducting interviews by phone or videoconferencing rather than in-person).
Can we file an application for ethics certification for a new project?
The Human Research Ethics Board will only review, until further notice, projects that can be conducted virtually with no risk to the health of others or to yourself, and research projects specifically related to the current emergency situation.
I have questions about research involving humans and ethics certification, who should I contact?
You can contact the Ethics Board by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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