How the Office of Research Ethics can help in the context of COVID-19

by Wendy Bond, Office of Research Ethics

COVID-19 has introduced new challenges for researchers. In many cases, research projects and protocols will need to be re-conceptualized and/or amended if researchers are to continue their projects in the coming months. Fortunately, the Office of Research Ethics (ORE) remains fully operational during the COVID-19 restrictions and is able to provide research ethics consultations for graduate students and their advisors.

Behavioural Research Ethics staff hold drop-in sessions at the Research Commons (Koerner Library) every Wednesday, and will resume once campus reopens. In the meantime, here are some tools and resources that will help researchers get started and keep going:

  • If you have questions about the review and approval of ethics applications and amendments during the COVID-19 restrictions, go to Guidance for Behavioural Studies during the Restrictions. This page will continue to provide the most current information.
  • If you or your student is new to submitting ethics applications in RISe, start here.
  • If you don’t understand the changes requested by the BREB, additional guidance (by section) is available  and links are provided to external resources. To search by key word, first select <open all>. If you are still unsure, please feel free to contact a staff member by email.
  • Some projects – such as quality assurance/improvement and program evaluations – may not require ethics review. Use this checklist if you are unsure about the requirements for your student’s project.
  • More topics are covered on the BREB guidance page (educational scholarship; informed consent; when to use the shortened ethics application forms; how to request early release of funds; how to change the PI).

Coming soon:

  • Guidance on ensuring inclusivity in research (considerations on gender and ethnicity)
  • Updated resources for consent and assent
  • Detailed guidance on conducting research in schools

Have questions or suggestions for the research ethics team? Would you like to receive occasional newsletters on Behavioural research ethics topics? Please contact | 604-822-4581.