Research ethics

All research involving human participants requires review and approval by Yukon University’s Research Ethics Board prior to beginning the research. More details in the summary Understanding Research Ethics Review Requirements

To ensure that research involving human subjects is carried out in an ethical manner, the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) requires that all eligible academic institutions establish a Research Ethics Board (REB) to review and approve research involving humans.

The Yukon University REB includes staff, faculty, and community members. The REB meets monthly to review research conducted or administered at or by members of the University.

Yukon University Research Ethics Board (REB) is Seeking a Community Member!

Yukon University (YukonU) is committed to the responsible and ethical conduct of research. All research involving human participants that is carried out by, funded by, or otherwise under the auspices of Yukon University, must receive ethics clearance by the Research Ethics Board (REB) prior to the start of the research. 

YukonU’s Research Ethics Board (REB) invites applications for a community member. This is a two-year term with possibility for renewal for an additional term. Community members on the REB should not be affiliated with Yukon University.  This member is essential to help broaden the perspective of the REB. This opportunity provides opportunities for professional development, mentorship and networking. More details about this volunteer position here or contact the Research Ethics Coordinator (vwalker@yukonu.ca) or REB Co-Chairs, Eric Hoogstraten (ehoogstraten@yukonu.ca) and Dawn Macdonald (dmacdonald@yukonu.ca). Please forward your expressions of interest with CV or resume to vwalker@yukonu.ca.

Overview

The REB provides Certificates of Ethical Acceptability valid for the period of one year, approves modifications to research protocols, informed consent forms and relating supporting documents, and officially closes research projects upon their completion.

Please know that all research involving human participants must be approved by the REB prior to data collection. The Yukon University also requires all researchers to complete the TCPS-2 tutorial, found below under training.

If you are planning to work with Indigenous Communities you should be familiar with the First Nations Principals of OCAP® (Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession). OCAP® is a set of principles aimed at protecting Indigenous ownership, Indigenous jurisdiction, and Indigenous information. Researchers working and engaging with communities that have adopted their own ethical codes (such as OCAP®) are required to familiarize themselves with such codes. Details on The First Nations Principles of OCAP® can be found at here.

Human Research Ethics Process Guide 

 

Mandatory Training Requirements
**UPDATE  New! Tri-Council Course on Research Ethics – CORE-2022 
January 17, 2022 - The Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research wants to inform the research community that the current Tri-Council Policy Statement 2: Course on Research Ethics (TCPS 2: CORE) has been replaced by a new version – TCPS 2: CORE-2022. This version refers exclusively to the TCPS-2 and focuses on ethics guidance that is applicable to all research involving human participants, regardless of discipline or methodology.

CORE-2022 consists of nine modules and a knowledge consolidation exercise:
Module A1 – Introduction
Module A2 – Scope of TCPS 2
Module A3 – Risks and Benefits
Module A4 – Consent
Module A5 – Fairness and Equity
Module A6 – Privacy and Confidentiality
Module A7 – Conflicts of Interest
Module A8 – Research Ethics Board Review
Module A9 – Research Involving Indigenous Peoples
Knowledge Consolidation Exercise

Mandatory Completion of the Course on Research Ethics (CORE) Tutorial

The Yukon University Research Ethics Board requires researchers who wish to conduct human research  complete the online  TCPS 2: CORE-2022 (Course on Research Ethics)  before they start.

All study team members – including faculty, students and other research staff need to complete the TCPS2 online tutorial “Course on Research Ethics” (CORE).  A certificate of completion is required for each team member before research ethics approval will be granted.

Yukon University Research Ethics Board requires proof of completion of TCPS2: CORE-2022 for all investigators conducting research at, or under the auspices of, Yukon University.  Please submit TCPS2: CORE-2022 certificates of completion for all investigators with your research ethics application. 

The YukonU REB will continue to accept certificates of completion from the previous TCPS2 CORE tutorial provided you have completed this after April 2011 and researchers confirm that they have read the following

We strongly recommend that you complete the TCPS2 CORE 2022 to ensure your training is up to date.

Steps to follow to take this training:

  1. Click on the link to access the registration portal
  2. Click on the “LOGIN TO CORE/CREATE ACCOUNT” icon on the right side of the page.
  3. Click on “Create new account here”
  4. Fill out the boxes with your information. Be sure to include affiliation as Yukon University, your Yukon University e-mail address and for students include your student number. This is very important as Yukon University is able to verify your completion of the tutorial and can assist you should you have problems logging in at any time.
  5. Once you’ve clicked “register,” an e-mail will be sent to your University email address. (if you haven’t received this be sure to check your spam or junk mail folder). If you don’t receive this email to activate your account contact the Research Ethics Coordinator at vwalker@yukonu.ca
  6. Click on the link provided in the e-mail to activate your account.
  7. Once your account has been activated, login to the CORE homepage with your University e-mail and the password you provided in the setup of your TCPS2 tutorial account  
  8. Begin the CORE modules by clicking “start” under the “options” heading

You can do these modules at your own pace. It takes approximately 3-5 hours to complete and you can stop and resume the training at any time.

You can also find the full Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) here.

Does your research involve Yukon First Nations?

Complete TCPS2 CORE-2022 (includes Module 9: Research Involving Indigenous Peoples)

Yukon First Nations Core Competency – It is also recommended that researchers complete the Yukon First Nations 101 Course. This can be completed online using the Moodle system. More details about the course and how to register here.  

First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) provides training through their online course “The Fundamentals of OCAP® and also have additional information on the First Nations principles of OCAP® here .

 

Responsibilities

The Principal Investigator (PI)

As the individual responsible for the implementation of research, the PI bears direct responsibility for ensuring that human research participants are safe and treated with respect. The responsibility starts with project design, which must balance risks with potential research benefits. The PI must ensure that all members of the research team comply with the requirements of the TCPS-2. The PI will be held accountable for any ethical non-compliance of themselves or their team.

A PI should be a faculty member of the University with an indefinite term. Students cannot be identified as the PI on REB applications. Students must have a faculty supervisor as the PI on the REB application.


Co-Investigator/Team member

Co-investigators and other members of the research team are responsible for ensuring their own completion of the TCPS-2 tutorial (a responsibility shared with the PI), holding themselves to a high ethical standard, and ensuring that their actions in conducting research are compliant and consistent with Yukon University policy. It is the team member's or co-investigator's responsibility to question when unsure. Being unaware of certain guidelines or requirements is not accepted as reason for unethical behaviour. Co-investigators from other institutions are required to ensure ethical compliance at their home institution as well as Yukon University.


The Yukon University Research Ethics Board (REB)

The REB will review and monitor all research involving human research participants conducted under the auspices of the University. The REB is an autonomous entity whose primary responsibility is ensuring the safety and well-being of all research participants involved in research programs carried out by Yukon University researchers, students and adjuncts or those that involve Yukon University in their research.

 

Course-based research ethics review - Faculty information

The following information may help you to decide if your course requires course-based research ethics approval from the YukonU Research Ethics Board (REB).

If you answer YES to any of the following questions, you need to obtain course-based ethics approval and you must complete the TCPS2 Training:

  1. Are the assignment objectives connected to providing exposure to research methods?
  2. Do the assignments in your course require students practice data collection methods (used in research) with people?
  3. Are these assignments structured to be minimal risk research activities?
    • Note: the determination of minimal risk is from the perspective of the participant. Minimal risk research involves activities or data gathering that is similar to what the participant would experience in their day-to-day life and is unlikely to cause embarrassment, anxiety, be of a personal nature or about a topic that is generally considered private. Any research involving vulnerable populations does not qualify as low risk.

If you answer YES to the following questions, you MUST submit an individual Application for Research Ethics Approval (Form 1A or Form 1B) to YukonU REB:

  1. Do your students collect data or engage in the research processes that contribute to your research?
  2. Will your students be working on individual projects?

The activities below do NOT require ethics approval

  • Using publicly available information about a person or people to write an essay
  • Students talking with a patient or client to learn about their experiences and then using this information to write an essay that will be graded by the teacher
  • Skills development activities which are considered standard practice within a profession (e.g. observation, assessment, intervention, evaluation, auditing), provided these activities do not constitute research as defined by the TCPS2. Examples of professional skills development that is not research include:
    • students talking with patients or clients​ (or practicing with other students or their teacher) in order to provide a diagnosis, identify appropriate interventions, or give advice
    • interviewing someone in a profession about the procedures used at their workplace; this would not be research unless the data were collected in a systematic way to answer a research question
    • collecting information from a client to complete their tax return
    • collecting information from a client to provide advice or a plan, e.g. a marketing plan
  • Research skills using anonymous data or fictional data (e.g. data collected during practice interviews or surveys in which students roleplay rather than divulging personal information)
  • For a full list of exemptions, please see the TCPS 2 (2018) – Chapter 2: Scope and Approach.

 

Research Ethics Board

Questions? Contact us at ethics@yukonu.ca.

Jordan Aslett

Instructor, Bachelor of Social Work

School of Health, Education and Human Services
Applied Arts

Chris O'Brien

Community Representative
cobrien@yukonu.ca


Brianna Bourassa

Community Representative
bbourassa@yukonu.ca


Dana Jennejohn

Instructor, Bachelor of Social Work

School of Health, Education and Human Services
Applied Arts

Aline Goncalves

Information Literacy/Reference Librarian

Library and Technology Services
IT and Learning Commons

Eric Hoogstraten

Department Head, Southern Campuses

Community Education and Development - Southern

Dawn Macdonald

Institutional Research and Planning Officer

IT and Learning Commons

Hillarie Zimmermann

Chair
Indigenous Governance
Instructor, Multimedia Communication
School of Business and Leadership

Amanda Graham

Chair, School of Liberal Arts

School of Liberal Arts
Applied Arts

David Silas

First Nations Engagement Advisor
YukonU Research Centre
First Nations Cultural Coordinator
Student Success Division

Dr. Valoree Walker

Research Ethics Coordinator

YukonU Research Centre

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do I require ethics approval?

Any research involving human participants being conducted at Yukon University, or by Yukon University staff, faculty, or students, or using Yukon University resources, requires Yukon University REB approval before beginning your project. This includes course-based research, use of secondary data, or the use of human biological tissues.  See "Understanding Research Ethics Review Requirements"

Additional sources of information for distinguishing between research, quality improvement and program evaluation.

  1. UBC Checklist for quality improvement/quality assurance/program evaluation/curriculum development studies requiring ethics review (checklist for determining if REB review required)
  2. University of Alberta Difference Between Research, Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement
  3. Fraser Health Differentiation of Research, Quality Improvement and Program Evaluation Summary Table
  4. University of Waterloo  Quality assurance or Quality improvement projects
  5. University of Calgary  Research Activities Exempt from CFREB Review

Does your research involve non-human animals? You will require animal care approval. Information on these requirements can be found here. Please contact vwalker@yukonu.ca for more information.


Does my course-based project require REB approval?

Projects that have any or all of the following characteristics are course-based research and require REB approval

  • Projects where primary data are being collected and organized for analysis and distribution or dissemination within the course structure.
  • Projects designed to answer research questions.
  • Projects where students are asked to sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement.
  • Projects where students require consent to use individual identifiers in reports or classroom presentations because of confidentiality or privacy concerns.
  • Projects where “ownership of information” or “product development” as a result of a project may become an issue.

Projects that have any or all of the following characteristics are not course-based research and do not require REB approval:

  • Projects where students are conducting information-gathering (e.g., interviews, questionnaires) on themselves during class time.
  • Projects involving the use of records or information that is in the public domain, including the use of anonymous secondary data and surveys or questionnaires that have already been published.
  • Projects involving the use of naturalistic observation where the participants are seeking public visibility and participant confidentiality and anonymity are ensured.
  • Practicum or job training projects where students are fully integrated into the organization’s operational practices and are not conducting research.
  • Projects where the intent is to use the information to provide diagnoses, identification of appropriate interventions or general advice for a client.
  • Projects where the intent is to develop skills which are standard practice within a profession (e.g., observation, assessment, intervention, evaluation, auditing).
  • Projects where the information-gathering processes are part of the normal relationship between the student and the participants (e.g., classroom teacher and students, nurse and patient, lawyer and client).

Can I begin my project in advance of ethics approval?

You may begin some aspects of your project but you cannot begin data collection. The REB will try to accommodate expedited request for review, however this is not always possible so please plan accordingly. Failure to obtain approval in advance of data collection may be grounds for academic misconduct.


I am a visiting researcher, do I need ethics approval from the Yukon University? My home institution has already granted me approval.

Yes, you still require ethics approval from the Yukon University REB. In accordance with the Tri-
Council Policy Statement (TCPS2) Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans 2018 (Chapter 8-Multi-Jurisdictional Research) YukonU is accountable for research conducted under it auspices, irrespective of the location where it takes place. Therefore, any research that will be conducted by or associated with a member of the YukonU community, including but not limited to, faculty, researchers, students or staff that will in any way make reference to their affiliation with YukonU or use YukonU resources (financial, physical or human), will need clearance from the YukonU REB. YukonU cannot accept another institution's review as sufficient clearance for research involving YukonU in any way unless YukonU has entered into a formal agreement with the other institution according to the terms in TCPS2 article 8.1

Please attach your home institution's ethics approval to your Yukon University application.

Note: You may also need a license to conduct research in the Yukon, which can be found here.

What do I do if I am involved in a research project that involves multiple institutions?

Research often involves multiple institutions that have their own ethical review processes. Research involving Yukon University personnel and is associated with other universities are subject to the jurisdiction of multiple ethical review processes. In such instances, researchers are required to obtain the approval of all such institutions.

 


What is considered Minimal Risk?

If potential subjects can reasonably be expected to regard the probability and 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 research, then the research can be regarded as within the range of minimal risk.

Minimal risk research:

  • draws participants from the general adult population, who are capable of giving free and informed consent, and may not include vulnerable subjects such as children and persons who are who not legally competent to consent;
  • does not involve any personal, sensitive or incriminating topics or questions which could place participants at risk;
  • does not manipulate behaviour of participants beyond the range of “normal” classroom activity or daily life;
  • does not involve physically invasive contact with the research participants;
  • does not involve deception;
  • does not involve undue or excessive offers of benefit (e.g. an offer of payment in relation to research participation that would exceed the normal range of benefits open to the research participant); and
  • may be eligible for delegated ethics review.

What are the categories to assess the extent to which information could be used to identify an individual? (TCPS2 2018 guidelines) 

  • Directly identifying information – the information identifies a specific individual through direct identifiers (e.g., name, social insurance number, personal health number).
  • Indirectly identifying information – the information can reasonably be expected to identify an individual through a combination of indirect identifiers (e.g., date of birth, place of residence or unique personal characteristic).
  • Coded information – direct identifiers are removed from the information and replaced with a code. Depending on access to the code, it may be possible to re-identify specific participants (e.g., the principal investigator retains a list that links the participants’ code names with their actual names so data can be re-linked if necessary).
  • Anonymized information – the information is irrevocably stripped of direct identifiers, a code is not kept to allow future re-linkage, and risk of re-identification of individuals from remaining indirect identifiers is low or very low.
  • Anonymous information – the information never had identifiers associated with it (e.g., anonymous surveys) and risk of identification of individuals is low or very low.

 


I would like to do an online survey as part of my research.  What do I need to consider?


Is your question not here? Contact us at ethics@yukonu.ca.