Human Subject Research
All University-based research involving human participants, whether funded or non-funded, faculty or student, scholarly, commercial, or consultative, is subject to the ethics review process. Research subject to review includes, but is not limited to, experiments, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and participant observation. If you are unclear as to whether or not your research requires ethical review, please contact the University's Certifications and Compliance Officer before you begin your research. Research involving human participants is reviewed by Trent University's Research Ethics Board.
Forms (Ethics protocols and annual update forms are to be completed online using the ROMEO project management tool.):
- Faculty and Graduate Research Protocol for Research with Human Participants
- Informed Consent Form Requirements
- Research Assistant Confidentiality Agreement
Protocol Submission Guide
Protocols are due on the last Monday of each month unless otherwise advertised.
Protocols are to be completed online using the ROMEO Researcher Portal system. To access the ROMEO system, go to Trent University's homepage, select "MyTrent", then select "Services", "ROMEO Researcher Portal". Either register or log into the portal. Once in the portal, select "Apply New". Pick the protocols form that is appropriate to you (faculty or graduate student).
For more assistance, please consult this guide.
For more information about the online system, please contact Jamie Muckle or dial 705-748-1011 ext. 7896
NOTE: ALL protocols (including any that finished during a respective calendar year) need to submit an annual update. The “Annual Protocol Summary” listed with protocol forms is due each year on December 31st. This will replace the “Multiyear summary” forms for work lasting more than one year as well.
Resources, User Guides, Training and Reference Materials
- Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
- TCPS Tutorial
- Canadian Association of University Research Ethics Boards
- Trent University Encryption Policy and User Guide
Trent University Recruitment of External Research Ethics Board Member
Trent University’s Research Ethics Board (REB) welcomes interested individuals to apply for membership as a Community Representative. Applicants should meet the following requirement to be considered:
- No affiliation with Trent University
- Not involved in research as their means of employment
- Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Experience as a participant in research (desirable)
Mandate of the Research Ethics Board at Trent University
The REB serves Trent’s research community as an independent ethics review board to help ensure that all proposed or ongoing research involving human participants or communities meets the highest ethical standards, and that safeguards are implemented to provide the greatest protection to human participants and/or communities. The REB is mandated to:
- Conduct ethics reviews of proposals from members of the university, and others who conduct research involving human participants at Trent, to determine conformance with the whole of the Tri‐Council Policy Statement 2 (2018): “Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Human Subject”;
- Delegate course‐related, non‐funded, minimal risk research to the relevant Department or School ethics review body for review and approval and oversee that review process;
- Terminate any research that it considers to be threatening or causing distress to the participants, deviates from the approved Protocol, or has not been approved by the appropriate body;
- Act as an advisory body for the University, educating the community on ethics in research and providing guidance on the ethics review process;
- Report at least once a year to Senate on its activities, including the number list of Protocols reviewed and approved;
- Ensure that Departments, Schools and Graduate Programs advise students about the relevant aspects of ethics in research and the paramount need to treat participants ethically and respectfully.
The REB and its Members
The REB membership is intended to ensure that the REB has the expertise and independence essential for conducting competent research ethics reviews. The REB is composed of members with expertise in the following areas:
- At least 6 faculty members (appointed to ensure disciplinary representation from humanities/social sciences, Psychology, Education, Indigenous Studies, Chair of Indigenous Education Council, and Nursing sciences);
- The REB members should also have expertise in the various methodologies covered by the REB;
- 1 (other) faculty member, knowledgeable in ethics, if this knowledge is not possessed by at least 1 of the aforementioned 6 faculty members;
- 1 graduate student;
- 1 faculty or community member knowledgeable in law; and
- A community representative who has no institutional affiliation, preferably someone who has experience as research participant.
Ex-officio Voting Member:
- The Certifications and Regulatory Compliance Officer (secretary).
All REB member positions are voluntary and no financial remuneration is offered.
Responsibilities of the REB Members
Members of the REB review the ethical acceptability of research projects, reflecting on, for example, potential risks and benefits; respect for, and protection of, research participants; and relevance and rigour of the research.
To ensure quorum and an optimal group dynamic, REB members are expected to:
- Be available and willing to commit time for board meetings (including preparation time);
- Participate actively in discussions with other REB members, providing input to research applications/protocols and input in drafting REB documents and policies;
- Be a team player - present views and opinions clearly and directly, contribute constructively to debate and possess skills that promote working effectively together;
- Listen attentively and respectfully to other members;
- Consider complex issues thoughtfully and objectively; and
- Be oriented to resolving conflict and supporting board decisions once made.
The REB meets monthly, either by tele/video conference or face-to-face at Trent University. In-person meetings typically last for 2 hours. Training regarding the ethics review process is provided on an ongoing basis, with the support of other REB members and the Office of Research and Innovation. The term for this position is one year.
Individuals who would like to apply to become the community representative for Trent University’s REB member should send their curriculum vitae along with a covering letter outlining their interest and how they meet the criteria to:
Jamie Muckle, Certifications and Compliance Officer, Office of Research and Innovation