Durham College Research Ethics Board (REB) Directive for Research Involving Human Participants during the Publicly Declared Emergency (COVID-19 Outbreak)
In accordance with Article 6.21 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans – TCPS 2 (2018) and the Durham College REB Protocol #408 for REB Review during Publicly Declared Emergencies, the REB issues the following directive to researchers conducting research under the auspices of Durham College involving human participants. This directive may be modified as new information emerges and will remain in place until the Publicly Declared Emergency has been suspended. At all times, researchers are expected to follow the guidance provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada to protect themselves and research participants.
Ongoing research that has already been approved by the REB and not related to or arising from the Publicly Declared Emergency
Research involving in-person interaction shall be modified or postponed to avoid in-person interaction among participants and researchers, unless stopping the research would increase risk to participants. Ongoing research conducted face-to-face that cannot be modified to avoid in-person interaction must cease for the time being, unless ceasing such activity might pose significant risks to participant safety (e.g., ceasing the provision of an important service).
Researchers are encouraged to redesign their research to replace in-person interaction with telephone or online communication. Modifications to research design must be approved by the REB prior to implementation, unless delaying modification of the research design would pose a significant and immediate risk to participants.
As always, researchers are responsible for informing the REB of any changes or unanticipated issues to their study. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the appropriate form to report changes or unanticipated issues, or if you have questions on amending your REB protocol.
Ongoing research not involving in-person interaction may continue as planned, if researchers employ strategies to mitigate any risks associated with the COVID 19 outbreak, where applicable.
Review of new research not related to or arising from the Publicly Declared Emergency
The REB will continue to review and approve new applications for ethical review as time permits, giving priority to the review of applications to amend already-approved research protocol.
Review of Research related to or arising from the Publicly Declared Emergency
New research related to, or arising from, the Publicly Declared Emergency will be given priority for REB review in accordance with TCPS 2 Articles 6.21 to 6.23, and REB Protocol #408 for REB Review during Publicly Declared Emergencies.
The Research Ethics Board (REB) is governed by Durham College’s Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans policy. [PDF – 103 KB]
The Durham College Research Ethics Board oversees ethical screening and conducts a full review of research projects involving human participants. One board has been established to evaluate all research and ensure the research is conducted in a manner that is consistent with this policy.
Application and Submission Process
REB Applications are due two weeks prior to the scheduled REB meeting. The application must include all supporting documents (i.e. letter of information/consent, recruitment email, questionnaires, etc.), TCPS2 tutorial certificates for all researchers listed on the application, Researcher Institutional Permission Request Form, approval letters from other institutions, etc.
Supporting documents should be clearly labelled. Templates are available for some supporting documents, please contact email@example.com.
Applications may be deemed eligible for delegated review and may be reviewed prior to the scheduled meeting.
Applications with all signatures should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Researcher Institutional Permission
All researchers planning to conduct research involving human participants and wishing to access Durham College faculty, staff, students, or resources, must first obtain institutional permission to conduct the research before applying for ethical approval from the Research Ethics Board (REB). Institutional permission is intended to ensure that the research does not unreasonably interfere with Durham College operations. Permission may or may not be granted on the basis of the project’s costs, effort, risk, impact on members of the college, and/or impact on institutional resources. Research ethics approval does not constitute institutional permission.
External researchers should complete the External Researcher Institutional Permission Request Form and submit it with the REB application. The REB coordinator will coordinate with the Office of the Vice-President, Academic or other Vice-President as appropriate on your behalf to facilitate the institutional permission process, prior to the ethical review of the REB application.
Internal researchers should contact email@example.com for information about applying for institutional permission.
Applications already approved by another REB
If the REB application has already been approved by another REB, the Durham College REB will accept this application along with the Multi-Jurisdictional Research (MJR) form. The submission must also include the approval letter from the other board, the DC-REB-External-Researcher-Institutional-Permission form, TCPS2 tutorial certificates from all researchers, and all supporting documents. The REB may ask additional questions not provided on the other institutions application.
Change Request and Unanticipated Issues
Researchers are responsible for informing the REB of any changes or unanticipated issues to their study. The REB should be notified immediately of any changes or unanticipated issues.
Study Renewal and Completion
Researchers are responsible for ensuring their REB approval does not lapse. Expiry dates are noted on the REB approval letter sent to researchers. Researchers must submit the Study Renewal Form no less than 30 days prior to the expiry date. DC-REB-Study-Completion-form should be submitted on or before the expiry date.
REB 2019-2020 meeting schedule (subject to change)
|Meeting Date||Application Due Date|
|September 10, 2019||August 27, 2019|
|October 8, 2019||September 24, 2019|
|November 12, 2019||October 29, 2019|
|December 10, 2019||November 26, 2019|
|January 14, 2020||January 2, 2020|
|February 11, 2020||January 28, 2020|
|March 10, 2020||February 25, 2020|
|April 14, 2020||March 31, 2020|
|May 12, 2020||April 28, 2020|
|June 9, 2020||May 26, 2020|
The REB does not operate in July or August. Applications must be submitted by May 26, 2020 to be considered for review prior to the summer. All applications submitted after this date may not be reviewed until the Board resumes in September.
|Kay Corbier||Professor, Durham College|
|Laura Benninger||Professor, Durham College|
|Crystal Garvey – Chair||Professor, Durham College|
|Candi Gogar||Member knowledgeable in the law|
|Fabiola Longo||Professor, Durham College|
|Arlene de la Rocha||Professor, Durham College|
|Shaun Young||Community Member|
Multi-site Ethics Review
Durham College is pleased to announce that our Research Ethics Board will now accept an Ontario-community-college-multi-site-application-form. This form is for researchers who are planning to conduct a study at more than one college in Ontario. Most Ontario colleges are participating in this initiative.
Durham College has agreed to use the multi-college ethics review process to review minimal risk research projects that take place at multiple colleges.
Upon receiving a multi-college minimal risk application, the Durham College REB will forward it to the Expert Panel lead for review.
The Expert Panel will review the application and work with the researcher to make changes, if needed. Once the Expert Panel is satisfied with the application, they will issue the researcher with a letter of recommendation.
When the researcher submits his/her final application, accompanying documents, Researcher Institutional Form, TCPS2 certificate and the recommendation letter to the Durham College REB:
- One member of the Durham College REB, likely the chair, will review the application
- The chair determines ethical acceptability and, if appropriate, issues the certificate of ethical approval to the researcher or decides if the REB will complete a separate review
- All documents are stored and follow up procedures are carried out as per usual practice
- Each college at which the research is conducted continues to be responsible for research conducted under its auspices.