Why do I need ethics?

"It is the policy of the University that researchers intending to use human subjects must obtain approval of their research protocol by the HPRC before a grant application may be endorsed by the University."

It offers joint protection for the researcher, the students and the university

York University has formulated policy for conduct of research involving human participants. The policy is intended to serve as joint protection for the researcher, the study participant and the University in order to ensure attention to various rights and responsibilities of the respective parties to the research endeavour.

Put simply, the research one undertakes in a classroom must be considered relative to the impact that research may have on the participants. This includes weighing the benefits against potentials risks, refraining from pressuring students to take part, avoid deception, and insure that the data drawn directly from our students remain confidential and anonymous. While researchers have good intents, awareness about how to best conduct research involving students before undertaking it minimizes the possibility for mishaps.

It helps with research design

Going through the research ethics review process will ensure that all the factors mentioned above are taken into account. It encourages  more in-depth look at the literature on the research topic of interest and foster deeper reflection regarding methodologies and research designs that can be integrated seamlessly into normal classroom activities.

It is required

It is the policy of York University to ensure the ethical conduct of research involving human participants and to comply in full with the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Research Involving Human Participants (December 2014) as it may be amended from time to time. The policy – The Senate Policy on Research Involving Human Participants - applies to all Faculties and the University Libraries, and to all research involving human participants, human remains, cadavers, tissues, biological fluids, embryos, and fetuses.  Obtain the full text of the Senate Policy.

All research involving humans conducted by faculty, staff or students, regardless of where the research is conducted, is subject to review and approval by the relevant ethics committee and /or its delegate ethics review committee in accordance with relevant guidelines, policies and regulations. It is the policy of the University that researchers conducting research involving human subjects must obtain approval of their research from the relevant ethics committee prior to commencing research activities.  Ethics approval is required regardless of whether the research is funded or not – this includes pilot and/or preliminary research.

It ensures balance between academic freedom and the rights of the participants

For any research involving human participants The Senate of York University affirms that researchers must respect the safety, welfare, and dignity of human participants in their research and treat them equally and fairly. The university values the academic freedom of its researchers, and the ethics review process should not be used unfairly to censor researchers who support unorthodox views. However, academic freedom is complemented by the requirement to respect the rights of human participants.