The Offices of Research Ethics on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses have updated their guidance in anticipation that authorization to resume in-person behavioural research will be fully implemented in the coming months.
Although the safety of research participants continues to be a factor in how research ethics applications are reviewed, the Behavioural Research Ethics Boards (BREBs) have eased their requirements in alignment with updates issued by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO).
The BREB will be reviewing ethics applications taking into consideration the conditions in the research region including:
1– Vaccination rates
2– Rates of COVID-19 infection
3– Rates of hospitalizations due to COVID-19
In instances where a Safe Research Plan is no longer required, researchers will still need to describe their safe research protocols for both new and resuming research. The BREBs will not approve activities that do not adhere to the minimum standards imposed by the public health order for the community where research is taking place. Researchers should continue to consider ways they can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within research teams and with participants.
PRINCIPLES FOR THE RESUMPTION OF IN-PERSON RESEARCH:
1– All in-person research that can be done safely may proceed.
2– Researchers may not undertake research activities that will unnecessarily increase the risk to participants of contracting COVID-19.
3– Researchers will provide details of their safe research plan to the degree required (see the scenarios below) based on the risk status of the region where in-person research is proposed and the nature of the research methods being employed.
An amendment is required to resume all previously approved in-person research that has been on-hold or to convert online studies to in-person research.
Supplementary Research and COVID-19 forms are no longer required as part of the research ethics review process.
The BREBs will review ethics applications and related safety protocols in view of the specific research context and the risks entailed for both research participants and researchers. For full details on the implications of immunization, or to learn how your specific research may be affected:
If you are unsure which section or scenario applies to your research, please contact: Lisa Shearer.