Departmental Review of Student Research Conducted as Part of Course Work

Student research involving human participants conducted as part of course work is subject to review for compliance with the TCPS2. 

Major research papers that constitute 50% or more of a course grade, such as course-based masters programs, require students to apply to ICEHR for review. Such proposals are typically assigned to expedited review by a committee member in the discipline of the applicant and the ICEHR Chair and/or Vice-Chair.

Departmental review of student research as part of course work constitutes a form of delegated review (TCPS2, Article 6.12).  Academic units must devise procedures by which research conducted by graduate and undergraduate students as part of course work can be reviewed by departmental review committees (DRCs).

A DRC must:

  • Adhere to the guidelines of the TCPS 2.
  • Be formalized in writing, and approved by the head of the academic unit and by ICEHR.
  • Normally consist of no fewer than three members with due consideration given to gender equity. Members shall be appointed by the head of the academic unit. All members shall be competent to judge the ethical acceptability of proposals and shall be knowledgeable about the TCPS 2.
  • One member of the DRC shall act as the Chairperson of the DRC and shall act as the liaison between the DRC and ICEHR.
  • Approval by a DRC shall be deemed approval by ICEHR.
  • Keep adequate records of review activity. Report annually to ICEHR on their membership and activity.
  • Review only minimal risk proposals, and employ the guidelines of the TCPS2 in identifying such proposals. All other proposals for undergraduate and graduate research must be reviewed by ICEHR. If an applicant believes that his or her proposal poses greater than minimal risk to participants, they may submit their proposal directly to ICEHR to conserve time during the review process.
  • Refer review of student work to ICEHR when there is meaningful overlap between the research an instructor assigns as course work to undergraduate students and the instructor’s own research program. According to the TCPS 2 (Article 6.12), research carried out by undergraduate students that is used for the purposes of research (e.g. as part of a researcher’s own research program), should be reviewed by ICEHR. This applies to all course instructors, including undergraduate honors and independent study course supervisors, whether or not such persons are faculty members.