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Research Ethics Board Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
12.11 Vice President, Academic and Equity Director, Applied Research Board of Governors Dec. 18, 2015 Dec. 2019 Dec. 16, 2019 Dec. 2024
  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of this REB policy is to comply with the requirements of the Panel on Research Ethics (PRE), under the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research, to ensure that all research is conducted according to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, 2nd edition (TCPS2).
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all individuals who intend to conduct research with any members of the NSCC community as research participants. It applies to research and technical projects, both funded and unfunded, which involve human participants or human-related tissue and materials.
    2. Some projects are considered exempt from this process. The following is a non-exclusive list of research that would not normally be subject to review:
      1. Research that is conducted solely for the purpose of internal institutional evaluation or quality assurance purposes.
      2. Questionnaires, surveys or interviews conducted by students as a project or assignment as part of any course or program in which the student is enrolled. Faculty are responsible for ensuring that students undertaking research of this nature are aware of NSCC's policies with respect to research ethics, privacy of personal information, and use of institutional data and that the work is carried out according to ethical standards of the TCPS2. In cases where doubt exists, all such projects should be submitted to the REB for review.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Delegated REB Review Please see TCPS2 definition.
NSCC Community

NSCC Community member under this policy includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Employee: any person who is employed by NSCC or provides services to NSCC under an employment contract.
  2. Student: anyone applying to or registered in NSCC programs or otherwise participating in NSCC courses, programs, events, and activities.
  3. Volunteer: any person performing work for NSCC in an unpaid capacity.
  4. Contractor: any individual or company (and its employees) who provides services to NSCC under a service contract (i.e., a non-employee-employer relationship)
  5. NSCC Community Member: any person working in collaboration with NSCC for a business or academic purpose or an external community member, including all graduates and alumni of NSCC.
  6. NSCC Board of Governors: the governing body of the College.
Research Ethics Board (REB) Conducts reviews of research involving human participants and has a mandate to approve, reject, propose modifications to, or terminate research that is conducted by or on members of the NSCC community.
REB-related documentation All formal documents related to the decision-making process pertaining to all REB applications and submissions.
Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) Responsible for addressing the evolving needs of the three research agencies (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research) in promoting the ethics of research involving humans. It provides guidance consistent with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans, 2nd edition (TCPS2).
Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS2) Includes the guidelines for conducting research involving humans and is the basis of this policy.
  1. Policy
    1. Research Ethics Board
      1. All research that falls under the auspices of this policy must receive REB approval before the research can begin. The REB can approve, reject, propose modifications to, or terminate any proposed or ongoing research. NSCC researchers conducting research in other jurisdictions or countries must obtain ethical approval from NSCC’s REB and from the REB where the research will be conducted.
      2. The REB reviews all applications in accordance with ethical guidelines governing research involving human participants as articulated in the TCPS2.
      3. Anyone conducting research on humans and the REB members must complete the online TCPS2 Tutorial, “Course on Research Ethics” (CORE).
      4. The REB uses a proportionate approach in conducting its reviews based on their perceived level of risk to the participants; either a delegated review or a full review by all REB members will be considered.
      5. In all cases, the REB has the responsibility to confirm the proposed research meets scholarly standards.
      6. Any REB member must disclose any potential conflict of interest in the research being considered. If personal conflicts exist, the REB member must not be present for discussions or decisions related to the application.
    2. Decisions and Appeal
      1. Upon completion of the REB review, the outcome will be classified as:
        1. Approved
        2. Approved with recommendations
        3. Not approved unless specified conditions are met, or
        4. Not approved.
      2. The Chair will be responsible for communicating, in writing, the decision on all applications.
      3. The applicant can request an appeal of the decision and an external review of the application will be arranged.
      4. REB approvals are granted for a maximum of one year and further approval will be dependent upon the REB’s receipt and review of an updated annual report and request for renewal of REB approval.
    3. Documentation
      All documentation related to REB administration will be retained for record-keeping purposes.
    4. Submission of Proposals for Review
      Proposals must be received at least fourteen (14) days before the REB meeting in which they are to be reviewed.
    5. REB Membership
      1. The REB must be comprised of at least six (6) members, filling the following positions:
        1. Chair.
        2. One member knowledgeable in law (but not institutional counsel).
        3. One member knowledgeable in ethics.
        4. One community member who has no affiliation with NSCC, but lives within the province of Nova Scotia.
        5. Two research or faculty members who have a broad expertise in research covered by the REB.
        Other members may be asked to join on an as-needed basis (ex officio, and without vote) for advice on specific applications.
      2. The REB Chair shall be appointed by and reports to the President of NSCC. The initial term of appointment is for three years and reappointment for additional terms is at the discretion of the President.
      3. Other REB members are selected and recommended by the REB Chair and submitted to the President for final approval. The term of appointment may be for up to three years with re-appointment at the mutual agreement of the Chair and NSCC President. Every effort shall be made to stagger membership end dates so there is always a balance of newer and longer-serving members.
      4. The costs associated with coordination of the REB and other associated costs fall under the auspices of the Applied Research Office.
      5. REB meetings must occur at least 3 times annually. Quorum is met when five members, consisting of at least one representative from each member category, are present.
  1. Policy Supports

12.21 Research Integrity Policy 
66.01 Survey Policy