VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

VIU REB Directive for Research Involving Human Participants during the Publicly Declared Emergency (COVID 19)

In accordance with Article 6.21 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans – TCPS 2 (2018) and the Vancouver Island University Research Ethics Board (the REB) Procedures for REB Review during Publicly Declared Emergencies, the REB issues the directive below to Researchers conducting research under the aegis of Vancouver Island University 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.  

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 postponed or modified 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 research design would pose a significant and immediate risk to already-enrolled participants.     

Please see the REB Guide for Applying to Amend an Ethical Protocol in ROMEO, and contact the REB at reb@viu.ca  if there are questions on the process for amending REB protocol. 

Ongoing research not involving in-person interaction may continue as planned provided that 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 new applications for ethical review as time permits, giving priority to the review of applications to amend already-approved research protocol.

During the Publicly Declared Emergency, the REB will continue to review and support the development of research involving in-person interaction but such research will not be approved until after the Publicly Declared Emergency has been suspended.

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 6.21-6.13, and REB Procedures for REB Review during Publicly Declared Emergencies.   

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