Course Approvals

Undergraduate and graduate courses including Directed Studies that require or permit students to participate in research projects as part of their training or for the purpose of assessment, must receive ethics approval before the course begins. SFU Policy R20.01 makes the relevant Chair, Director or Dean responsible for Course Applications. However, an instructor for a course may request approval of the Course, subject to approval of the Chair, Director or Dean.

Students who wish to use data collected under a Course Approval or wish to continue with a research project started under a Course Approval, must contact the Office of Research Ethics to find out if a new application is needed. In most cases, a new application will be required.

Course Ethics Process

The following must be included in the application before it can be submitted:

  • description of the course;
  • the course outline;
  • a general description of the type(s) of research projects that are likely to be part of the course;
  • an undertaking that the only type of research to be conducted is minimal-risk;
  • the means by which the students in the course are made familiar with the appropriate ethical standards articulated by this Policy and TCPS-2, with copies of printed materials;
  • the means by which students submit their research plans to the instructor(s);
  • the means by which those plans are assessed and approved by the instructor(s);
  • the means by which the conduct of the in-course student research projects is monitored; and
  •  other relevant information.

Course Amendments

If the course changes, an amendment must be requested to the Office of Research Ethics