Ethics Review of Research Involving Human Participants Policy (R 20.01)

Dear University Faculty and Staff,

Policy R 20.01 and its associated procedures set out the ethical principles that researchers must apply when seeking to conduct research involving human participants, as well as the framework that will govern the application of those principles through the process for ethics approval by the Research Ethics Board (REB).

The current revision represents a policy change, but also a major change to the operating procedures: the adoption of a national set of standard operating procedures, adapted as required for SFU.

In May, a Special Joint Committee of the Board of Governors and Senate consulted with stakeholders and recommended changes to the policy and to select operating procedures. Senate and the Board provided interim approval for these changes so as to allow the REB to continue to review submissions while this community consultation on the full set of documents was undertaken.

We invite you to read the proposed policy and procedural amendments posted below. Please provide your input or any questions you have to by October 4, 2023. Comments received and any resulting policy or procedure edits will be presented at Senate in November for discussion and will be brought back to a subsequent Senate meeting for approval, before final approval at the Board of Governors.

Input you provide is collected under the authority of the University Act and SFU Policy on University Policies and Procedures (B 10.00). This information is collected for the purpose of engaging in community consultation, which may result in recommended changes to a policy. 

Only the Office of the Vice-President, Research and International and the Office of the General Counsel will have access to identifying information of individuals providing feedback and will keep this information strictly confidential unless disclosure is required to comply with university policy or applicable law (for example, disclosure to appropriate university units may be required to maintain a safe working and learning environment). Any summaries of the feedback received that are shared beyond these offices will have all identifying information removed.