All research plans involving human subjects must receive ethics approval. See policy R20.01. Copies of the policy, procedures and forms for this review may be obtained from the Office of Research Services.

Research at SFU is conducted under the general authority of the Vice President, Research who administers several relevant University policies; for further information on these policies, consult the Office of the Vice President, Research.

See also: Online Ethics Tutorial

  • Policy R20.01
    Ethics Review of Research Involving Human Subjects governs all research involving human subjects (participants). Specific approval by the University Research Ethics Board is required prior to start of any such research project (funded or unfunded) in this area by any researcher associated with SFU.
  • Policy R20.02
    Biosafety Committee governs all research involving recombinant DNA and other biohazards. Specific prior approval and monitoring by the appropriate person or committee (please consult the full policy) are required for any research project or program in these areas at SFU.
  • Policy R20.03
    Treatment of Animals in Research and Teaching applies to all such research and requires prior specific approval by the University Animal Care Committee.   Animals are defined as non-human, living vertebrates.
  • Policy R20.04
    Radiological Safety applies to all research involving radiological materials and requires prior approval.
  • Policy R30.01
    Copyright Policy acknowledges the exclusive proprietary right of all graduate students to their own thesis products. Rights to other materials may be vested in the University or may be jointly owned by the originator and the University. This policy is under review at the time of writing.
  • Policy R30.02
    Patent Policy recognizes that patent rights to any invention made by faculty, staff or student on University time belong to the inventor unless there is a contract to the contrary.   This very generous policy is designed to provide an incentive for research, development and innovation.
  • Policy R30.03
    This policy replaces policies 30.01 and 30.02.  However, any intellectual property created on or before July 21, 2004 use the older R30.01 and R30.02 policies.  The enterprise of training students in performing scholarly activities in the pursuit of new knowledge necessarily results in the generation of intellectual property.  All students and their supervisors should refer to this policy as a first exposure to understanding their roles, rights, and responsibilities regarding intellectual property.
  • Policy R50.02
    Personnel Funded from Research Grants includes the stipulation that Research Assistants and other persons hired under research grants and contracts are employees of the principal investigator (PI), not of the University.   Terms of appointment are determined by the PI, consistent with relevant legislation.
  • Policy R60.01
    Integrity in Research and Misconduct in Research lays out the expectations of the University on all researchers and provides a mechanism for investigating allegations of misconduct which include falsification and fabrication of data, failure to acknowledge the contributions of others to the research and failure to comply with the provisions of the R20 policies described above. Allegations of misconduct in research should be directed to the Office of the Vice President, Research.
  • Policy GP 37
    Conflict of Interest: As a place of learning, the University encourages its faculty, staff and students to be broadly involved in professional interests and activities compatible with the University’s mission, values and commitments. Occasionally, the best interests of the University and the personal interests of its Members may conflict, or may be perceived to conflict.

All researchers are expected to maintain high standards of integrity, including:

  • careful planning of research protocols to ensure that these effectively address the questions being posed and that the methods of analysis are appropriate;
  • rigorous attention to integrity in obtaining, recording and analyzing data and in reporting the results;
  • high standards of rigor and integrity in interpreting the results of research;
  • rigorous attention to citing the contributions of others (see also the section below on the ownership of intellectual property);
  • using unpublished work of others only with permission and due acknowledgment;
  • respecting the confidentiality of information gained through the peer review process.