Research Ethics

Radius is committed to promoting and conducting research that meets the highest ethical standards.  This is why Radius established a Research Ethics Committee, and why ALL research at Radius is guided by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2, 2018).

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Tri-Council Policy Statement

The Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS2, 2018) is the research poloicy of Canada’s federal research agencies: it was adopted by Radius to guide all aspects of Radius developed and affiliated research projects with human participants. Respect for human dignity is an underlying value of the policy and requires that research be conducted in a manner that is sensitive to the inherent worth of all human beings.  Human dignity is expressed through 3 core principles:  Respect for Persons, Concern for Welfare and Justice.

Respect for Persons recognizes the intrinsic value of human beings and the respect and consideration that they are due. It encompasses the treatment of persons involved in research directly as participants and those who are participants because their data are used in research.

Concern for Welfare means that researchers aim to protect participants by providing them with enough information to assess risk and potential benefits associated with their participation in research, and ensure they are not exposed to any unnecessary risks.

Justice refers to the obligation to treat people fairly and equitably. Fairness entails treating all people with equal respect and concern. Equity requires distributing the benefits and burdens of research participation in such a way that no segment of the population is unduly burdened by the harms of research or denied the benefits of the knowledge generated from it.

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Research Ethics Committee

Radius’ Research Ethics Committee (REC) is responsible for ethics-related approval of all research conducted at and affiliated with Radius.  The role of the REC is to ensure each Radius affiliated research project adheres to ethical practice standards, and to approve, reject, or require modifications to an ethics proposal.  The REC can also terminate any proposed or ongoing research if ethical concerns arise.

Ethics proposals must be submitted to the Research Ethics Committee for review and approval prior to the start of any research.

For more information about submitting an Ethics Proposal, see below.

“Research Ethics Committee members are proud to support and encourage scientific development and growth that increases knowledge and promotes evidence-informed practice for each of our client groups.”
~ Tracey Curwen –  Consulting Research Coordinator, Research Ethics Chair

Research Ethics Submission Process

Once your research project has been approved by the RDC, the next step is to submit a research ethics application to Radius’ Research Ethics Committee. The purpose of the ethics application is to ensure that researchers are carrying out research in an ethical manner, keeping the participant and their data safe. All researchers conducting projects at, or affiliated with Radius, must submit an ethics proposal to Radius’ Research Ethics Committee.

Submit

Research Ethics submissions are to be directed to the REC and/or Research Assistant (RA).

Review

Following the submission, the RA will review the submitted document(s) to ensure completeness.

Decision

Once the REC has reviewed the application, a letter will be provided stating their decision, and outlining any required modifications, or limitations.

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Submission Guidelines

The Radius Research Ethics Committee has developed Submission Guidelines that outlines the necessary information to include in each section of your research ethics proposal.  Examples are provided to illustrate what the Committee is looking for.  The submission document also includes details on the ethics review process.

Ready to Submit?

Below you will find a link to complete your Ethics Proposal. Ethics Proposals are submitted to Radius’ Research Ethics Committee for review and must be approved prior to the start of any research project. Note: There is a separate proposal for research based on primary or secondary data, provided below.

“The Ethics Committee is comprised of individuals from multiple disciplines, which allows for a thorough and thoughtful ethics review”.
~ Liz Lartey, Research Assistant

Approved?

Once your ethics proposal is reviewed by Radius’ Research Ethics Committee, a letter will be provided to you with the decision and feedback about whether your submission requires revisions or has been approved. See FAQs below for additional information possible about decision categories.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

If the study is proposing to use both primary information (e.g. telephone interviews) and secondary data (e.g. psychometrics), the REC requires applicants to use the primary data form. The primary data form requires applicants to outline contact with participants as well as more specific information about how participant information will be treated (e.g. participant withdrawal). Applicants should ensure that they outline the secondary information to be included in the relevant sections (e.g. proposed dataset, cover letter).
Yes, the Ethics Committee decision can be appealed by the applicant. If an applicant would like to appeal a decision they must do so in writing to the Chair, who will inform the Committee of the appeal.
It is essential that the Ethics Committee is aware of all research team members who will have access to research data. Should there be any change to the approved ethics application, applicants must notify the REC by submitting the Changes to Methodology form.
Ethics approvals are limited to 1-year from the date of approval. If the study is not complete during this time, a Renewal Form must be submitted to the REC with a request for an extension and notation regarding any changes made to the original application.
Yes, if the institution has already approved an ethics application, applicants are required to submit the Radius ethics application. Typically the information required in the Radius ethics application has already been answered in the application submitted to the institutions’ ethics board. Therefore applicants are permitted to transfer the answers from their institutions’ ethics application to Radius’s ethics application provided the content answers the questions sufficiently.
Decisions and feedback are provided in writing by the Chair, to the applicant, co-applicants, and supervisors where relevant. Decisions categories include: a. Approval: The researcher will be notified in writing that the project is approved on ethical grounds. b. Approval with minor revisions: In cases where minor revisions are required, the researcher will receive written documentation outlining the needed revisions; once the revisions are approved, the Chair will forward a letter of ethics approval to the researcher. c. Approval with major revisions: Approval is deferred pending additional information and/or major revisions. The researcher is required to submit the necessary revisions or documentation along with a letter detailing the revisions. Once changes are received, the Committee will review the re-submission and determine whether it meets ethical criteria. Upon completion of the review, the applicant will be notified in writing of either a), b), or c) above.
“I believe that research plays a vital role in helping us to better understand mental health including the treatment of trauma. It also serves to hold us accountable in our clinical work by widening our perspective about our clients’ experiences. Through the use of rigorous, objective evidence obtained through credible  research we strive to validate our clinical experiences, evaluate the effectiveness of our treatment and promote evidence based innovation. Serving as co-chair of the RREB has given me the opportunity for professional growth through continued learning and collaboration”. ~ Franca Iannotta, Consulting Psychologist 
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Questions?

The research team is here to help. Contact Liz Lartey, our Research Assistant, with any questions you may have about the research ethics submission process, the approval process or how to complete your ethics proposal.