Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | St. Clair College

The St. Clair College Research Ethics Board adheres to the guidelines set out by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS2-2018).

The Board meets monthly with the exception of July and August when there are no meetings. During this time, the ethics@stclaircollege.ca email remains active to accept new submissions, as well as, information from active studies (e.g. change form, adverse event form, etc.).

All research projects involving human participants, human biological materials, as well as human embryos, fetuses, fetal tissue, reproductive materials and stem cells require ethics review and approval by the REB before the research commences. This applies to materials derived from living and deceased individuals (Article 2.1). Articles 2.2 through 2.4 describe research that is exempt from REB review and Articles 2.5 and 2.6 outline activities that, though similar to research, do not require REB review. If you are not sure if your project requires REB, please reach out to us at ethics@stclaircollege.ca.

It depends on the quality of the submission and the level of risk of the proposed research. The fastest it can take is a month, but often the board has questions and clarifications that need to be addressed in subsequent meetings.

All investigators on a research project associated with St. Clair College are required to complete the free online TCPS2 training available through the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) website. Once all modules have been completed, a TCPS2 CORE certificate of completion will be issued. Please save, print and include these certificates with your application submission, as per our checklist.

A “Request for Change” must be submitted to the Board when any change is being proposed to the cleared research plans. This form would apply to changes in recruitment, methodology, timelines, and/or location of the research.

If an adverse event occurs, please report it to the REB on our “Adverse Event” form within 48 hours of the occurrence. The REB email (ethics@stclaircollege.ca) is managed 12 months of the year. If it is an emergency, please follow the necessary emergency protocols in addition to the previously mentioned notification form.

Even if your project has already been reviewed and cleared by REB at another institution, you must still have written clearance from St. Clair College’s REB before you may commence the proposed research activities at St. Clair College or with St. Clair College staff, students, and/or resources. In addition, separate from the REB, you must submit an administrative notification form that will be reviewed by the Senior Operating Group at St. Clair College. Please see our flow chart for details on this process.

If the research included human participants or materials, you would be required to come to the SCC REB as they would be considered your board of record. This would be the case even if you are collaborating with a colleague from another institution and have already received REB clearance there.

Yes, an application needs to be submitted for secondary use of information. Secondary use refers to the use in research of information originally collected for a purpose other than the current research purpose.

As outlined in the Tri-Council Policy Statement, Chapter 5, Section D, Consent and Secondary Use of Identifiable Information for Research Purposes, researchers who have not obtained consent from participants for secondary use of identifiable information shall only use such information for these purposes if:

  • identifiable information is essential to the research;
  • the use of identifiable information without the participants’ consent is unlikely to adversely affect the welfare of individuals to whom the information relates;
  • the researchers will take appropriate measures to protect the privacy of individuals, and to safeguard the identifiable information;
  • the researchers will comply with any known preferences previously expressed by individuals about any use of their information;
  • it is impossible or impracticable to seek consent from individuals to whom the information relates; and
  • the researchers have obtained any other necessary permission for secondary use of information for research purposes.

Yes, if you are using St. Clair College students, staff, or facilities in your study you must apply to St. Clair College’s REB.

(e.g., graduate work)

No, your board of record would be the institution for which you are a student. It is very important, nevertheless to manage your dual roles if this arises. Please note that if you intend to use SCC resources, staff, students, or affiliation for publication, you will need to complete the SCC-REB application in addition to the REB at your board of record.

St. Clair College’s has specific processes for recruiting students, faculty and staff. For online research, recruitment emails can be sent to St. Clair College’s email lists for students and staff. Please indicate this protocol in your application and work with the REB chair to send this information to the proper departments. Online recruitment to students will be sent out from the IT department, whereas online recruitment to staff will be sent out from the Office of College Communications and Community Relations. Alternative forms of recruitment can be proposed in your REB application (e.g., onsite recruitment, snowball approaches, etc.).

Yes, all course-based research requires clearance. Course-based research is when the objective of project/data collection is for the student to acquire skills involved with conducting academic and scholarly research in a rigorous manner. If it is an annual activity/assignment, then the REB can set up a process of renewal, but initially, it must be reviewed and cleared by the REB.