Human Ethics Requirements for Student Research and Pedagogical Activities

verdant grass with dew in countryside
Photo by kira schwarz on

As a follow-up to communications distributed on July 10 and November 6, 2019, Western’s Office of Human Research Ethics (OHRE) wants to remind faculty and lecturers that course-based pedagogical projects involving human participants (including human data and/or biological materials) may require ethics approval.

In January 2020, OHRE created a guidance document that provides an overview of student activities and associated procedures for ethical oversight when these activities involve human participants (including human data and/or biological materials).

Included in the guidance document is information about community-engaged learning opportunities, where students are matched with community partners (e.g., organizations) within the context of a course. These considerations may also apply to other experiential learning opportunities.

Please note that project activities may still require research ethics board oversight in cases where student projects are designed by community partners. Course instructors are encouraged to contact the office of human research ethics in advance of initiating such projects to discuss ethical oversight requirements.

All pedagogical projects considered to fall within Category 2 of the guidance document require a completed pedagogical application form in WREM. All projects considered research are still subject to standard research ethics board oversight and require a standard application form.

All research involving human participants (including human data and/or biological materials) must adhere to Western’s policies and procedures, in addition to the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS2 2018) and other relevant guidelines and required legislation.

Western has a duty to ensure any research conducted under its jurisdiction adheres to the TCPS2, including course-based activities, which are outlined in Article 2.1.

If you have any questions, please contact the office at

About the Author

Kueneman, Karen
Staff, 2015 Fall
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Subscribe to the FIMULAW blog
Receive notifications when new posts are published