Message from the REB Regarding COVID-19

A message from David Griffin, PhD, Chair of the OCAD University Research Ethics Board (OCAD U REB)

RE: OCAD U REB guidance and business continuity plan amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

The OCAD U REB shall continue to accept applications for REB review online via the ROMEO Researcher Portal . The review of applications and provision of feedback shall proceed as usual with possible delays due to the current circumstances.

The OCAD U REB advises investigators to modify research activities to adapt to the current reality of human interactions. The REB will work on case-by-case basis with individual researchers to identify a best path forward that respects our obligations to each other as citizens, using both the TCSP2 and current national health communications. Please refer the Toronto Public Health website for up-to-date information.

In light of the current issue, modifications of research protocols approved by the REB (or in process) may be identified and developed, where necessary, including the limiting of personal and participant interactions, or the establishment of new communications strategies (e.g. online, teleconferencing). Researchers should also consider eliminating field visits, laboratory visits, or trips into populated locations such as malls, clinics, and hospitals. Again, follow the advice of Toronto Public Health.

Most importantly, researchers should attune themselves to new forms of risk that may arise from any changes, including risk that may arise by switching from in-person to virtual communication. Remember that in situations where participants or research staff report feeling unwell, care should be taken to isolate for prevention of viral transmission. If COVID-19 is known or suspected, Public Health Ontario protocols should be followed.

Modifications in new and ongoing applications may be necessary, where changes are being integrated into the research method/timeline as a response to health and civic recommendations. Revised consent forms or addenda may be required (e.g., to update privacy considerations with use of different communication channels). These changes must be reported within 5 days of their implementation through the ROMEO Researcher Portal. The REB will refer to the TCPS2 and current health advisement and respond to updated research applications within approximately 10 working days or fewer (depending on the nature of changes and their complexity).

A reminder that where the research involves assessments and use of equipment, disinfection according to manufacturer’s standards where applicable is paramount, and use of single use accessories is advisable. In the absence of manufacturers standards, thorough cleaning between participants is advised. Please consult OCAD University’s website for up-to-date information regarding University operations: https://www.ocadu.ca/about/coronavirus Please direct any questions or concerns to research@ocadu.ca.

Department: 

A message from David Griffin, PhD, Chair of the OCAD University Research Ethics Board (OCAD U REB)

RE: OCAD U REB guidance and business continuity plan amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

The OCAD U REB shall continue to accept applications for REB review online via the ROMEO Researcher Portal . The review of applications and provision of feedback shall proceed as usual with possible delays due to the current circumstances.

The OCAD U REB advises investigators to modify research activities to adapt to the current reality of human interactions. The REB will work on case-by-case basis with individual researchers to identify a best path forward that respects our obligations to each other as citizens, using both the TCSP2 and current national health communications. Please refer the Toronto Public Health website for up-to-date information.

In light of the current issue, modifications of research protocols approved by the REB (or in process) may be identified and developed, where necessary, including the limiting of personal and participant interactions, or the establishment of new communications strategies (e.g. online, teleconferencing). Researchers should also consider eliminating field visits, laboratory visits, or trips into populated locations such as malls, clinics, and hospitals. Again, follow the advice of Toronto Public Health.

Most importantly, researchers should attune themselves to new forms of risk that may arise from any changes, including risk that may arise by switching from in-person to virtual communication. Remember that in situations where participants or research staff report feeling unwell, care should be taken to isolate for prevention of viral transmission. If COVID-19 is known or suspected, Public Health Ontario protocols should be followed.

Modifications in new and ongoing applications may be necessary, where changes are being integrated into the research method/timeline as a response to health and civic recommendations. Revised consent forms or addenda may be required (e.g., to update privacy considerations with use of different communication channels). These changes must be reported within 5 days of their implementation through the ROMEO Researcher Portal. The REB will refer to the TCPS2 and current health advisement and respond to updated research applications within approximately 10 working days or fewer (depending on the nature of changes and their complexity).

A reminder that where the research involves assessments and use of equipment, disinfection according to manufacturer’s standards where applicable is paramount, and use of single use accessories is advisable. In the absence of manufacturers standards, thorough cleaning between participants is advised. Please consult OCAD University’s website for up-to-date information regarding University operations: https://www.ocadu.ca/about/coronavirus Please direct any questions or concerns to research@ocadu.ca.

Department: