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Preparing a UWaterloo Ethics Application

If you intend to collect user data, either as a means to help establish your design / system requirements or as a means to evaluate a design / research concept / developed system prototype (e.g., sketches, wireframe diagrams of a system interface, a powerpoint slide show of your intended design, an implemented interactive prototype, etc.) either as part of a course-based project or as part of a research project you are involved in, you MUST have your intended study design cleared by the UW Office of Research Ethics. Luckily, for human factors / interface design research / project work, this is a fairly painless process. However, it does takes some planning, document & materials preparation, and some time for the review cycle.

This webpage is meant to serve as a guideline for preparing your ethics documents and to provide some examples of materials used in past student projects that have been previously been cleared by the Office of Research Ethics, and hence, make a good starting point. (NOTE, as the University's Ethics policies are ever evolving, there is no guarantee that the exact same thing will be acceptable without changes, however, we have found that it's a good place to start).

Note: I you will be providing your study participants any type of remuneration (e.g. a cash stipend, gift certificates, a non-cash prize such as software, etc., you MUST follow the University of Waterloo Regulations on Reimbursing Participants, as of January 2012. These regulations, for instance, require you to use a standard form for participants to sign acknowledging receipt of remuneration. Collection of this form is now necessary for getting reimbursed from a UW research account for paying subjects.

What to do for a Course-based Project or Design/Workshop Project

  1. Login to the Office of Research Ethics (ORE) website and complete Form 101A. (Note, Form 101A is a modified form used for coursework, which is simple to complete and tends to be approved quickly.)
  2. Prepare all materials you will use in your study. Commonly included materials include (see Samples Page for example materials):
    • information sheet / informed consent forms
    • survey questions for online or paper-based surveys / questionnaires
    • interview questions for interviews or focus groups
    • test protocol/procedures for a user-based system evaluation / user study
  3. Send your Form 101A and materials to Prof. Scott (i.e. your project supervisor / course instructor) to review and approve.
  4. Once approved, print 2 copies of the Form 101A and the included materials, sign Form 101A and obtain Prof. Scott's (i.e. your project supervisor / course instructor) signature.
  5. Deliver the signed application to the Office of Research Ethics (NH 1024).
  6. Wait for approval before recruiting your participants. In most cases, ORE will request some (typically minor) changes to be made to your materials. These must be changed before running your 1st participants.
  7. Upon project completion, complete FORM 105: Annual Progress Report for Research Involving Human Participants (the "FOR COMPLETED PROJECTS" section) and forward it to your project supervisor / course instructor for submission.

What to do for a Research Project (e.g. as a URA, RA/RS, or for graduate thesis work)

  1. Login to the Office of Research Ethics (ORE) website and complete Form 101.
  2. Prepare all materials you will use in your study. Commonly included materials include (see Samples Page for example materials):
    • information sheet / informed consent forms
    • survey questions for online or paper-based surveys / questionnaires
    • interview questions for interviews or focus groups
    • test protocol/procedures for a user-based system evaluation / user study
  3. Send your Form 101 and materials to the project Principal Investigator or project director (typically your research supervisor) to review and approve.
  4. Once approved, print 2 copies of the Form 101 and the included materials, sign Form 101 and obtain your project supervisor's signature.
  5. Deliver the signed application to the Office of Research Ethics (NH 1024).
  6. Wait for approval before recruiting your participants. In most cases, ORE will request some (typically minor) changes to be made to your materials. These must be changed before running your 1st participants.
  7. Upon project completion, complete FORM 105: Annual Progress Report for Research Involving Human Participants (the "FOR COMPLETED PROJECTS" section) and forward it to your project supervisor for submission. Note if your project continues past one year, this form must also be completed, but only the "FOR CONTINUING PROJECTS" section).
Recent Changes (All) | Edit SideBar Page last modified on January 25, 2012, at 01:48 PM Edit Page | Page History
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