Research projects involving human subjects require obtaining consent of the participants, and in the case of subjects younger than age 17 or subjects who cannot give their consent, parents or guardians. Consent forms detail the rights of the participating human subject. The participant must be given a copy of this form, and sign his or her signature at the bottom of the form to indicate that he or she understands his or her rights. The human subject cannot participate in the research until this form has his or her signature.
Consent documents must be included with an application to the HSRC. They should be simply written so that they can be easily understood by the average person. Do not use technical jargon or abbreviations. The following basic elements must be included in a consent document:
- A statement that the study involves research, and explanation of the purposes of the research, the expected duration of the subject’s involvement in the research, a description of the procedures to be followed, and identification of any procedures that are experimental.
- A description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the subject.
- A description of any benefits that may reasonably be expected from the research.
- A statement describing the extent to which confidentiality of records identifying the subject will be maintained.
- A statement that participation is voluntary, that the subject may refuse to participate, and that either the subject or the researchers may discontinue the study at any time with no adverse consequences.
- A statement advising subjects that if they have any questions about the research or their rights, they may contact you. Your name and telephone number must be included.
- Signature lines should be included for the subject, the subject’s parent or guardian if the subject is under 18 years of age or otherwise incompetent, and a line for the date.
Sample Consent Forms
In addition to your application, YOU MUST upload a research protocol. This document should clearly and thoroughly describe the background information of your study, the specific aims of your research, the location where the research will be conducted, with whom the data and/or conclusions will be shared, and the methodology of your study. Your methodology should include a detailed description of everything participants will be asked to do. You must include copies of questionnaires, tests, etc. If you need multiple documents, please combine them into one (such as scanning all to a single PDF document before uploading). If you are recording data via audio or video recording devices, then you must include a description of how/where these materials will be stored, coded, encrypted, and/or destroyed upon conclusion of the study. Here is a framework for you to complete (.docx).