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Frequently Asked Questions

Human Ethics

In principle, all research involving human participants, as well as all research involving human biological materials, is subject to ethics review.

There are, however, some exemptions. Please consult this document and consult with the staff  of the Research Ethics Unit if you are not sure if your research is subject to review.

Research that poses greater than minimal risk to participants is reviewed by the Human Research Ethics committee (HREC). Faculty research that is considered minimal risk is reviewed via expedited review by members of HREC.

Minimal risk student research is reviewed via expedited review by members of the College of Ethics Reviewers (CER). If student research is conducted exclusively for pedagogical purposes, it can be reviewed at the departmental level. Please contact your academic department for more information about departmental review.

See this flowchart for a summary.

Minimal risk research is defined as “research in which the probability and magnitude of possible harms implied by participation in the research is no greater than those encountered by participants in those aspects of their daily life that relate to the research.” See Chapter 2 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) for more information. If you have questions as to whether your research qualifies as minimal risk, please contact the staff of the Research Ethics unit.

The Human Research Ethics Committee meets on the following days to review greater than minimal risk research. Documents for such research must be submitted by the deadline listed if they are to be reviewed at the corresponding meeting.

Meeting date

Submission deadline

September 14, 2023

September 1, 2023

October 19, 2023

October 1, 2023

November 9, 2023

November 1, 2023

December 14, 2023

December 1, 2023

January 18, 2024

January 1, 2024

February 8, 2024

February 1, 2024

March 14, 2024

March 1, 2024

April 11, 2024

April 1, 2024

May 9, 2024

May 1, 2024

June 13, 2024

June 1, 2024

July 11, 2024

July 1, 2024

August 2024 – No Meeting

August 2024 – No Meeting

All submissions require a Summary Protocol Form, available on the Ethics page. Depending on the nature of your research the following documents may also be required.

  • Consent forms or consent script
  • Scholarly review form
  • Recruitment materials, such as posters, materials for social media and phone scripts
  • Instruments used to gather data, such as questionnaires or interview guides
  • Debriefing script
  • List of resources to whom participants can be referred if necessary
  • Documentation of support from collaborating organizations, such as school boards or Aboriginal communities

Faculty members must submit studies for review via ConRAD. The link to ConRAD is also found on the Carrefour's My CU Account page. Learn more about ConRAD.

Students should submit studies for review by email.

Once a complete submission is received and is subsequently sent out for review, a first response will be returned to the researcher in about four weeks. A first response may either be a full approval or a request for additional information and/or clarifications. The estimated turnaround time for processing student and faculty protocols is of 4-6 weeks, from the time the protocol is submitted to the time the certificate is issued.

These processing times also depend greatly on factors such as complexity and risk level, completeness of the application, and the response time of researchers to comments and concerns.

The most common approach to documenting consent is to provide potential participants with a written consent form that explains the research in understandable terms, and in enough detail to allow them to make an informed decision about participating. They are asked to sign the form if they agree to participate.

Please refer to the templates on the Ethics page for more information on developing a consent form.

In some circumstances, it may not be possible or desirable to use a written consent form and an alternative approach to documenting consent can be used. In such cases, please contact the staff of the Ethics Unit.

Research that implies greater than minimal risk to participants must be reviewed for scholarly merit. However, the following is deemed to have been reviewed for scholarly merit, and a Scholarly Review Form (SRF) is not required:

  • Research that has been funded through a competitive peer review process
  • Student research that has been vetted through a successful thesis or dissertation proposal defense

In all other cases, an SRF must be submitted for greater than minimal risk research.

There is no need to submit an SRF for research that implies, at most, minimal risk to participants.

After reviewing your application, the reviewers may have either Queries or Conditions. If so, you will be notified by email and provided with your status, comments and complete instructions.

Please respond to each comment either via email or in a separate document. Along with the responses, please provide copies of the revised documents. All changes to the SPF and any revised appendices should be clearly identified with highlighting or bolded.

For any change to your approved application, please submit an amendment request.”

The amendment request must contain:

  1. A cover email requesting an amendment to an approved protocol.
  2. A separate document in PDF outlining any modifications with a clear, detailed explanation as to why the change is being made. Please list which documents and sections these changes apply to (SPF and/or supporting documents).
  3. Revised SPF/supporting documents with all changes clearly highlighted. Do not resend all your appendices. Only those that pertain to the amendment request.
  4. Any appendices that are new, or have been revised. These must be provided as separate documents saved in PDF.

 

The amendment request may be submitted by return email to oor.ethics@concordia.ca.

Ethics approval is generally valid for one year; the expiry date will appear on your Certificate of Ethical Acceptability. You must submit an annual report in order to maintain approval. Please submit annual reports to the Ethics Unit one month before expiry.

Ethics approval must be maintained for as long as there is a chance of needing to contact participants. For example, if there is a chance of needing to contact participants to inform them of incidental findings, to ask follow-up questions about an earlier interview, or to disseminate results of the study, ethics approval must be maintained.

When you reach the point where there is no longer a chance of needing to contact participants, please submit an annual report indicating that the study is completed.

Research involving the imaging platform at the School of Health must be reviewed by the Comité central de l’éthique de la recherche of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. The staff of the Ethics Unit will inform you if any other special requirements apply to your research.

Most research institutions in Canada have agreed to adhere to Tri-Council Policy Statement, and must therefore review all research conducted under their auspices.

See the flowchart of research under Concordia's auspices.

This means that a research project may be subject to review at multiple institutions. To minimize potential complications, please contact the staff of the Research Ethics Unit to discuss how to proceed.

The Human Research Ethics Committee is currently composed of the following individuals:

Name

Position

Department

Richard DeMont

Chair, Arts and Science

Health, Kinesiology & Applied Physiology

Mark Ellenbogen

Vice-Chair, Arts and Science

Psychology

Bianca Grohmann

John Molson School of Business

Marketing

Laurel Young

Fine Arts

Creative Arts Therapies

Roisin O’Connor

Arts and Science

Psychology

Xiaodan Pan

John Molson School of Business

Supply Chain and Business Technology Management

Sophie Marcotte

Arts and Science  

Études françaises

Emily Coffey

Arts and Science

Psychology

Tristana Martin Rubio

Ethicist

engAGE

Viviane Namaste

Arts and Science

The Simone de Beauvoir Institute

Mat Karas

Fine Arts

Studio Arts

Miranda D’Amico

Arts and Science

Education

Mickael Deroche

Arts and Science

Psychology

Christine Jourdan

Arts and Science

Sociology & Anthropology

Joanne Beaudoin

Community Representative

External

David McLauchlan

Legal Representative

External

Erica Monteferrante

Ethicist

External

Daniel Salée

Chapter 9 Expert, Arts and Science

Political Science and School of Community and Public Affairs

The Panel on Research Ethics offers an online tutorial on research ethics.

Furthermore, the staff of the Research Ethics Unit is available to provide one-on-one consultations and training sessions on research ethics. Please contact them for more information.

The staff of the Research Ethics Unit  of the Research Ethics Unit can help you with any issues related to research ethics.

 

Please follow the instructions below for submitting a Pro-Rated Release of Funds:

  1. Log on to Carrefour
  2. Click on My CU Account, then scroll down click on Faculty and Academic, and then click on ConRAD
  3. On the upper right hand toolbar, click APPLY NEW
  4. Click on the HREC Pro-Rating of Research Funds link and fill out the form

New Application Forms
Human Ethics Research Committee (HREC)

Application Name

Description

Status

HREC: Summary Protocol Form (SPF)

The Summary Protocol Form (SPF) must be submitted to, and approved by, the University Human Research Ethics Committee (UHREC) prior to beginning any research involving human participants.

Open

HREC: Pro-rating of Research Funds

Request that a portion of research funds be released before activities involving human participants are initiated.

Open

All student and faculty researchers conducting research involving human participants or human derived data must complete this certification. A copy of your certification is required in order to finalize all new protocols, amendment requests, renewals, etc.

You may complete your TCPS CORE Certification by visiting: https://tcps2core.ca/welcome.

Animal Ethics

The AREC holds three meetings per year to review research protocols involving animals. Documents for such research must be submitted by the deadline listed if they are to be reviewed at the corresponding meeting.

Meeting date

Submission deadline

Winter Meeting – Within the third full week of March (specific day varies)

Within the third full week of February (specific day varies)

Summer Meeting - Within the third full week of July (specific day varies)

Within the third full week of June (specific day varies)

Fall meeting - Within the third full week of November (specific day varies)

Within the third full week of October (specific day varies)

Please submit your applications via email directly to Karen Gregg, Coordinator, Research Ethics at karen.gregg@concordia.ca

For any change to your approved application, please submit an amendment request.

The amendment request must contain:

  • A cover email requesting an amendment to an approved protocol.
  • A separate document outlining any modifications with a clear, detailed explanation as to why the change is being made. Please list which documents and sections these changes apply to (Animal Use Protocol Form (AUP) and/or supporting documents).
  • Revised AUP/supporting documents with all changes clearly highlighted. Do not resend all your appendices. Only those that pertain to the amendment request.
  • Any appendices that are new, or have been revised. These must be provided as separate documents.

The amendment request may be submitted by return email to karen.gregg@concordia.ca.

Ethics approval is generally valid for one year; the expiry date will appear on your Certificate of Ethical Acceptability. You must submit Animal Use Protocol Renewal Request (AREC-F2) in order to maintain approval. Please submit the AREC-F2 to karen.gregg@concordia.ca.

Position

Name

Chair

Andrew Chapman

Vice-Chair

Vacant

ACF Manager

Amanda Brown (interim)

Consulting Veterinarian

Dorine Gilbert

Consulting Veterinarian

Jessica Hutta

Community Member

Jennifer Raynor

Community Member

Jean Sicard

Animal User

Uri Shalev

Animal User

Andreas Arvanitogiannis

Animal User

Sarah Turner

Environmental Health and Safety

Frederic Guilhem Ducleon

Non-animal User

Paul Joyce

Non-animal User

Paul Joyce

Aquatic Technician

Shannon Clarke

Student Representative

Virginia Opara

Manager, Research Ethics

Monica Toca

Coordinator, Research Ethics

Karen Gregg

SOPs can be found on Carrefour.

Please contact the  Manager, Research Ethics (monica.toca@concordia.ca) or Coordinator, Research Ethics  (karen.gregg@concordia.ca) with any administrative issues related to animal research ethics.

Grant administration

Once you have met any and all conditions (certifications) tied to the grant, a Notice of Award will be produced by the OOR. Restricted Funds (in Financial Services) will provide you with a Banner Fund Number (account) once the account has been opened.

Normally a notice of award will be produced within 2 working days and sent to Restricted Funds. During periods of high volume (Grant Submission periods) this may take additional time.

Please contact the officer indicated below for your account number:

Arts & Science + John Molson School of Business

Project Account Manager: Angela Luciano

Financial Officers:

  • Carmen Taranto
  • Amanda Christensen


Engineering & Computer Science + Fine Arts

Project Account Manager: Chao Ling Pan

Financial Officers:

  • Alison Parsons 
  • Brigitte Girard
  • Nancy Sardella

Most funding agencies provide a timeline on when decisions/announcements will be made on the outcome of an application. If there is no information provided, it will normally take 3 to 6 months to adjudicate a research grant application.

Please note that the processing times indicated below are for routine cases and are dependent on the OOR having all the required information/documents and approvals. Additional time will be required to obtain missing information as necessary.

Grant Information Requests 2 working days
Grant Application Administrative Review 2 working days
Produce and Send Notice of Award (NOA) 2 working days
Maternity Leave and Termination Letters 2 working days
Prepare - Transfer of Funds Agreement (ToFA) 2 weeks

Transfer of Funds Agreement (ToFA) - Signature Process

Signature Process for Canadian Partners 2 weeks
Signature Process for International Partners 1 month

Depending on the guidelines of the funding agency, it is possible to obtain an extension on awarded funds. Please contact the Research Grants Unit directly at Office.of.Research@concordia.ca.

As per university policy, the signing authorities for Research Grant Applications are the Associate Vice-President, Strategy and Operations, and the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies.

Following submission of your application through ConRAD, the Manager, Research Grants will obtain the signature for you.

Collaborative research projects often require transferring funds between institutions. A Principal Investigator may choose to send an inter-institutional transfer of funds or sub-grant to a co-investigator or co-applicant at another eligible institution.

Process for TRANSFERRING funds to partner institution:

The following information needs to be supplied to the Office of Research so that a transfer agreement can be completed:

1. Confirm the following details:

a. Name and title of collaborator

b. Grant account or title, amount of installment to be transferred; and fiscal year

c. Budget breakdown (Salary, Travel, Material & Supplies, Computers & Electronics, Publication, Equipment, Services, Other); for student salaries/bursaries, please provide student name if possible.

2. Provide a completed Cheque Requisition form, and forward the signed original to the OOR by internal mail at S-GM-900.

Please be sure to use the official number-coded form (labelled Financial Services at the top) which is available either through your department administrator, or for purchase at the bookstore. See attached sample for use as a guide.

Note: the web version of the form available on Cspace is intended for Payroll use only and cannot be used to process fund transfer payments.

Once the Agreement is drafted, the OOR will initiate the signature process. After it is signed by the partner institution, it will be forwarded to you for your signature before being fully endorsed by Concordia University.  The final signed Agreement, along with the cheque requisition, will be forwarded to Restricted Funds for payment processing.

Future Installments

if you are planning on issuing annual installments and already know the amounts, feel free to provide a separate cheque requisition for each fiscal year. In this case, be sure to specify the correct date you wish the payment to be released under “Date Required” in the bottom left section of the Cheque Requisition form (above the approval signature). This way, payments will be automatic, and the Agreement will only have to be signed once instead of having to draft an Amendment every year for each new installment.  

Process for RECEIVING a transfer of funds from another institution:

ConRAD Inter-institutional Checklist

You may be a recipient of an inter-institutional transfer or sub-grant from a Primary Investigator at another institution. These funds will be subject to the same guidelines and restrictions as a grant directly received from the funding agency, though funds cannot be sub-granted to another third party.

1. Submit a Grant Submission Form (GSF) through ConRAD that includes a copy of the grant application. Please be aware that you may need to apply or update an existing Ethics or AREC certification to gain access to the new funds.

2. The Primary award holder will have the transfer of funds initiated through their own institution and Concordia should receive a Transfer of Funds Letter/Agreement which may require the Concordia researcher’s signature and that of the university.

Once the agreement has been signed and returned to the primary award holder, they will sign the agreement and send a copy and the funds will then be issued. A new account or the new installment will be provided to the researcher once all compliance conditions are met.

For up-to-date account balance information, you will need to contact your respective Financial Officer in Restricted Funds.

Arts & Science + John Molson School of Business

Project Account Manager: Angela Luciano

Financial Officers:

  • Carmen Taranto
  • Amanda Christensen


Engineering & Computer Science + Fine Arts

Project Account Manager: Chao Ling Pan

Financial Officers:

  • Alison Parsons 
  • Brigitte Girard
  • Nancy Sardella

Within the Office of Research, Research Facilitators are assigned to Faculties/disciplines and can review the content of your application and provide feedback.

In terms of a funding agency guidelines, the Research Grants Unit is also available to review and provide feedback on your application.

Please refer to the table below with regards to submitting your application for review and submission.

Submitted by

Type of Proposal Review

Internal Submission to OOR

2 weeks (or more) prior to agency deadline

Full Review (addressing all aspects of the

application)

3 days prior to agency deadline
1 week prior to agency deadline

Limited Review (addressing potential issues of project and researcher eligibility

requirements)

3 days prior to agency deadline

3 days prior to agency deadline

 

Administrative Review addressing all agency requirements)

1 day prior to agency deadline

Agency deadline

Institutional Review (addressing any financial or in-kind

commitments attached to the proposal)

No changes possible, application submitted as is

Please note that the processing times indicated below are for routine cases and are dependent on the OOR having all the required information/documents and approvals. Additional time will be required to obtain missing information as necessary.

Grant Information Requests 2 working days 
Grant Application Administrative Review  2 working days 
Produce and Send Notice of Award (NOA) 2 working days 
Maternity Leave and Termination Letters 2 working days 
Prepare - Transfer of Funds Agreement (ToFA) 2 weeks 
   
Transfer of Funds Agreement (ToFA) - Signature Process
Signature Process for Canadian Partners 2 weeks 
Signature Process for International Partners  1 month

If you have not received a reply following the time periods outline above please send an email with the heading RGU - REPLY REQUIRED to Andrea Rodney, Manager, Research Grants at andrea.rodney@concordia.ca

Indirect costs are costs which cannot be associated specifically with a particular research program or other activity. Indirect costs include the provision and maintenance of physical space and facilities, library services, financial services, computing services, furniture, departmental services (including secretarial), heating, cooling, insurance and like costs.

DETERMING INDIRECT COSTS on Grants

1.       Calculate the Total Direct Costs (TDC) for all direct costs of research.

2.       Multiply the TDC by:

a.       15% for agencies that do not specify the indirect costs rate: TDC x 15% = Indirect costs amount

b.      Provincial Ministry grants: TDC x 27%= indirect costs amount

c.       US grants rates vary  use the eligible agency rate: i.e. NIH TDC x 8%= Indirect costs amount

Exceptions: The following granting agencies CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC and the FRQ network (-NT,-S,- SC) automatically provide indirect costs, so costs do not need to be included in proposal budgets.

Please contact your Research Facilitator or the Research Grants Unit for assistance in determining the appropriate rate.

ConRAD

You can access ConRAD directly. A link to ConRAD can also be found on Carrefour's My CU Account page. This link will bring you directly to your personal homepage. 

ConRAD lets you submit internal research documents electronically (grant submission forms, UROs, compliance applications, etc.). If you are a committee member or signing authority, you can also access, review, and approve applications electronically through the system. 

Currently available forms include the Grant Submission Form (GSF), URO, Summary Protocol Form (SPF), and Animal Use Summary Protocol Form (AUSPF). More will be added over time. 

ConRAD is designed to save two valuable resources: namely, time and paper. This system captures all of your research activity over time, providing you with a comprehensive record of all your research initiatives. Even documents (full grant applications, consent forms, etc.) can be housed in the system for quick and easy future reference. Post-approval activities, such as compliance annual report submissions and extension requests for internal awards, can also be submitted online. 

Yes, the old paper-based forms will remain available until further notice. However, ConRAD significantly simplifies the submission process, so we encourage all researchers to log in and explore the system. 

Currently, direct ConRAD access is restricted to Concordia’s Loyola and SGW campuses. To access from off-campus, you will need to connect through the Virtual Private Network

You can attach a saved document from your files in the Document Tracking TAB under “Current Documents”. For large files they may have to be separated into two documents as the system has a file limit size of 5MB.

If you do not already have a username and password for the system, please send an email to conrad@algol.concordia.ca.

For ConRAD-related questions, please send an email to conrad@algol.concordia.ca.

If you are trying to access ConRAD off-campus, you must login to Concordia's VPN service. For VPN-related support, contact the IITS Service Desk at 514-848-2424 ext. 7613 or by email at help@concordia.ca.

You can access ConRAD (Concordia Research Administration Database) directly. A link to ConRAD can also be found on Carrefour's My CU Account page. All grant applications are now routed through Concordia’s electronic ConRAD system.

For ConRAD-related questions, please send an email to conrad@algol.concordia.ca.

For VPN-related support, contact the IITS Service Desk at 514-848-2424, ext. 7613, or by email at help@concordia.ca.

Hiring Research Personnel

CARE: is for all non-student research positions

TRAC: is for all Concordia student RA contracts

Please contact Victoria Palmer, Advisor, Research Personnel, at victoria.palmer@concordia.ca for more information.

Not if you’re using research funds to pay the employee.

The current salary scales may be found here.

No, but Victoria Palmer can help guide you with the appropriate category for your research employee.

For CARE, any position that is for longer than 4 months must be posted online for 10 days. Positions less than 4 months in duration do not need to be posted.

For TRAC-RA, appointments not assigned as incentive for enrollment must be posted. The position should be posted for a minimum of 5 days.

A sample posting is available here.

Your department/ research unit should post the position on the department website.

Use, as relevant, the CARE Notice of Hire (NOH) form found here or the TRAC NOH found here.

Use the Notice of Change form (NOC) found here.

You can use the NOC for the following reasons:

  • a change in the funds used to pay the employee
  • to renew a contract that has no gap in time: example, contract ends January 1st, and you want to renew the contract as of January 2nd. Or, if the contract finishes on a Friday and you will renew the contract for immediate Monday following. If there is a gap in contract dates, please issue a NOH.

 *Please contact Victoria Palmer for questions about completing an NOC.

 

Use the NOT form found here.

*If terminating an employee before their contract end date, please consult with Victoria Palmer and Employee Labour Relations before completing paperwork.

Yes, CARE employees accumulate vacation time.

If the contract is for less than a year, they accumulate 1 day per month to a max of 10 days peryear.  If the contract is 12 months or more, they accumulate vacation time; 22 days per year pro-rated to hours work. Vacation accrual can be taken as of June 1st of the following year.

*If they haven’t taken these vacation days by the end of their contract, you must pay them the vacation time owed at the end of their contract.

Please refer to the full collective agreement for details about vacation time

TRAC RA’s do not accumulate vacation time. They receive 4% pay in each paycheck included in their hourly rate.

Yes. Please review this memo from Treasury.

We recommend factoring in a salary increase of 2.4% each year.

Yes, two contracts need to be created if the work will take place over 2 academic years due to the change in salary rates.

No, all CARE employees must abide by the certification of location associated with the CARE collective agreement. If you need to hire someone located outside of Quebec, please contact victoria.palmer@concordia.ca for information.

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