Kinesiology Student SREC & Terms of Reference (KSREC)

2011 - 2012 Members Kinesiology Student Research Ethics Committee

Chair, J. Blimkie Kinesiology
J. Dowling
N. Cipriano
K. Eliasz
J. Tomasone
M. Sonne

Link to the Course Form (New)
Link to Individual Form
 Link to Guidelines for Course Based Projects Involving Human Subjects

Purpose: These procedures were constructed to conform with the Tri-Council Policy Statement "Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans" (2010), or TCPS.

Adoption and modification: These procedures, and any subsequent changes to them, must be approved at a standard Department Council meeting, held monthly, within the Department of Kinesiology. The terms of reference described herein must also be approved by the University Research Ethics Board.

Scope: All research involving humans as research subjects must be reviewed by either the University or Departmental Research Ethics Board (TCPS, Article 2.1). Research is defined as "a systematic investigation to establish facts, principles or generalizable knowledge" (TCPS, Article 2.1). This includes research conducted for a course at McMaster University that is supervised by an individual who is not affiliated with the University. Research requiring review includes not only experimental protocols, but also research involving naturalistic observation, questionnaires, interviews, or secondary use of data that are not in the public domain. It also extends to research involving human remains, tissue (including fetal), or biological fluids (TCPS, Articles 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 5.5).


The KSREC shall review research conducted by undergraduate students when: (1) It is conducted as part of an undergraduate course offered by the Department of Kinesiology and (2) It is not part of a faculty member's research programme already subject to review by any other Ethics Board (TCPS, Article 6.1). Undergraduate research for a Kinesiology course that is supervised by individuals outside of the Department of Kinesiology shall be reviewed by the KSREC unless it is subject to review by the University Research Ethics Board or by another Ethics Board in compliance with the Tri-Council Policy. Research conducted by graduate students and faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology must be reviewed by the University Research Ethics Board or by the Research Ethics Committee for the Faculty of Health Sciences (and, when relevant, the Ethics Board of the institution where the research will be conducted).

Departmental Committee: The Department shall form a Committee - the Kinesiology Student Research Ethics Committee (KSREC) - which will be responsible for the exclusive review of undergraduate research. The KSREC will consist of 3 faculty (one of whom shall serve as the KSREC chair) members and 3 undergraduate or graduate students. The faculty membership shall encompass expertise in various methodologies used in kinesiology research and in ethical issues that arise in such research. The Committee is encouraged to consult relevant experts within and outside the Department of Kinesiology, as necessary.

Selection of members: Members (and any necessary replacements) shall be appointed by the Chair of the Department. Faculty members shall serve for staggered 3-year terms; undergraduates or graduates, for 1 or 2-year terms. All terms are renewable. The Chair of the Committee shall be selected by the Chair of the Department. Membership shall be reported to the University Research Ethics Board.

Information to be supplied: Applications may be made for an individual undergraduate project or for a generic project to be conducted by several members of a class. Although we encourage the undergraduate researcher to be involved in constructing the application, the final application must come from the supervisor or course instructor and be signed by him/her. The research may not begin until the Departmental or University Research Ethics Board (if the application has been referred there) has given its approval. In each case, the application must include:

  • The purpose of the project
  • How subjects will be recruited
  • Method: What will happen from the subject's perspective, including a description of any written instruments to be used
  • The process for obtaining the initial consent and monitoring for ongoing consent, including a copy of any proposed consent form
  • Possible benefits and harms
  • How possible harms will be minimized
  • How the subject will be debriefed
  • Confidentiality of the data: What subjects will be told and how that degree of confidentiality will be assured
  • Steps to be taken to educate the undergraduate student(s) about ethical issues relevant to the proposed research
  • Whether it is part of a supervisor's research subject to review by another ethics committee, and if so, which one
  • Signature of the supervisor and of the student who will carry out the research


Forms for each academic year will be available from McMaster University's website: http://www.mcmaster.ca/ors/ethics/students_forms.htm Applications can be made by E-mail attachment or by submitting 5 hard copies to the KSREC chair. Questions regarding the application can be directed to the McMaster Research Ethics Board Secretariat:

Research Ethics Officer
Office of Research Services
McMaster University
Gilmour Hall, Room 305
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L9

Phone: 905-525-9140, ext. 23142
Email: ethicsoffice@mcmaster.ca
Fax: 905-540-8019


Submission deadlines: The KSREC will accept applications for ethical review up to the 15th of each month and will return a decision on applications received prior to this deadline before the last day of the same month. Applications received after the 15th of each month will be reviewed in the subsequent month.

Review of application: All applications made to the KSREC shall be reviewed only by three (3) of the committee members. Generally, but not always, the three reviewers will be comprised of two (2) faculty members and one undergraduate or graduate student. Hence, only 3 reviews plus input from the KSREC chair, will be filed for each ethical submission. A final report as to the ethical acceptability of the application will be passed on by the KSREC chair to the applicants. All decisions regarding the ethical review of the applications will be transmitted via e-mail to the applicants. Where it is deemed necessary, the reviewers of a given application shall meet with the KSREC chair to discuss ethical issues surrounding the application. These meetings will be held only when reviewers have significant questions that they have identified as requiring of ethical review.

Process and procedure: Applications should be brought to the KSREC chair well in advance of the date at which the research is to be started. In reaching its decisions, the KSREC will be guided by the principles outlined in the Tri-Council Policy, especially the ethical framework described in its introductory section, Chapter 3 on The Consent Process, and Chapter 5 on Privacy and Confidentiality.

Course applications will be approved for three years, but individual applications are approved only for the the academic year in which they are made. If the latter, and the project will continue in a subsequent year without any change, the applicant should request renewal, in the form of a letter directed to the Chair of the Departmental Committee, of the approval.

Whenever possible, the committee shall make decisions in face-to-face meetings (TCPS, Articles 6.9, 6.8). However, proposals that fit the Tri-Council's definition of minimal risk-without the least doubt-may be reviewed and approved by E-mail or mail circulation. Approval requires a unanimous decision by all three reviewers and the KSREC chair will vote on all decisions. It is anticipated that, if necessary, the KSREC chair will work with the applicant to improve the initial proposal.

If the Committee is reviewing an application in which a Committee member has a personal interest, that member shall not be involved in the decision (TCPS, Article 7.3).

Applications, records of decisions, and minutes of the Committee meetings shall be kept for 5 years (TCPS, Article 6.17). The Committee's Chair shall prepare an annual report for the University Committee about the proposals reviewed and approved.

Referral to University Research Ethics Board: The Departmental Committee may refer an application to the University Research Ethics Board. Examples of situations in which referral would be appropriate are research that the Departmental Committee thinks may be of more than minimal risk, research involving ethical or legal issues for which it does not have adequate expertise or in such cases for which conflicts of interest reduce its size to fewer than three members.

Appeals: Every attempt shall be made to work with the applicant to reach agreement through discussion, revision, and reconsideration. When agreement cannot be reached, decisions of the Departmental Ethics Board may be appealed to the University Research Ethics Board, whose decision shall be final.

Other responsibilities: The Departmental Committee shall also consider any other ethical issues that arise which concern Kinesiology undergraduates and research with human subjects, such as subject pools and undergraduate education about ethics.

Reconsideration of these procedures: These procedures shall be reviewed not later than June 2003.

Last Update December 14, 2010tcps2