FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions for Participants

Questions to ask about participating in research

There are different reasons why people engage in research. The information here focuses on people who join or are thinking about joining research studies as research participants.

A lot of research cannot be done without the help of people willing to join studies. Often people want to know more about taking part in research, but do not know what kind of questions to ask. Here you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about participating in research.

The answers are based on Canada's research ethics policy, the second edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). Many researchers in Canada are required by their institutions to use it to help design and conduct their research. However, there is a lot of research conducted in Canada, especially in the private sector, that does not have to follow TCPS 2. You should always feel free to ask researchers what ethical standards apply to their research, and how you can learn more about them.

Canadian researchers usually have their plans for research projects reviewed by research ethics boards. Canadian Research Ethics Boards use TCPS 2 to help them review the ethics of these research plans.

All guidance in TCPS 2 is based on its three core principles: Respect for Persons; Concern for Welfare; and Justice. Here you will learn how the core principles can be put into practice.

In our ongoing effort to provide useful educational resources for the community, we look forward to your feedback.

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