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Approvals to Conduct In-Person Fieldwork Research with Human Participants

  1. Fieldwork with human participants requires approval from your Vice/Associate Dean Research (V/ADR). To seek approval, your Research Activity Plan (including COVID-19 precautions) should be submitted through this portal.
  1. After receiving V/ADR approval, obtain research ethics clearance through the appropriate REB. For projects with previous REB clearance, adding in-person participant research or resuming in-person research (that was halted due to COVID-19) will likely require submission of an amendment request to the appropriate REB. For more information see HiREB or MREB details on COVID-19 and REB review.
  1. Researchers and participants are expected to follow the COVID-19 precautions for their study (e.g., self-assessment screening, physical distancing, masking, etc.) approved by their V/ADR through the Phase 2 return to research process and outlined in their approved MREB or HiREB ethics application.
  1. Researchers are expected to use the COVID-19 LOI for fieldwork with human participants. This should be submitted as part of the Research Activity Plan to your V/ADR. For studies reviewed by MREB, the COVID LOI should be included in the MREB submission. For studies reviewed by HiREB, the COVID LOI does not need to be included in the HiREB submission.


Vaccination Mandate and COVID-19 Safety Protocols

  1. For studies not taking place at a McMaster campus or facility (i.e., not University property), there is no McMaster requirement for research participants to be vaccinated. However, if the research is taking place at another institution (e.g., school, hospital, private company, etc.) then there may be vaccine requirements that research participants will have to follow to enter those locations.
  1. For research conducted at an off-campus site, including affiliated hospitals or MIP, McMaster researchers themselves must adhere to site-specific vaccination protocols in addition to McMaster’s vaccination policy for employees and students. Note that the reporting requirements under the policy apply even if the McMaster researcher will not be on campus in the fall term (i.e., an “Off-Site Community Member”). If you have any questions about the McMaster vaccination policies, please email
  1. Research participants attending a non-McMaster location to participate in an in-person study are expected to complete the Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment the day of the study before meeting with the researcher. Participants should confirm the result of the self-assessment was “you do not need to self-isolate or get tested.” This is covered in the COVID-19 LOI for fieldwork with human participants. For studies taking place outside of Ontario, the local equivalent to the Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment should be used.
  1. In addition to vaccine requirements, non-McMaster locations and affiliated hospitals may have other COVID-19 related health and safety protocols. Researchers and research participants should be adhering to those protocols in order to access the research site.
  1. When engaging in fieldwork, please adhere to McMaster’s guidelines for fieldwork during the COVID-19 pandemic, the vehicle use guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, and all public health restrictions of the community in which you are conducting your research.


Additional Approvals for Fieldwork

  1. All fieldwork requires University approval under RMM801. This process is overseen by Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services (EOHSS).
  1. As part of the RMM801 approval, all research team members conducting fieldwork are required to complete the Participant Waiver Agreement. The supervising faculty member is responsible for making sure these waivers are completed.