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Approvals to Conduct In-Person Fieldwork Research with Human Participants

  1. Fieldwork with human participants no longer requires approval from your Vice/Associate Dean Research (V/ADR). However, all McMaster University policies for fieldwork as well as all local public health guidelines, including required and recommended COVID-19 precautions, must be followed. If the health authority at the study location does not have any required or recommended COVID precautions, the REB may consult with EOHSS to determine if some of the EOHSS recommendations should be followed to reduce risk to participants. For Faculty of Health Sciences research, FHSSO may be consulted.
  2. 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.
  3. Researchers and participants are expected to follow the COVID-19 precautions for their study (e.g., self-assessment screening, physical distancing, masking, etc.) outlined in their approved MREB or HiREB ethics application.
  4. Researchers are expected to use the COVID-19 information letter for fieldwork with human participants. The letter template should be edited per your study details and included in the REB submission. For studies reviewed by HiREB, the COVID information letter does not need to be included in the HiREB submission.

Vaccination Mandate and COVID-19 Safety Protocols

  1. As of May 1, 2022, there is no McMaster vaccination requirement for research participants in non-McMaster locations. However, research participants must follow all vaccine requirements of the location (e.g., school, hospital, private company, etc.) in which the research is taking place.
  2. Non-McMaster locations and affiliated hospitals may have other COVID-19 related health and safety protocols. Researchers and research participants must adhere to those protocols in order to access the research site.

Additional Approvals for Fieldwork

  1. All fieldwork requires University approval under RMM801. This process is overseen by Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services (EOHSS).
  2. 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.