Guidelines and Procedures for Research on MD Program Students
The Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) or a delegate reviews proposed research projects involving medical students as participants for the following possible areas of concern:
Potential conflict with UGME teaching or assessment (for example: teaching something in a different way or at an earlier time than in our curriculum that might serve to disadvantage students for some reason; providing an assessment advantage to one group of students over the others)
Potential conflict with students’ responsibilities to the UGME program (attendance at classes or other mandatory events, completion of assignments, etc.) (For example: participation required during a mandatory class event; participation required during a scheduled assessment)
Potential undue pressure/influence (real or perceived) for students to participate
Potential harm to the students’ wellbeing
Other concerns specific to the proposal (use of space, cooperating faculty, timing in academic year, other studies in progress, etc.) (For example: proposal assumes availability of space or personnel; duplicate studies already underway)
The aim is to encourage and support research endeavours as much as possible while recognizing the primary responsibilities of our students, faculty, and staff.
Our affiliated Research Ethics Boards (REBs) have agreed to process such research proposal ethics review requests only with a clearance email/supporting letter from the Vice Dean, UGME.
Where possible, the Vice-Dean, UGME, will attempt to provide some support and guidance towards modifying proposals that are in conflict with the UGME curriculum and/or its delivery.
The UGME review in no way replaces the institutional ethics board review process.
Due to the very high volume of requests received, processing time may require several weeks.
The guidelines are as follows:
REB oversight and approval is required.
Faculty involved in student evaluations may not directly seek research consent from students.
Class time may not be used to approach students for consent.
Survey material and consent material should be available in French and English. Note that this can be waived at the students’ discretion (with justification from the investigator) with approval from elected francophone members of the student society or at the discretion of the Vice Dean, UGME when appropriate.
Investigators are not permitted to directly email students seeking consent for their participation in research.
In the spirit of keeping faculty and leadership at arm’s length from the student consent process, calls for MD student participation in research are disseminated to the student society (Aesculapian Society) for their distribution to their peers as they see fit.
Please review the above guidelines and ensure items 1-5 are followed.
Please submit any relevant documents (including the draft REB proposal, if available) to the Vice-Dean, UGME (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please provide the full title of the project and the names and titles of all investigators.