January 2015 Research Newsletter

SSHRC Storytellers Research Competition

SSHRC is looking for university students to participate in their Storytellers research competition.

The challenge: “Send us your pitch—in three minutes or 300 words—telling us about a great SSHRC-funded project happening at your school.”

The project can be yours or it can be a professor’s (get their permission first!), but your pitch needs to be creative, compelling and clear.

Prizes: $3,000 cash and an invitation to present at 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa, to attend a special communications master class and deliver a live presentation at the Storytellers Showcase.

Submission period: January 5 to January 30, 2015.

Competition to Encourage Students to Find Solutions to Accessibility Barriers

The Council of Ontario Universities, in partnership with the Government of Ontario, is pleased to present the fourth annual Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition.

The IDeA competition seeks innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility-related barriers in the community.

Ontario’s university undergraduate students are encouraged to use their creativity, working individually or in teams with industry, government and community partners, including members of the disability community, to identify an accessibility-related issue, develop a plan to address the issue, and create an innovative and unique solution to it.

$3000 in prizes! For information on how to submit an IDeA, please visit the How to Submit page.

Internal Funding Opportunities

Academic Development Travel Grant

Deadline: February 10, 2015

Travel grants are available to faculty and librarian members holding probationary and tenured appointments. As well, those holding limited term appointments will be considered providing they are under contract for the year in which the travel will occur. Funds are awarded for presenting an academic paper, poster, or artistic exhibition at a conference. A maximum of $1,000 is allowed for each award. For further information, the ADTF guidelines and criteria for the award, as well as the application form and process for submission please visit the ORIS website. Any further inquiries can be sent to Diane Awram in ORIS at ext. 3919, e-mail: dawram@uwindsor.ca.

Humanities and Social Sciences Internal Research Grant Competition (HSSRG)

Deadline: March 16, 2015

The Office of Research and Innovation Services (ORIS) invites applications under the University of Windsor Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grants (HSSRG) Program. These grants are small non-renewable funding opportunities for researchers to conduct research and other scholarly and artistic activities that aid in strengthening future external grant applications. The maximum amount per grant is $5,000.

The Guidelines for the Program together with the Application form and instructions may be accessed on the ORIS website. Please note: The Application form and Guidelines have been revised and old forms will not be accepted.

If you wish review and feedback on your application, please submit a draft copy electronically to Diane Awram, dawram@uwindsor.ca by March 2, 2015.

Signed copies of the Application are to be submitted to Diane Awram, Research Facilitator, by March 16, 2015.

Women's Research Grant Internal Competition

Deadline: March 16, 2015

The Office of Research Services and Innovation (ORIS) invites applications under the University of Windsor Women’s Grants Program. These grants are small non-renewable funding opportunities for female researchers to conduct research and other scholarly and artistic activities that aid in strengthening future external grant applications. The maximum amount per grant is $5,000.

The Guidelines for the Program together with the Application form and instructions may be accessed on the ORIS website. Please note: The Application form and Guidelines have been revised and old forms will not be accepted.

If you wish review and feedback on your application, please submit a draft copy electronically to Diane Awram, dawram@uwindsor.ca by March 2, 2015.

Signed copies of the Application are to be submitted to Diane Awram, Research Facilitator, by March 16, 2015.

Writing Retreat – Only 10 seats left!

Our next writing retreat will be held at Willistead Manor on April 21 and 22, 2014. This event will provide an opportunity for you to hone your grant writing skills by working on a proposal while getting support and feedback from your peers. Workshops scheduled so far include Writing Policy Briefs with Suzanne McMurphy and Adam Vasey, and Mentoring Students to Do Research with Jessica Raffoul.

Save a spot with Natasha Wiebe, 519-253-3000 ext 3953.

Save the Date – CIHR Townhall

A CIHR Townall with UWindsor researchers will be held on March 12, 2015 from 1 to 2:45 pm in Erie Hall G141.  CIHR Chief Scientific Officer Jane Aubin will discuss changes to CIHR programs and peer review processes.

Reserve your spot at this videoconference with Natasha Wiebe

Application Deadlines for Major Agencies

CIHR “Transitional” Operating Grant (formerly “Open”): 2014-15 Competition

  • Registration on ResearchNET – January 9, 2015, 8 pm
  • FAHSS deadline for review (c/o E. Maticka-Tyndale) – February 9, 2015
  • ORIS deadline for review –  February 16, 2015
  • Deadline for submission to CIHR – March 2, 2015, 4 pm. (Try to submit 2 days early to avoid last-minute technical problems on ResearchNET.)

 SSHRC Insight Development Grant

  • Canadian Common CVrequired
  • FAHSS deadline for review (c/o E. Maticka-Tyndale) – January 5, 2015
  • ORIS deadline for review  –  January 19, 2015. Applications submitted after this date may receive a cursory review for completeness rather than suggestions for strengthening the proposal. 
  • Deadline for submission to SSHRC  – February 2, 2015, 4 pm, since the annual deadline of February 1 falls on a weekend.  (Try to submit 2 days early to avoid last-minute technical problems on SSHRC’s online system.)

SSHRC Connection Grant

  • FAHSS deadline for review (c/o E. Maticka-Tyndale) – January 5, 2015
  • Deadline to request letter of support from VP-Research & Innovation (c/o N. Wiebe) – January 5, 2015 
  • ORIS deadline for review – January 19, 2015. Applications submitted after this date may receive a cursory review for completeness rather than suggestions for strengthening the proposal.
  • Deadline for submission to SSHRC – By 4 pm on February 2, 2015 (Subsequent Connection Grant competitions have deadlines of May 1, August 1, and November 1, 2015.)

CIHR Planning & Dissemination Grants (Winter 2015)

  • FAHSS deadline for review (c/o E. Maticka-Tyndale) – February 2, 2015
  • ORIS deadline for review –  February 2, 2015.
  • Deadline for submission to CIHR – February 16, 2015, 4 pm. (Try to submit 2 days early to avoid last-minute technical problems on ResearchNET.)  

Notes from the Desk of the Chair of the Research Ethics Board

This month, I describe aspects of teaching which relate to research ethics review. This information provides course instructors, academic units, and faculties a reminder as to the obligations that exist under the Tri-Council Policy Statement, Second edition. Additional information can be found in the TCPS-2, the University of Windsor Research Guidelines, and the WUFA Collective agreement Article 60.

The focus of ethical conduct when gathering information from or about others is on the rights of those who provide information, and the provision of reasonable protections. Attention to these guidelines will benefit individuals from whom information is gathered when information gathering activities occur in the context of academic courses and training.

Here I review three primary ways in which teaching roles overlap with REB review:

  1. Research training and research activities conducted within courses;
  2. Research conducted by instructors on their own teaching/courses;
  3. Supervision of student research. 

Research activities within courses

Techniques for gathering information from and about humans are often taught within courses. Teaching techniques are a natural aspect of educating students about the methods that are used within a discipline.

When teaching of information gathering techniques involves gathering of information from or about humans, clearance by the REB is required. Any time that students gather information from other individuals while participating in a course requires REB clearance. Many research training activities and other information gathering activities fall under this requirement.

Examples of ways that students end up collecting information include: inviting individuals from outside the course to provide information that will contribute to course assignments (via surveys, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, etc.), recording observations about people in any setting, and instances in which students collect information from other students who are enrolled within the course. (This list is not intended to be exhaustive).

There is no difference between ‘practice’ and ‘actual research’ from the point of view of the person who is asked to provide information. Regardless of the purpose for collecting information, individuals have rights to know why the information is being collected, how the information will be used, what the risks associated with providing the information may be, and the freedom to choose whether or not they wish to take part.

Due to the tight timelines, the board works with course instructors to provide expedited review for activities that are academic requirements within courses.

Research conducted by instructors on their own teaching

Conducting research on teaching is a valuable activity. Courses can be improved, knowledge can be gained about course consent, instructor effectiveness, student comprehension, disciplines, the effectiveness of pedagogical techniques, the effectiveness of courses within a broader program, etc.

The dual roles present when instructors invite current students to participate in research conducted within their own courses are also complex. For example, student perceptions that participation in research within courses may impact grading must be managed thoughtfully. The board considers risks associated with instructors conducting research within their own courses / on their own teaching as greater than minimal.

All uses of information gathered with a goal of scholarly inquiry, and use of information gathered in courses that will lead to sharing the information with others (e.g., scholarship of teaching, presentations, publications, program review) require REB review.

Ethical review is not required when instructors gather information from students within courses for the purpose of seeking input about the quality of the course. For example, some instructors collect additional information when the student evaluations of teaching are administered.  This collecting information solely used for the purpose of improving the quality of the course by the instructor, REB review is not required. However, if an instructor thinks they may want to use the information for other purposes at a later time, REB review prior to the collection of the data is needed.

Supervision of student research

When an employee of the university supervises independent information gathering activities that are undertaken by a student, the supervisor is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the research. As outlined in on the REB application form, the supervisor agrees to be responsible for ensuring that the research is conducted as described in the application, and assumes responsibility should unanticipated events arise.

The REB assumes that supervisors are fully aware of, and have approved of, everything that is stated in the ethics application. The board also assumes that supervisees are seeking and receiving guidance from their supervisors throughout the conduct of the work.

Due to the potential impact on supervisors should any event occur that requires investigation, the board assumes that it is conversing with both the student and the supervisor in all exchanges related to the ethics application and the ethical conduct of the project.

Consultation and Review of teaching related projects

The REB is available to consult regarding gathering of information within courses. The board is in the process of preparing general guidelines to assist course instructors in navigating the ethical implications of research conducted within courses which will be announced when they are available.

Dr. Alan Scoboria

Chair, Research Ethics Board