Ethics in WGST Research

Committee For Review of Undergraduate Research

Committee Members 2022-2023:
Dr. Merrick Pilling, Chair
Dr. Jane Ku
Dana Carter (student rep)

The principles and procedures described here have been developed based on existing guidelines in the Departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Psychology and our experience since 2004.  The Women’s and Gender Studies Research Ethics Committee (WGST-REC) gratefully acknowledges that foundation.  These guidelines conform to the ethical principles incorporated into the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (1998), or TCPS and the TCPS-2 (2010; 2018) and apply to all research conducted by undergraduate students in courses offered by Women’s and Gender Studies

These procedures were first approved at a meeting of the WGST-REC on April 16, 2004 and by the University of Windsor Research Ethics Board (UW-REB) on May 5, 2004.  They were revised in January 2011 and approved by the UW-REB in January 2011. Amendments to the forms and policies were carried out again in 2017 and 2019 with the approval of the UW-REB. Any subsequent changes to these procedures must be approved by the Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Committee and by the University of Windsor Research Ethics Board (University REB). Decisions of the WGST-REC are in accordance with the policies of the Office of Research and Innovation Services.

All quotations and references are from the 3rd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement:  Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Human.  The TCPS-2 (2018) is available at

You must successfully complete the TCPS2 introductory tutorial at and obtain your certificate before submitting your application. Please note that this tutorial can take several hours to complete.

Women’s and Gender Studies REB Mandate

The mandate of the Women’s and Gender Studies Research Ethics Committee is to protect human subjects while facilitating and furthering ethical research.  As defined in the Tri-Council Policy Statement, research is “defined as an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation” (TCPS-2, Article 1.a).  As undergraduates learn to do research, we must ensure they learn and follow ethical research practices.

Experience tells us that instructors who have never completed an Ethics application or taught students about research ethics before may find this a daunting process. In 2019, the WGST-Research Ethics Committee instituted a new 3-step process with the aim of making the review more straightforward and less stressful.

Begin by developing a rough idea of which research method (e.g., interviews, survey) you will be asking students to learn. From there, we suggest you:

  1. Read over the WGST-REC Guidelines and complete a rough draft of the REC application. Insert Comments where you have questions. Send your draft to the WGST-REC Committee Chair.
  2. Attend a meeting with the WGST Research Ethics Committee to ‘workshop’ your application and get the advice you need to finalize it.
  3. Revise and submit your final application as per the guidelines for submission of completed REC forms.
  4. Remember to leave enough time for this development process! The submission is due at least 4 weeks before the research/class projects are due to begin.

Women’s and Gender Studies REC Guide & Forms

Women's and Gender Studies Guide for Ethics Committee Review of Human Research 2020-2023 [pdf]

Women's and Gender Studies Application for Ethics Committee Review of Human Research 2020-2023 [docx] 

Women's and Gender Studies Sample Consent to Participate in Research Form 2020-2023 [docx]

Women's and Gender Studies Research Results

After research projects are completed, summary results will be posted below.