Student Research

Banner: Try the library's ANTHROPOLOGY Subject Research Guide

Student Research Ethics Guidelines

Student Research Ethics Officer

The Department of Anthropology encourages students to engage in research, sometimes as part of course-work or their Honours thesis project. To ensure that student research complies with disciplinary ethical standards, students planning substantial research projects involving humans must have their projects approved by the Department of Anthropology’s Student Research Ethics Officer (The Ethics Officer) and by StFX Research Ethics Board (REB). 

StFX REB Approval for Undergraduate Research Projects

Ethics approval is required for all undergraduate research with human participants. In accordance with Tri-Council policy, all honours students' research with human participants must be approved by the University Research Ethics Board. 

  1. Honours students must download this Word StFX Research Ethics Board (REB) application form,  complete and submit it to the departmental or program Ethics Committee. 
  2. Once that review is complete, the honours student will submit the approved and signed ethics application to the university REB through the ROMEO Researcher Portal.
  3. Once REB review is completed, the approved protocol and approval letter will be made accessible to both the student and supervisor in ROMEO. 

This process is intended to recognize departmental expertise in subject areas and to meet the Tri-Council guidelines. The StFX REB does not wish to delay honours students' research, so every effort will be made to review these projects in an efficient manner. However, special attention will be paid to research projects involving high risk and/or particularly vulnerable groups of participants. 

Ethics approval for other undergraduate research and for course-based research will continue to be reviewed at the departmental level only. 

The Research Ethics Officer

The Ethics Officer will be a member of the Department of Anthropology elected for a one-year term. An alternative Ethics Officer will also be elected to review the research applications of students conducting research under the direction of the Ethics Officer. 

Research Ethics Officer: Dr. Jane McMillan 

Application Process

Students planning to conduct research involving humans will complete an Application to Conduct Research and submit it to the Ethics Officer. Copies of consent forms, questionnaires, interview schedules, or any other relevant material should be attached to the application. 

All students completing an Honours thesis project or an advanced major project involving humans must submit an application for approval by the Ethics Officer. In the case of regular course work, whether students must submit an application will be decided by the instructor. For small and low-risk research projects, the instructor may give ethics approval himself or herself. In this case, the instructor should keep a copy of the approved application(s) and any consent forms in his or her office. 

Approval Process

Primary research done by students must be conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor (e.g., course instructor, thesis supervisor). The faculty advisor should supervise the preparation and submission of the student’s “Application to Conduct Research”. The advisor will read and approve each application prior to its submission to the Ethics Officer. The Ethics Officer will review the application in a timely fashion, normally within one week. If the application is inadequate, the Ethics Officer will return the application to the student for revision and resubmission. Otherwise, the Ethics Officer will approve the application and the student will begin the section of their project involving humans. 

Retaining consent forms

In keeping with Tri-Council guidelines, consent forms are to be retained by the faculty advisor (acting as the primary researcher). 


Anthropology Department

208 J. Bruce Brown Hall
2320 Notre Dame Avenue
Antigonish NS B2G 2W5