General

Face-to-Face Human Research Review Status

Last updated Tuesday July 27, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT

This page will be kept to-up-date with information regarding the review status for all risk levels, in order to provide the research community with information on what the Face-to-Face COVID-19 Review Committee (F2FCRC) and the University’s Research Ethics Boards (REBs) are able to review at any given time.

F2F Research Review Status

The F2FCRC and REBs are currently considering and accepting all levels of face-to-face research for review. Researchers are able to restart all Levels (i.e., 1, 2, and 3) of research after approval from the F2FCRC and REB is obtained. The approval, resumption, and continuation of research activities for any Level are contingent on current public health measures.

New COVID-19 research or new F2F research where the participant is receiving a service that would be delivered/received regardless of the research (e.g. clinical care) and researchers currently in other regions or countries where public health directives allow for F2F research can commence these projects immediately upon approval of the F2FCRC and REB.

Ongoing research in another country or region may continue in accordance with local public health directives.

Face-to-face (F2F) Research Roadmap

COVID-19 Research Risk Research Method Direct contact / close contact?
Level 1 Interaction / observation None or minimal contact, physical distancing can be easily achieved (e.g., interviews, computer-based experiments, non-invasive methods)
Level 2 Intervention Some physical contact (e.g., biospecimen collection, body measurements), physical distancing sometimes challenging to maintain
Level 3 Physical treatment / manipulation Sustained physical contact, participant breathing heavily, physical distancing not possible

Please note: Researchers are encouraged to use virtual (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Zoom), remote (e.g. phone, email) or online (e.g. MTurk, REDCap) research methods where possible.

F2F Research – Submission Procedure

  1. Researchers proposing F2F research will complete the Face-to-Face and Off-Campus COVID-19 (F2FOC) Review form, and upload the provided PDF copy of the completed form to the Documents Summary (Section #13) of their My Research Human Protocols (MRHP) new submission or amendment.
  2. The F2FCRC will review the form and provide recommendations to the vice-deans/associate deans/vice-principals (research) and researchers on the project’s risks and health and safety requirements. If further information is required, a member the F2FCRC will reach out to the Principal Investigator directly.
  3. The REB will conduct an ethics review of the protocol, as per normal requirements. Once the protocol is approved, the Principal Investigator will receive notification of REB approval. This is not sufficient to commence F2F research.
  4. Once both the F2FCRC and the REB approve the study an F2FCRC approval letter will be issued to the Principal Investigator to allow them to start or resume their study.
     

As study submissions must be reviewed by both the REB and the F2FCRC before they can proceed, review times may be longer than normal.

Details on this new institutional process can be found on the Review of Face-to-Face and Off-Campus Research page.

Please direct your questions about this process to f2f.research@utoronto.ca.

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