Pages about research ethics at the UofA

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REMO: you'll use this site to get ethics approvals for your research projects

Faculty of Arts Intranet - ethics

Research Ethics Office

UA Policies online

Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (read selectively). The following is a summary extract:

Article 1.1 The guidelines in this Policy are based on the following three core principles:

  • Respect for Persons
  • Concern for Welfare
  • Justice

Respect for Persons

Respect for Persons recognizes the intrinsic value of human beings and the respect and consideration that they are due. It encompasses the treatment of persons involved in research directly as participants and those who are participants because their data or human biological materials, which for the purposes of this Policy include materials related to human reproduction, are used in research. Respect for Persons incorporates the dual moral obligations to respect autonomy and to protect those with developing, impaired or diminished autonomy.

Concern for Welfare

The welfare of a person is the quality of that person’s experience of life in all its aspects. Welfare consists of the impact on individuals of factors such as their physical, mental and spiritual health, as well as their physical, economic and social circumstances. Thus, determinants of welfare can include housing, employment, security, family life, community membership, and social participation, among other aspects of life. Other contributing factors to welfare are privacy and the control of information about the person, and the treatment of human biological materials according to the free, informed and ongoing consent of the person who was the source of the information or materials. A person’s or group’s welfare is also affected by the welfare of those who are important to them. Harm includes any negative effects on welfare, broadly construed.


Justice refers to the obligation to treat people fairly and equitably. Fairness entails treating all people with equal respect and concern. Equity requires distributing the benefits and burdens of research participation in such a way that no segment of the population is unduly burdened by the harms of research or denied the benefits of the knowledge generated from it.