Human ethics studies affected by the COVID 19 restrictions

Important information

1. Where the research plan requires participants to leave their homes or meet with researchers or other participants, participants should be given the option to withdraw their participation (provided this is safe for them to do so).

2. Research involving participants over 70 may need to be put on hold until the COVID-19 risks have passed. Amendment requests to extend ethics approval for this reason will be approved, and extensions may be allowed to go beyond the 6 year limit of approval if necessary.

3. Research in schools may also need to be reconsidered while the lockdown continues. Amendment requests to extend ethics approval for this reason will be approved and extensions may be allowed to go beyond the 6 year limit of approval if necessary.

4. Where research involves face to face interviews with participants, researchers should consider substituting on-line or phone interviews. An amendment request for this purpose, accompanied by the information to be provided to participants about this change) will be quickly approved. Provided that there is an information sheet about the project, new documents may not be required.

Please click here for additional information that will be required in your application when using Zoom or other virtual software for interviews.

5. Research involving focus groups may need to be reconsidered to meet government advice with respect to meeting in groups and maintaining physical distance.

6. Students below masters level planning research which would involve interaction with human participants (other than on-line or by phone) may be advised to reconsider their project in favour of something using publicly available data.

7. Research involving patients will need to follow guidance from the DHBs and MoH.