Guidance for students in a course

Ethics and privacy issues need to be considered, but the time frame of your project is too short for a full review by the Ethics Review Board and the Data Steward, which may take a month. If your course requires this (as communicated to you by your course coordinator), you are required to use the Ethics and Privacy Quick Scan as follows: 

  1. Raise your awareness of ethical and privacy issues to consider in your research design by reading the Word version of the Quick Scan. Do this early, as using particular participants/data/topics raises more ethical and privacy concerns than others, which you should consider before deciding on your research questions. The Quick Scan may also help you when designing your research. 
  2. Fill in the Quick Scan and discuss it with the teaching staff if need be. While designing your research, fill in the Quick Scan using the Word version. If the Quick Scan gives warnings, change your design to avoid these warnings if possible. If you have any questions or encounter warnings you do not know how to deal with, discuss them with your course's teaching staff.
  3. Submit the Quick Scan using Qualtrics. Once you are happy about your answers, submit the Quick Scan using the Qualtrics version
  4. Possible follow-on if the Quick Scan finds:
    • No issues: you can start your research
    • Privacy and/or ethics issues found: 
      • The course coordinator will look at the answers you provided (where needed with advice from ethics and privacy experts). You should hear soon (normally within one working week) whether you can start or whether a chat with the data steward / a change to your research design / a full ethics review is needed.
  5. Documentation.
    • Add sentences about the Quick Scan in the method section of your report. For example: "The Ethics and Privacy Quick Scan of the Utrecht University Research Institute of Information and Computing Sciences was conducted (see Annex A)."
      • No issues found: "It classified this research as low-risk with no fuller ethics review or privacy assessment required.
      • Issues found:
        • Your course coordinator/supervisor already has ethical approval: "Whilst the Quick Scan identified issues, this project was allowed to proceed as it is covered fully by the ethical approval for a research line (see Annex B).
        • Otherwise: "Whilst the Quick Scan identified issues, this project was allowed to proceed after additional human scrutiny (see approval email(s) in Annex C)". 
    • Add the anonymized Quick Scan report as an annex to your report  
    • In case the Quick Scan found issues: add any anonymized follow-on emails providing permission or a positive outcome of a full ethics review to your report as well.

Note 1: If you are conducting multiple studies, you can do a Quick Scan per study or for the set of studies (if the answers are similar).

Note 2: Anonymization of the Quick Scan and follow-on emails in your report involves removing personal details that are not yet included elsewhere in the report, such as your email address, and name and personal email address of the course coordinator.