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Common Committee requests for revisions in ethics applications

Bilkent University Ethics Committee (for research projects which use human participants) occasionally requests that revisions, clarifications, or modifications be done on an application before an approval may be given. Some of the more frequent requests are listed below. These points are highlighted on the application forms, and sometimes the Committee decides that more details need be provided in a particular application. The applicants may want to review these points to help streamline their approval process.

  • If the participants are all going to be adults, it should be clearly stated that they all will be over 18 years old. (Any participant who has not lived through his/her 18th birthday is considered to be a child!) Working with children involves a more detailed application and review. If participants are to be recruited indirectly, say through the Internet, via social media, etc., discuss how you will be sure that they will be adults.
  • What procedures will be followed in order to guarantee the confidentiality of participants’ data? Personal data (name, addresses etc.) should only be stored if absolutely necessary and then only in such a way that they cannot be associated with the participant’s experimental data. Please provide details of how this is to be managed.
  • For survey work, a copy of the survey should be included in the application.

Researchers are also reminded that Bilkent University does not allow the use of students of research investigators as participants. Students who have the potential of being graded by the investigators during or following the semester(s) in which the study is being carried out should not participate in the study. Students may not receive any credit for any university course, with the exception of the GE250/GE251 courses, for their participation. The GE250 and GE251 (Collegiate Activities I and II) courses include an optional activity which encompasses volunteering as a participant in a research project. Your signature on the application form certifies that you are aware of this restriction.