Human Participation - Significant Risk - Introduction


Science fairs often include excellent projects involving human research participants. These projects are based in the social and behavioral sciences such as psychology, sociology, and education, and in related health sciences such as physiology, kinesiology and nursing.

We need to ensure that participants are safe, that they are treated with respect and dignity, and that the information they provide will be kept confidential. These ethical safeguards are primarily the responsibility of the science fair student researchers and their supervisors.

To help them carry out these responsibilities in accordance with national standards, Youth Science Canada provides a set of guidelines and a procedure for review of the ethical aspects of projects.  Student researchers and their advisers must read these before starting work on their projects.

There are restrictions on the use of human participants in scientific research. Youth Science Canada wants to ensure that all projects by young scientists involving the participation of humans with an element of risk are supervised, and to ensure that all appropriate safety and ethical concerns are addressed.

Significant Risk Projects

Low Risk Projects are defined here

ALL OTHER PROJECTS  that involve humans must follow the Rules for Significant Risk Projects.

Request for Information.

If you have any questions about your project, and want to be sure it is eligible for presentation, you can request advice and a ruling from the ethics committee of your regional science fair:

  1. Download this Request for Advice or a Ruling.
  2. Fill it in.
  3. Follow the instructions at the end of the form.