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FAQ

Here's a list of detailed answers to common questions you might have.

STUDENTS

What is the Research Assistant Online Tutorial?

The Research Assistant Online Tutorial is an interactive and comprehensive training module designed to introduce students to the basic principles of research at large, and working as a Research Assistant (RA) in particular. The tutorial, offered by Humber as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through CourseSites by Blackboard, provides an overview of the research process, distinguishes between types of methodology and analysis, and acts as an educational resource for students doing research in class or those hired as RAs for faculty-led research.

Who is eligible to enroll in the Research Assistant Online Tutorial?

The Research Assistant Online Tutorial is available (for free) to anyone who wants to access it.  Click here to request enrollment.

What is the Research Assistant Training Program?

The Research Assistant Training Program provides Research Assistants with a general overview of the theoretical, practical and ethical components of research.  The program consists of successful completion of the following:

  • AODA & IASR online training

  • Health and Safety training

  • The Research Assistant Online Tutorial

  • The TCPS 2 Course on Research Ethics

  • 30 hours of volunteer or paid supervised Research Assistant work experience

Who is eligible to enroll in the Research Assistant Training Program?

Research Assistants working under the supervision of Humber staff or faculty members are eligible to enroll in the Research Assistant Training Program.  For more information, contact Candice Watson.

I have been hired as a research assistant. Who should I contact about my orientation session?

Please contact Laurie Cooper, Project Assistant (laurie.cooper@humber.ca).

When can I begin work?

You can begin work after you have signed an NFT contract with Applied Research & Innovation and attended an orientation session.

What is an NFT contract?

An NFT contract is a non-fulltime employee contract that all student employees must sign before beginning work with Humber Applied Research & Innovation.

I have been hired as a research assistant. How do I submit my timesheets?

All timesheets must be submitted to your supervisor by 12:00 noon on the due date.  No timesheet will be approved by Applied Research & Innovation before it has been approved by your supervisor.  Your supervisor is responsible for approving and emailing your completed timesheet to Candice Watson, Business Manager (candice.watson@humber.ca) by 4:00pm on the due date.

When are my timesheets due?

Due dates are listed on the timesheets (available here).  Timesheets must be submitted to your supervisor by 12:00 noon on the indicated due date.

Faculty

How can Applied Research & Innovation help me?

We can help you turn your idea into a research question.  Once your research question has been identified, we can help you identify partnership opportunities, identify funding opportunities, and complete grant applications.  We can also assist with the management of awarded funds, student research assistants, risk, project timelines, and financial reporting.

What kind of research takes place at Humber?

Generally speaking, research falls into two categories: basic and applied.  Basic research is usually quite theoretical and involves learning about something for the sake of acquiring new knowledge.  Applied research solves a specific problem and/or aims to provide a measurable and immediate benefit to humans.  Both types of research are valuable; however, the purpose of Applied Research & Innovation is to promote and facilitate applied research.

Does Applied Research & Innovation conduct any research?

No, Applied Research & Innovation does not conduct research.  We work with faculty members, staff members, students, and industry partners to support applied research at Humber.  On a case-by-case basis, we can help determine the necessary steps to establish a research project or program, identify potential partnerships and collaborations, identify potential sources of funding, and offer guidance throughout a project.  Applied Research & Innovation also supports ongoing research projects and programs, maintains relationships with funding organizations, maintains relationships with past, current and potential industry partners, gathers metrics and information about all research activities that take place at Humber, manages the HumberLaunch incubator, and manages internal research funding opportunities (i.e. the Ignite and Cultivate funds).

I want to apply for funding, but I don’t know where to start. What should I do?

We are here to help! Contact us at research@humber.ca, and we will be happy to discuss your options.

How does external funding work?

Funds are awarded to an institution, not a researcher. As such, the institution is responsible for ensuring that the budget is appropriate and that the application meets all internal and external standards. Grant funds are managed by Applied Research & Innovation in collaboration with the investigator.

What approvals do I need to apply for funding?

Faculty must have the approval of their Humber supervisor (i.e. Dean or designate) before preparing and submitting a funding application. This is demonstrated through a signed Project Approval Form. Further, most external grant applications must be approved by Applied Research & Innovation before submission to the granting agency. It is important to work closely with Applied Research & Innovation as you prepare your proposal. If the application does not meet our internal standard for research grants, your application will not be approved.

What are the internal standards for a grant application?

This depends on the grant agency and the funding requested. For small amounts of money requested from some foundations, the protocol must demonstrate feasibility, and the budget must be reasonable to get the project done. To apply to large, federal funding agencies, such as one of the Tri-Council agencies (i.e. NSERC, SSHRC, or CIHR), the expectations are much higher, and therefore the process is more time consuming. Faculty interested in pursuing external grant opportunities, especially through the Tri-Council, should contact Humber Applied Research & Innovation as early as possible to determine the next steps.  Projects without partners (e.g. industry, community, academic) are unlikely to be eligible for external funding.

How long does it take to prepare a grant application?

This depends on the granting agency and the funding requested. Sometimes small, pilot grants can be put together in a few weeks. For larger grants, pilot data and strong evidence of collaborations is generally required; this can stretch out the process from months to years.

As a faculty member, am I eligible to receive compensation for working on an externally funded research project?

Full-time faculty: You cannot receive compensation above your normal salary for work on applied research projects. Depending on the source of funding and approval from your Dean, course load reduction may be available to support your involvement in research projects.

 

Part-time/partial load faculty: Depending on the source of funding, compensation may be available for work performed by part-time faculty members. If this is eligible and approved by the funding agency and your Dean, you will be hired by Humber Applied Research & Innovation as a contract employee.  Your contract will stipulate an hourly rate and the maximum number of hours that you may work on the research project.  You will not be compensated for any work that you do above and beyond the hours specified in your contract.  To receive payment, you will be required to submit timesheets biweekly. Because students are expected to carry out the majority of work on applied research projects, part-time faculty are typically compensated for ~2 hours/week to supervise students.

What is DAIR?

The Developing Activities and Ideas for Research (DAIR) program supports Humber employees in the preliminary stages of developing an innovative project.  All DAIR projects should clearly demonstrate cultivation of a long-term initiative that aligns with and complements Humber’s strategic research and innovation priorities.

What is SIRF?

The Staff Initiated Research Fund (SIRF) supports Humber employees engaged in original, externally-focused research and innovation by providing modest amounts of funding to employees exploring strategic research or innovation initiatives.

 

The SIRF application process is designed to be competitive, transparent, and equitable. SIRF funds are awarded yearly to applicants from a range of Humber schools and departments, and priority is given to projects that directly engage students in the research and innovation process.

Who is eligible to apply to DAIR and SIRF?

All Humber employees are eligible to apply to DAIR and SIRF.  This includes both full- and part-time staff and faculty members.  Eligible co-applicants include other Humber employees and partners external to the Humber community who are directly involved with the project.

Can I be compensated for the time I spend working on a DAIR or SIRF project?

DAIR and SIRF applicants, including project leads, co-applicants, and partners, cannot be compensated for their time spent working on DAIR and SIRF projects.  Stipends or course release for Humber employees and consulting fees for experts external to the Humber community are not eligible DAIR or SIRF expenses.  

When is the deadline to submit a DAIR application?

DAIR applications are accepted throughout the year on an ongoing basis.  Applications are assessed upon submission, and funding decisions are made within two weeks of receipt of an application.

When is the deadline to submit a SIRF application?

SIRF critical dates and deadlines can be found on our website here.

How can I apply for DAIR funding?

The DAIR application system and guidelines, including a list of eligible and ineligible expenses, are available on our website here.

How can I apply for SIRF funding?

The SIRF application system and guidelines, including a list of eligible and ineligible expenses, are available on our website here.

Do DAIR and SIRF support research projects associated with faculty/staff member academic credit or credentials?

Costs associated with projects for academic credit or credentials (e.g. a faculty/staff member’s Masters or PhD thesis research) are not eligible DAIR or SIRF expenses.

What is the Research Assistant Online Tutorial?

The Research Assistant Online Tutorial is an interactive and comprehensive training module designed to introduce students to the basic principles of research at large, and working as a Research Assistant (RA) in particular. The tutorial, offered by Humber as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through CourseSites by Blackboard, provides an overview of the research process, distinguishes between types of methodology and analysis, and acts as an educational resource for students doing research in class or those hired as RAs for faculty-led research.

I want to enroll my entire class/program in the Student Research Assistant Tutorial. Can I do that?

Of course! Contact Craig Banerd (craig.cronkhite-banerd@humber.ca) to receive instructions.

What is the Research Assistant Training Program?

The Research Assistant Training Program provides Research Assistants with a general overview of the theoretical, practical and ethical components of research.  The program consists of successful completion of the following:

  • AODA & IASR online training

  • Health and Safety training

  • The Research Assistant Online Tutorial

  • The TCPS 2 Course on Research Ethics

  • 30 hours of volunteer or paid supervised Research Assistant work experience

PARTNERS

My business/organization is interested in working with Humber faculty and students on a project. How can I initiate a partnership?

Please fill out our Partner Project Summary Form and submit it to amanda.brown@humber.ca. This form helps us to match your business with the faculty members and students with the capacity and expertise needed to achieve your project goals.

What kind of research takes place at Humber?

Generally speaking, research falls into two categories: basic and applied.  Basic research is usually quite theoretical and involves learning about something for the sake of acquiring new knowledge.  Applied research solves a specific problem and/or aims to provide a measurable and immediate benefit to humans.  Both types of research are valuable; however, the purpose of Applied Research & Innovation is to promote and facilitate applied research.

Does Applied Research & Innovation conduct any research?

No, Applied Research & Innovation does not conduct research.  We work with faculty members, staff members, students, and industry partners to support applied research at Humber.  On a case-by-case basis, we can help determine the necessary steps to establish a research project or program, identify potential partnerships and collaborations, identify potential sources of funding, and offer guidance throughout a project.  Applied Research & Innovation also supports ongoing research projects and programs, maintains relationships with funding organizations, maintains relationships with past, current and potential industry partners, gathers metrics and information about all research activities that take place at Humber, manages the HumberLaunch incubator, and manages internal research funding opportunities.

How long does it take to prepare a grant application?

This depends on the granting agency and the funding requested. Sometimes small, pilot grants can be put together in a few weeks. For larger grants, pilot data and strong evidence of collaborations is generally required; this can stretch out the process from months to years.

RESEARCH ETHICS BOARD

Does my project need Research Ethics Board (REB) approval?

REB approval is required for all research projects that involve human participants.  If you are using one or more human subjects in your research activities under the auspices of Humber, or in any way related to Humber staff members or students, you need to apply to the REB for Ethics Approval.  All research involving human subjects carried out by an individual connected with Humber must be reviewed and approved by the REB before work is started.  REB approval is also required for all courses that have a research component that includes human participants (e.g. questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, observations, etc.).  Humber Research & Innovation provides administrative support to the REB, and we are happy to provide feedback on REB submissions prior to submission.  

How long does the ethics review process take for the Humber REB?

Applications requiring full review that were received by the submission deadline will be reviewed at the following REB meeting (10-14 days later), and applicants will receive a response within one week of the meeting. Delegated reviews may be completed within 2-3 weeks of the date that the application was received.

How can I help ensure that my application will be reviewed quickly?

Unclear or incomplete applications take longer for the REB to review.  Use plain language and avoid jargon. Be detailed when describing your methodology, recruitment plan, and data retention and disposal plans. For guidance on specific sections of the application, consult our guidelines, available here.  Applications that are incomplete or unclear will be returned to the researcher for improvement before being reviewed.  If you would like feedback on your application before you submit it, contact Magdalena Goledzinowska.  The feedback process typically takes 2-3 business days, so keep this in mind if the submission deadline is approaching.

Where can I get help completing my application? Who can answer my questions?

You are welcome to contact Jasteena Dhillon, Humber REB Chair or Magdalena Goledzinowska, Manager, Ethics and Internal Programs about any questions you may have.  Guidelines and templates to assist you in completing your application are available on our website here.

What is a delegated review?

Low-risk applications are eligible for delegated review by a sub-committee (typically two members) of the Humber REB.   Depending on the timing of the submission, delegated reviews may be processed more quickly than full reviews since they do not require the REB to meet face-to-face.

How can my application receive a delegated review?

Your application’s eligibility for delegated review will be determined by the REB Chair upon submission.  Applications that meet the TCPS 2 definition of minimal risk will receive a delegated review.

How do I submit the application form?

Please submit your completed application via https://humberreb.fluidreview.com.

How can I make a change to a research project that has already been approved by the Humber REB?

Submit a request for amendment of an approved project/course via https://humberreb.fluidreview.com.

I am teaching a course in which students will conduct research projects involving human participants. Can I submit one application for the whole class?

Yes. Submit a course designation application (https://humberreb.fluidreview.com). Once approved, you will act as a delegated reviewer for each of your students’ research projects, ensuring that each project is minimal risk and meets the ethical standards of the TCPS 2.

Do I need to take the Panel on Research Ethics’ TCPS 2 Tutorial: Course of Research Ethics (TCPS 2: CORE)?

The Humber REB encourages all researchers to complete the TCPS 2:CORE. However, only instructors teaching REB-designated courses are required to complete the online tutorial.

I am a faculty/staff member at Humber, and I am conducting research with human subjects as part of my graduate studies. My research has already been approved by the REB at the institution where I am a student. Do I need ethics clearance at Humber?

Generally speaking, yes you do. If you will be using any Humber resources or are representing yourself as a Humber employee, you are required to have Humber REB approval before your research can begin. If you would like further clarification about your specific project, contact Magdalena Goledzinowska.

What do I do if my research involves multiple institutions?

You are required to submit an application to the Humber REB and the REBs at all institutions involved in your research.  Be sure to contact each institution to check site-specific submission requirements.  If you are applying to multiple colleges in Ontario, you may be able to use the Ontario Community College Multi-site REB Application Form, which is accepted by most colleges in Ontario.