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You are here: McMaster Research Ethics Board > About MREB > A Participant's Bill of Rights

A Participant's Bill of Rights

As a research participant, you have the right:
•      To be treated with respect and dignity in every phase of the research.
•      To be fully and clearly informed of all aspects of the research prior to becoming involved in it.
•      To enter into clear, informed, and written agreement with the researcher prior to becoming involved in the activity.  You should sense NO pressure, explicit or otherwise, to sign this contract.
•      To choose explicitly whether or not you will become involved in the research under the clearly stated provision that refusal to participate or the choice to withdraw during the activity can be made at any time without penalty to you.
•      To be treated with honesty, integrity, openness, and straightforwardness in all phases of the research, including a guarantee that you will not unknowingly be deceived during the course of the research.
•      To receive something in return for your time and energy.
•      To demand proof that an independent and competent ethical review of human rights and protections associated with the research has been successfully completed.
•      To demand complete personal confidentiality and privacy in any reports of the research unless you have explicitly negotiated otherwise.
•      To expect that your personal welfare is protected and promoted in all phases of the research, including knowing that no harm will come to you.
•      To be informed of the results of the research study in a language you understand.
•      To be offered an range of research studies or experiences from which to select, if the research is part of fulfilling your educational or employment goals.

The contents of this bill were prepared by the University of Calgary who examined all of the relevant Ethical Standards from the Canadian Psychological Association’s Code of Ethics for Psychologists, 1991 and rewrote these to be of relevance to research participants. 
Descriptions of the CPA Ethical Code and the CPA Ethical Standards relevant to each of these rights are available at if you would like to examine them. 
The complete CPA Ethical Code can be found in Canadian Psychological Association “Companion manual for the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists” (1992).