Research Ethics Office

Vision, Mission, & Goals

The Office of the Research Ethics Committee will promote consistent adherence to ethical guidelines in the conduct of research in support to the University's research endeavors.
Ensure ethical practices and processes in the conduct of research across disciplines with integrity, safety, and respect for humanity.
The goals of the Office of the Research Ethics Committee include:
1. Protect the rights, safety, and welfare of all research participants
2. Monitor research activities to ensure compliance with ethical standards
3. Provide education and training on ethical conduct of research to student, faculty, and staff
4. Develop and monitor policies, guidlines, and procedures for ethical research

Research Ethics Clearance Application Guidelines

for undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students working
on their thesis/dissertation
For USPF REC purposes, the student’s manuscript or research proposal is referred to as the "Study Protocol."
After the Proposal Hearing by the departmental technical committee, the authors/researchers must incorporate the suggested comments for the improvement of the study protocol. Application for REC should be made after the approval of the revisions. Please follow the procedures diligently as applications made that do not follow these specific instructions will not be entertained.

Application Procedures.

    • 1. Have your research adviser and research panel chairperson sign the Recommendation Letter for Research Ethics Review. Ask your Department Secretary for the proper format.

      Downloadable Form:
      Recommendation to Process Research Ethics Clearance
    • 2. Submit the signed Recommendation Letter to the Office of the Research Ethics Committee together with a cover letter addressed to:
    • Faye Coleen Rosales Suyao, MA Anth.

      Research Ethics Committee
      University of Southern Philippines Foundation
        • 2.1 The cover letter should clearly show your department's, schools, or institution's official header.
        • 2.2 The date of the cover letter should be the date of submission to the OREC.
        • 2.3. The letter should indicate your request for an ethics review and must include a brief description of your study's history. Please describe your study's need for human volunteers and the characteristics of those participants. All researchers should sign the letter, duly noted by the research advisor if applicable. Although both signatures should be current, you may utilize the researcher's and adviser's electronic signatures as long as you get permission first.
        • 2.4. Submission will be via e-mail. Researchers must use the same e-mail thread to avoid confusion with regards to the series of replies.
        • To:
          Subject: surname_program enrolled (acronym)
          e.g Suyao_MSSW
          * Do not attach your Study Protocol yet.

Acknowledgement of Application.

    • 3. Once your application is acknowledged, the Secretariat will ask for the draft of your study protocol and send you forms 2A,2B,2C,2D,2E which should be accomplished accordingly.
    • 4. Please leave USPF REC Code blank as this code will be assigned once the REC staff accepts your application.
    • 5. As soon as PDF files are received, the secretariat will submit the application to the REC Chairperson.

Processing Fee.

    • 6. The USPF REC will calculate a one-time processing fee based on the client type. This means that subsequent applications, such as protocol amendments and requests for certificate of approval extensions, will be free of charge.
    • 7. Once the Chair has determined the type of review for your protocol, the secretariat will send a payment form. Fill out this payment form and send it back along with your proof of payment. Please follow the instructions written in the payment form esp. the billing code + ID number otherwise this payment will be credited to your tuition and other fees. Ask for the payment form from the REC Office.

Informed Consent Form / Assent Form / Or Guardians Informed Consent Format.

    • 8. After sending your proof of payment, the Secretariat will respond and provide you with a word file of the standardized informed consent form/assent form/guardians informed consent format.
    • 9. Edit the informed consent form/assent form/guardians informed consent format according to the details of your study protocol and send it back in PDF format.
    • 10. Please keep in mind that your study participants will not read your research proposal. They will only understand your study if they sign the Informed Consent Form, which is why it is critical that everything be stated explicitly in the ICF.
    • 11. The template provided is required as it contains all of the necessary elements.
    • 12. For consistency, whatever is discussed in the Informed Consent Form should also be discussed explicitly in your manuscript.
    • 13. Your methodology's data management plan can be incorporated into your Informed Consent Form to assure respondents of confidentiality.
    • 14. If your respondents are ordinary household members, you should also submit a translated version of the Informed Consent Form in their native language.
    • If the respondents are Then,
      Minors under the age of 7 As long as there is no manifestation of dissent, no formal assent, whether verbal or written, is required.
      Minors aged 7 to less than 12 years old A verbal agreement is acceptable, but documentation of the agreement is required. Documentation may take the form of a written description of the process as well as witness testimony.
      Minors aged 12 to less than 18 years old He or she must sign a simplified Assent Form that differs from the Informed Consent Form signed by the parents or guardians.
      Please keep the following in mind if you are working with minors:

      The refusal of a minor to participate or continue in the research should be respected. The decision to require an Assent Form for participants under the age of 12 is made by the REC.

      Downloadable Forms:
      Informed Assent Form
      Informed Consent Form
      Guardian Informed Consent Form

Research Instruments

    • 15. It is recommended that you obtain permission from the owner of the research instrument used, as this is the author's copyright.
    • 16. Such correspondence can be used as a supporting document or appendix in your manuscript.
    • 17. We suggest that you replace Name (Optional) with Respondent No. as the Name is a direct identifier of the respondent.

Tests/Surveys Administered Online

    • 18. Please include a live link of the questionnaire if you intend to administer it online. Ensure that the Informed Consent Form is the first section of the Online Form.
    • 19. Break down your Google Form into Sections as screenshots of the online Google form will be required, from the Informed Consent Form to the research instrument, as an Appendix.

Curriculum Vitae (Placed at the very last part of the Appendices)

  • 20. For graduate and undergraduate students, include trainings, seminars attended, and previous research conducted in your CV and not just your educational background.
  • 21. The CV should be signed and dated by the researcher and adviser.
    • 21.1 You may include statements like:
    • I HEREBY CERTIFY that the information provided in this CV is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
    • <signature above printed name and date>


The Appendices must also include the following supporting documents:
  • Transmittal letters addressed to the head of the institution, respondents, or authors of research instruments if applicable
  • Screenshots of e-mails/communications relevant to the study proposal
  • Certificate indicating that the proposal has been revised and approved by the thesis panel
As a summary, the USPF OREC suggests that your application should be in this order:
    • 1. Submission of recommendation letter for research ethics review with a cover letter
    • 2. Submission of the Study Protocol and USPF REC forms 2A,2B,2C,2D,2E.
    • 3. Payment of processing fee using the payment form from the secretariat
    • 4. Editing of the ICF/IAF
    • 5. Research proposal/manuscript (in PDF format), including the following as an Appendix:
        • a. Appendix A - Informed Consent Form (if applicable)
        • b. Appendix B - Questionnaire/Research Instrument (if applicable)
        • c. Appendix C - Screenshots of the online Google form (if applicable)
        • d. Appendix D - CVs of researcher(s)
        • e. Appendix E - CV of adviser (if applicable)
        • f. Appendix F - Other supporting documents (transmittal letter; letter of request to use the research instrument, etc. (if applicable)
Please don’t create separate files for each part of your Study Protocols and do not create another e-mail thread during the transactions as these may create confusion.
USPF OREC will only accept APPROVED proposals (those that have incorporated all the comments and recommendations from the school/technical Department's panel), hence the purpose of the Recommendation Letter for Research Ethics Review.

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