Ethics Proposal

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Ethics Proposal Template (this is only an example)

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Title Page

  • Title of the Project
  • Date
  • Team Member names

Table of Contents

  • <Self explanatory>

Description of the Research - Purpose and Potential Benefits

  • Introduction
  • Describe the main goals and justification for the study.
  • Discuss any potential benefits of the study, including those related to professional/scientific knowledge.
  • Include a brief literature or historical overview pertinent to the study. Summarize the background, rationale, nature, and significance of the proposed research. Include key results of relevant related research.

Specific Procedures to be Followed

  • Provide a description of the specific procedures to be followed, so someone reading about the study for the first time will know what you plan to do.
  • You should provide step-by-step details of everything your participants will experience during the experimental session, and information about how you will handle potentially sensitive or identifying information.


  • This section should describe the criteria for inclusion and exclusion from the study and include the age, sex, and number of participants. For example, a study on normal color perception might exclude colorblind individuals. If there is no restriction placed on the participants, write “None.”


  • Describe how you will maintain confidentiality or protect the anonymity of research participants. Note: confidentiality means that you (or someone involved in the study) will be able to link the participants to their data; anonymity means that no one will be able to link the participants to their data.
  • If it is necessary to record participant names with data, provide a justification for this need and indicate what you will do with identifying information at the conclusion of your study.

Harm or Risk

  • Describe the possible or likely risks posed to participants and the procedures you will employ to detect and minimize those risks.
  • If no foreseeable risk to participants is evident, write “No obvious risks to participants beyond those normally encountered in daily lives of college students.”

Informed Consent Procedure

  • Describe in detail the manner in which subjects will be provided with information about the study so that they can make an informed decision concerning their participation.
  • May also involve the use of a form provided by your faculty. (Include the name of this form here, or any other relevant forms).


  • Explain any deception involved in the experiment and provide a justification for this deception. If no deception is used, write, “This study does not employ deception either through the withholding of information from, or the presentation of misinformation to, subjects.”


  • If you are requesting to use psychology students and plan to provide each participant with a written debriefing, provide a copy of that debriefing. The title of your experiment must appear at the top of this document, along with the word “DEBRIEFING.”.
  • The contents of your debriefing should adequately describe your research in terms any introductory psychology student would understand.
  • If you use any deception in your experiment, you must explain what you did and why you did it.

Participant Recruitment

  • Explain how participants will be recruited. If the researcher intends to recruit participants without using the departmental sign-up sheet, the advertisement must be approved by the departmental coordinator.


  • Identify specifically where the experiment will be conducted. Include name of building and (if known) room number.

Anything else you want to add! etc. etc.

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