Letter of Information and Consent

Study Title:  Queen’s Shift Survey 2023
A campus climate survey including student experiences regarding diversity and inclusivity.
Principal Investigator

Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion, Queen’s University – Principal Investigator 
Study Details

I am inviting all Queen’s undergraduate and graduate students to take part in a research study being undertaken by the University. The purpose of this study is to gather information about student’s perceptions of and experiences with diversity and inclusion. Through the survey data, Queen’s University can better understand students’ perceptions and experiences, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and measure year-over-year progress on key initiatives. This study has been reviewed for ethical compliance by the Queen’s University General Research Ethics Board (GREB)
The results of the survey will provide important information about our campus climate and will help us in our efforts to ensure that the environment at this school is safe for students. There are no risks in participating in this survey beyond those experienced in everyday life. Some of the survey questions are personal and you might experience emotional discomfort while answering them. Throughout the survey, and on completion you will be given information about resources should you wish to talk with someone. 
Study Procedures 

Your participation would include an online survey that should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary, and your acceptance or refusal to participate will not affect your academic standing. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to. You can stop your participation at any time by closing your browser or by clicking the ‘End the survey now’ button located on the bottom of every page of the survey. Withdrawing from the study will in no way result in any penalty or negative consequences. If you wish to withdraw your data from the study at any point during the survey, including following the completion of the survey, you may request to have your data removed by contacting Queen’s Institutional Research and Planning at irpsurv@queensu.ca. You will be required to provide your student ID for the purpose of identifying your data to the study team. You must request to have your data removed from the study by not later than February 27th, 2022. It is not possible to withdraw data after publication of the results.  
For the purposes of this study, a sample file containing your email and student ID number will be used to create a unique survey link through the Qualtrics survey system. The purpose of this unique link is to allow the research team to connect your survey data to other program and demographic data(such as your age, year of study, faculty) held by the institution. Your unique identification code will only be connected to your student ID in a secure, password protected file that will never be linked to your survey responses. Only the research team will have access to the identification file.   

In appreciation of your time and feedback, the first 2000 students to complete at least 65% of the survey will be able to choose one of three organization’s whose missions and mandates are in alignment with the survey goals to receive a $5 donation from Queen’s University OR choose to receive a $5 flex credit. Further, all respondents can also choose to be entered into a draw to win 1 of 10 $100 Skip the Dishes gift cards. Completion of the survey is not required for you to participate in the draw. If you no longer wish to complete the study, but wish to participate in the draw, you may do so by clicking the ‘End Survey’ button on the bottom of each page, which will bring you to the compensation page.  Your chances of winning will depend on the number of entrants in the draw. Draw winners will be announced following the completion of the survey collection. To distributing these rewards, you will be asked to provide your email address upon completion of the survey. Providing your email is optional, and the submission of your email will be performed through a separate survey, that will produce a separate data file from the survey data.

Your confidentiality will be protected to the extent permitted by applicable laws. The investigators will take all reasonable measures to protect the confidentiality of your records. In the event of any publication or presentation of the survey results, no personally identifiable information will be shared. Survey responses will be reported in terms of groups (such as by Faculty) of students rather than as individual cases.  We may include quotations from open-ended questions; however, we will never include any personally identifying information with quotations. The sample file containing your email student ID number, will always be kept separate from your survey data, in a password protected file only accessible to members of the research team. 
The study data will be stored on an encrypted hard drive on Queen’s University servers. The de-identified data set will be made freely accessible in the Queen's University's Institutional Repository after a 5-year embargo period. The Queen's General Research Ethics Board (GREB) may request access to study data and/or all other study materials used in this research to ensure that we (the research team) have or are meeting our ethical obligations in conducting this research. GREB is bound by confidentiality agreements and will not release any personal information.
Risks and Benefits of Participating in this Study

Participants should be aware that some of the survey questions are personal and some respondents might experience some emotional discomfort while answering them. Questions in the survey will ask students to recall experiences of discriminatory or harassing behaviour. These recollections may have a level of psychological / emotional risk.
While there are no direct benefits to you, the results of the survey will provide important information about Queen’s University campus climate and will help university administrators to help promote a safe and inclusive environment. Specifically, the institution will be able to identify the characteristics of students who are most at risk of discrimination, or harassment, which will enable the school to target resources and prevention training to vulnerable student populations. The survey will also yield insight into the reasons why students who have experienced discrimination or harassment, do not disclose the incident. This information will aid the institution in developing policies and procedures that encourage reporting and support students throughout the process. Finally, the survey will capture information about students’ attitudes towards the campus climate and identify gaps in education, training, and response protocols.
If you have any ethics concerns, please contact the General Research Ethics Board (GREB) at 1-844-535-2988 (Toll free in North America) or email chair.GREB@queensu.ca. Call 1-613-533-2988 if outside North America. Please note that GREB communicates in English only.
If you have any questions about the research, please contact the Principal Investigator at ss33@queensu.ca. For any technical questions about data protection or data removal, please contact Queen’s Institutional Research and Planning at irpsurv@queensu.ca.
This Letter of Information provides you with the details to help you make an informed choice. All your questions should be answered to your satisfaction before you decide whether or not to participate in this research study. You have not waived any legal rights by consenting to participate in this study.
By indicating below, I am verifying that I have read the Letter of Information, all of my questions have been answered, I freely consent to participate in the survey and responses may be collected. 
☐    Yes, I have read the above statements and freely consent to participate in this research
☐    No, I have read the above statements, and do not give my consent to participate in this research 
☐    Yes, I consent to the use of my comments in quotations.
☐    No, I do not consent to the use of my comments in quotations.