Ethics Application Form: Student Research

Ethics Application Form: Student Research

Anyone conducting research under the auspices of the Institute (staff, students or visitors) where the research involves human participants or the use of data collected from human participants, is required to gain ethical approval before starting. This includes preliminary and pilot studies. Please answer all relevant questions in terms that can be understood by a lay person and note that your form may be returned if incomplete.

For further support and guidance please see accompanying guidelines and the Ethics Review Procedures for Student Research or contact your supervisor.

Before completing this form you will need to discuss your proposal fully with your supervisor(s).

Please attach all supporting documents and letters.

For all Psychology students, this form should be completed with reference to the British Psychological Society (BPS) Code of Human Research Ethics and Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Section 1: Project Details

  1. Project title: Mental Health and Well-being Status During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Comparison study between Chinese international students studying in China and in the UK
  2. Student name: Ruoshi Li
  3. Supervisor/Personal Tutor: Karishma Jivraj
  4. Department: Psychology and Human Development, UCL Institute of Education e) Course category (tick one):

PhD/MPhil ☐

EdD ☐

MRes ☐

DEdPsy ☐

MTeach ☐

MA/MSc ☒

ITE ☐

Diploma (state which) ☐ Enter text

Other (state which) ☐ Enter text

  1. Course/module title: Dissertation on Education(Psychology)
  2. If applicable, state who the funder is and if funding has been confirmed: N/A
  3. Intended research start date: 1st March 2021
  4. Intended research end date: 30th August 2021
  5. Country fieldwork will be conducted in: UK

If research to be conducted abroad please check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and submit a completed travel risk assessment form (see guidelines). If the FCO advice is against travel this will be required before ethical approval can be granted: UCL travel advice webpage

  1. Has this project been considered by another (external) Research Ethics Committee?

Yes ☐

External Committee Name: Enter text Date of Approval: Enter text

No ☒               go to Section 2

If yes:

– Submit a copy of the approval letter with this application. – Proceed to Section 10 Attachments.

Note: Ensure that you check the guidelines carefully as research with some participants will require ethical approval from a different ethics committee such as the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) or Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC). In addition, if your research is based in another institution then you may be required to apply to their research ethics committee.

Section 2 – Research methods summary (tick all that apply)

☐ Interviews

☐ Focus Groups

☒ Questionnaires

☐ Action Research

☐ Observation

☒ Literature Review

☐ Controlled trial/other intervention study

☐ Use of personal records

☐ Systematic review – if only method used go to Section 5

☐ Secondary data analysis – if secondary analysis used go to Section 6

☐ Advisory/consultation/collaborative groups

☐ Other, give details: Enter text

Please provide an overview of the project, focusing on your methodology. This should include some or all of the following: purpose of the research, aims, main research questions, research design, participants, sampling, data collection (including justifications for methods chosen and description of topics/questions to be asked), reporting and dissemination. Please focus on your methodology; the theory, policy, or literary background of your work can be provided in an attached document (i.e. a full research proposal or case for support document). Minimum 150 words required.

Purpose of the research:

The research project is all about Providing quantitative information on the mental health and well-being status of Chinese international students studying in China and in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aims

The aims of this research are to:

  • Conducting quantitative analysis on mental health status in Chinese international students studying in China and in the UK
  • Investigating in the stress factors caused by the pandemic
  • Discussing potential countermeasures coping with the stresses

Main research question

  • Mental health and well-being status during the Covid-19 pandemic: comparison study between Chinese international students studying in China and in the UK

Participants

The study participants were 18-25 year old Chinese international students, divided into two experimental groups. One group was unable to come to the UK due to the epidemic and stayed in China for online classes. The other group are Chinese international students who have come to the UK.

Sampling

Simple random sampling

Data collection

The study uses questionnaire survey for data collection by asking close-end questions to gather quantitative data for data analysis. The questions include demographic information and topic-related questions based on GAD-7 and PHQ-9.

Section 3 – research Participants (tick all that apply)

  1. Will your research involve human participants?

Yes ☒

No ☐ (if ‘No’, go to Section 4)

  1. Who are the participants for this project (i.e. what sorts of people will be involved)? Tick all that apply

☐ Early years/pre-school

☐ Ages 5-11

☐ Ages 12-16

☐ Young people aged 17-18

☒ Adults please specify below

☐ Unknown – specify below

☐ No participants

Undergraduates and graduates students, age 18~25

Note: Ensure that you check the guidelines carefully as research with some participants will require ethical approval from a different ethics committee such as the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) or Social Care Research Ethics Committee (SCREC).

  1. If participants are under the responsibility of others (such as parents, teachers or medical staff) how do you intend to obtain permission to approach the participants to take part in the study? (Please attach approach letters or details of permission procedures – see Section 9)

Enter text

  1. How will participants be recruited (identified and approached)?

The number of participants involved in the study:

The criteria of participants include both age group (17-30) and nationality (Chinese) based on the range of the study. The research participants are approached online by distributing questionnaire surveys through social networking software and platforms such as WeChat, QQ and email by sharing in groups of university students. Before participants answer the question, there will be a informed consent document for them to sign.

  1. Describe the process you will use to inform participants about what you are doing

The research related information will be presented to the respondents with the help of documents sent online.

  1. How will you obtain the consent of participants? Will this be written? How will it be made clear to participants that they may withdraw consent to participate at any time?

An informed consent document will be shared with the respondents to identify their willingness to participate. It will be written on the informed consent that they have the liberty to withdraw from the research at any given point of time.

  1. Studies involving questionnaires: will participants be given the option of omitting questions they do not wish to answer?

Yes ☒

No* ☐

*If no, please explain why below, and ensure that you cover any ethical issues arising from this in Section 8

Enter text

  1. Studies involving observation: please confirm whether participants will be asked for their informed consent to be observed

Yes ☒

No* ☐

*If no, read the guidelines (Ethical Issues section) and explain why below and ensure that you cover any ethical issues arising from this in section 8

Enter text

  1. Might participants experience anxiety, discomfort, or embarrassment as a result of your study? Yes* ☒ No* ☐

*If yes, what steps will you take to explain and minimise this?

As the research is all about COVID-19 impact on mental wellbeing, then there might be chances that the discomfort in learning will increase the anxiety when the students will recall the time of learning. It will be minimized by notifying the respondents about the use of the research and everything is safe .

*If no, explain how you can be sure that no discomfort or embarrassment will arise?

Enter text

  1. Will your project involve deliberately misleading participants (deception) in any way? Yes* ☐

No ☒

If yes, please provide further details below and ensure that you cover any ethical issues arising from this in Section 8

Enter text

  1. Will you debrief participants at the end of their participation (i.e. give them a brief explanation of the study)? Yes ☒

No* ☐

*If no, please explain why below and ensure that you cover any ethical issues arising from this in section 8

Enter text

  1. Will participants be given information about the findings of your study? (This could be a brief summary of your findings in general; it is not the same as an individual debriefing)

Yes ☒

No* ☐

If no, why not?

Enter text

Section 4 – Security-sensitive material (only complete if applicable)

Security sensitive research includes: commissioned by the military; commissioned under an EU security call; involves the acquisition of security clearances; concerns terrorist or extreme groups.

  1. Will your project consider or encounter security-sensitive material?

Yes* ☐ No ☒

  1. Will you be visiting websites associated with extreme or terrorist organisations?

Yes* ☐ No ☒

  1. Will you be storing or transmitting any materials that could be interpreted as promoting or endorsing terrorist acts? Yes* ☐ No ☒

* Give further details in Section 8 Ethical Issues

Section 5 – Systematic reviews of research (only complete if applicable)

  1. Will you be collecting any new data from participants?

Yes* ☐ No ☐

  1. Will you be analysing any secondary data?

Yes* ☐ No ☐

* Give further details in Section 8 Ethical Issues

If your methods do not involve engagement with participants (e.g. systematic review, literature review) and if you have answered No to both questions, please go to Section 10 Attachments.

Section 6 – Secondary data analysis (only complete if applicable)

  1. Name of dataset/s: Enter text
  2. Owner of dataset/s: Enter text
  3. Are the data in the public domain? Yes ☐ No ☐

If no, do you have the owner’s permission/license?

Yes ☐ No* ☐

  1. Are the data special category personal data (i.e. personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation)? Yes* ☐ No ☐
  2. Will you be conducting analysis within the remit it was originally collected for?

Yes ☐ No* ☐

  1. If no, was consent gained from participants for subsequent/future analysis?

Yes ☐ No* ☐

  1. If no, was data collected prior to ethics approval process?

Yes ☐ No* ☐

* Give further details in Section 8 Ethical Issues¾

¾If secondary analysis is only method used and no answers with asterisks are ticked, go to Section 9 Attachments.

Section 7 – Data storage and security

  1. Confirm that all personal data will be stored and processed in compliance with the General Data

Protection Registration (GDPR). (See the Guidelines and the Institute’s Data Protection & Records Management Policy for more detail.) Yes ☒

  1. Will personal data be processed or be sent outside of the European Economic Area (EEA)? Yes* ☐

No ☒

*If yes, please confirm that there are adequate levels of protections in compliance with the DPA

1998 and state what these arrangements are below

Enter text

  1. Who will have access to the data and personal information, including advisory/consultation groups, and during transcription?

The researcher and the supervisor only.

During the research

  1. Where will the data be stored?

It will be stored in a dedicated storage space at the university which is inaccessible to anyone.

  1. Will mobile devices such as USB storage and laptops be used?

Yes ☒

No ☐

*If yes, state what mobile devices will be used

Laptops

After the research

  1. Where will the data be stored?

This data will be stored in the researcher’s personal document file. This is password protected and only the researcher has access to the password.

  1. How long will the data and records be kept for, and in what format?

Until 1st December 2021. Data will be kept as an encrypted word document on a password protected computer on a secure network. All audio files will be deleted immediately after they have been transcribed.

  1. Will the data be archived for use by other researchers?

Yes ☐

No ☒

*If yes, please provide details

Enter text

 

Section 8 – Ethical Issues

Are there particular features of the proposed work which may raise ethical concerns or add to the complexity of ethical decision making? If so, please outline how you will deal with these below.

It is important that you demonstrate your awareness of potential risks or harm that may arise as a result of your research. You should then demonstrate that you have considered ways to minimise the likelihood and impact of each potential harm that you have identified. Please be as specific as possible in describing the ethical issues you will have to address. Please consider / address ALL issues that may apply from the below.

Ethical concerns may include, but not be limited to, the following areas:

  • Methods
  • Sampling
  • Recruitment
  • Gatekeepers
  • Informed consent
  • Potentially vulnerable participants
  • Safeguarding/child protection
  • Sensitive topics
  • International research
  • Risks to participants and/or researchers
  • Confidentiality/Anonymity
  • Disclosures/limits to confidentiality
  • Data storage and security both during and after the research (including transfer, sharing, encryption, protection)
  • Reporting
  • Dissemination and use of findings

Since the topic this study focus on people’s mental health and well-being status, many questions in the questionnaire are sensitive that potentially vulnerable participants may be unwilling to answer. Therefore, researchers need to ensure the informed consent by informing the aim of research and the necessary uses of data to obtain their consent and assure the confidentiality and anonymity of the survey data. The design of the questionnaire allows participants to omit any questions that they are not willing to answer (for example, by tapping the ‘skip’ button). Moreover, if participants want to drop out of this study, they can contact me directly to withdraw their data.

During the research, the survey data will be transferred and shared via the online questionnaire website and after the research the collected data will be stored in the researcher’s PC and will not be shared to any others to ensure the data storage and security. After the research, the collected data will be stored in the UCL secure data repository for 10 years following the UCL data storage guidelines.

Moreover, the respondents of this research are the UK university students (at the age between 17 to 30) and thereby people who do not fit into this age group are excluded from the criteria.

Furthermore, there is potential risk that the research findings might be used and disseminated with prejudice.

Section 9 – Further information

Outline any other information you feel is relevant to this submission, using a separate sheet or attachments if necessary

Enter text

Section 10 – Attachments

Please attach the following items to this form, or explain if not attached:

  1. Information sheets and other materials to be used to inform potential participants about the research, including approach letters Yes ☒ No ☐ N/A ☐
  2. Consent form

Yes ☒ No ☐ N/A ☐

  1. The proposal for the project Yes ☐ No ☐ N/A ☒
  2. Approval Letter from external Research Ethics Committee Yes ☐ No ☐ N/A ☒
  3. Full risk assessment

Yes ☐ No ☐ N/A ☒

Section 11 – Declaration

I have read, understood, and will abide by the following set of guidelines: Yes ☒ No ☐

Please select guidelines this project will be abiding by:

BPS ☒

BERA ☐

BSA ☐

Other (please state) ☐ Enter text

I have discussed the ethics issues relation to my research with my supervisor Yes ☒ No ☐

I have attended the appropriate ethics training provided by my course Yes ☒ No ☐

I confirm that to the best of my knowledge:

The above information is correct and this is a full description of the ethics issues that may arise in the course of this project

Name: Ruoshi Li

Date: 1st March 2021

Once complete, please submit your complete ethics forms to your supervisor

Notes & References

Enter text

Useful links & information

Professional code of ethics

You should read and understand relevant ethics guidelines, for example: British Psychological Society (2018) Code of Ethics and Conduct or

British Educational Research Association (2018) Ethical Guidelines

or

British Sociological Association (2017) Statement of Ethical Practice

Please see the respective websites for these or later versions; direct links to the latest versions are available on the Institute of Education Research Ethics webpage

Disclosure and Barring Service checks

If you are planning to carry out research in regulated Education environments such as Schools, or if your research will bring you into contact with children and young people (under the age of 18), you will need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) CHECK, before you start. The DBS was previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)). If you do not already hold a current DBS check, and have not registered with the DBS update service, you will need to obtain one through UCL.

Ensure that you apply for the DBS check in plenty of time as will take around 4 weeks, though can take longer depending on the circumstances.

Further references

Robson, Colin (2011). Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner researchers (3rd edition). Oxford: Blackwell.

This text has a helpful section on ethical considerations.

Alderson, P. and Morrow, V. (2011) The Ethics of Research with Children and Young People: A Practical Handbook. London: Sage.

This text has useful suggestions if you are conducting research with children and young people.

Wiles, R. (2013) What are Qualitative Research Ethics? Bloomsbury.

A useful and short text covering areas including informed consent, approaches to research ethics including examples of ethical dilemmas.

Departmental use

If a project raises particularly challenging ethics issues, or a more detailed review would be appropriate, the supervisor must refer the application to the Research Development Administrator via email so that it can be submitted to the IOE Research Ethics Committee for consideration. A departmental research ethics coordinator or representative can advise you, either to support your review process, or help decide whether an application should be referred to the REC. If unsure please refer to the guidelines explaining when to refer the ethics application to the IOE Research Ethics Committee, posted on the committee’s website.

Student name: Enter text

Course: Enter text

Project Title: Enter text

Reviewer 1

Supervisor name: Dr Karishma Jivraj Supervisor comments:

This application has been first reviewed and I am happy for it to proceed to second review.

Supervisor/first reviewer signature:

Date: 29.03.2021

Reviewer 2

Advisory committee/course team member name: Enter text Advisory committee/course team member coments:

Enter text

Advisory committee/course team member signature: Enter text

Date: Enter text

Decision on behalf of reviewers

 

Approved

Referred back to applicant and supervisor

Referred to the REC for review

Recording

Recorded in the student information system

Once completed and approved, please send this form and associated documents to the relevant programme administrator to record on the student information system and to securely store.

Further guidance on ethical issues can be found on the UCL Institute of Education Research

Ethics Committee website

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Status During the Covid-19 Pandemic: the comparison study between Chinese international students studying in China and the UK

Please tell us about yourself                                     

Q1: Has your university moved to virtual teaching due to COVID-19? *

□ Yes          □ No    □ Not Applicable

Q2: Has your university closed hostels/ dormitories/residencies due to COVID-19? * □ Yes □ No □ Not Applicable

Q3: Is your school prepared for psychological counselling?

□ Yes           □ No   □ Not Applicable

Q4. Please tell us about your feelings during covid-19 pandemic                                     

      *Never very  or rare

(1)

Sometimes

(2)

Often (3) Very often or always (4)
 
 4.1 I feel nervous and  anxious          
 4.2 I    worried     about  many things          
 4.3 I become easily  annoyed or irritable          
 4.4 I feel hard to relax          
 4.5 I do not feel calm      and cannot sit still easily          
 4.6 I can feel my heart  beating fast          
 4.7 I cannot breathe in  and out easily          
 4.8 I get feelings of  numbness and

tingling in my fingers and toes

         
 4.9 My hands  are  usually wet and

cold

         
 4.10             My face gets

hot and flushes

       
 4.11 I get upset  easily or feel

despairing

       
 4.12 I feel like I am  failed and

disappointing

       
 4.13 I loses interests  in many things        
 4.14 It is hard for me  to concentrate on

reading, watching

or listening

       
 4.15         I feel weak and

get tired easily

       
 4.16      I have fainting

spells or feel it

       
 4.17 I  am  bothered  by stomach-aches or indigestion        
 4.18 I suffer from  insomnia  or hypersomnia or

disturbed sleep

       
 4.19 People says I  speak or move

slowly/quickly

       

Q5. Please tell us your attitude toward the following statements about your feeling during this COVID-19

5.1 I worry that covid-19 disruptions would have impact on my academic performance.

Strongly disagree   Strongly agree □ 1 □ 2 □ 3 □ 4 □ 5 □ 6 □ 7

5.2 I worry about the inadequate internet/communication facilities for online class due to covid-19

Strongly disagree   Strongly agree □ 1 □ 2 □ 3 □ 4 □ 5 □ 6 □ 7

5.3 I worry about family and relatives with higher vulnerabilities

Strongly disagree         Strongly agree

□ 1               □ 2                □ 3           □ 4               □ 5                □ 6        □ 7

5.4 I worry that I would have been infected with covid-19 pandemic

Strongly disagree   Strongly agree □ 1 □ 2 □ 3 □ 4 □ 5 □ 6 □ 7

5.5 I worry about running into financial problem due to covid-19

Strongly disagree         Strongly agree

□ 1               □ 2                □ 3            □ 4               □ 5                □ 6       □ 7

5.6 I worry about poor interactions and isolation due to quarantine

Strongly disagree   Strongly agree
□ 1               □ 2

Q7: Gender *

□ 3 □ 4                  □ 5                □ 6 □ 7
□ Male

Q8: Age *

□ Female □ Prefer not to say  
□ Below 17 years

Q9: Level of Study *

□ 17-25 □ 25-30        □ Above 30 years  

□ Diploma         □ Undergraduate           □ Masters                  □ PhD            □ Professional

Q10: Year in the University Study *

□ Year 1

□ Year 2

□ Year 3

□ Year 4

□ Year 5

□ Above 5 years

Q11: Are you currently in the UK or China *

□ China             □ UK

Thanks a lot for your patience and contribution to this research!

Mental Health and Wellbeing Status during the Covid-19

Pandemic: the comparison study between Chinese international students studying in China and the UK

Consent Form

If you are happy to participate in this study, please complete this consent form and return it to Ruoshi Li in person or at the address below.

Yes                                                            No

I have read and understood the information leaflet about the research.

I understand that if any of my words are used in reports or presentations they will not be attributed to me.

I understand that I can withdraw from the project at any time, and that if I choose to do this, any data I have contributed will not be used.

I understand that I can contact Ruoshi Li at any time and request for my data to be removed from the project database.

I understand that the findings will be reported in the dissertation and shared with the school.

Name                                           Signed                                                                       

Date                                            

Ruoshi Li

Department of Psychology and Human

Development

UCL Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL

Mental Health and Wellbeing Status during the Covid-19 Pandemic:

the comparison study between Chinese international students

studying in China and the UK

Debriefing sheet- Please keep this sheet

Thank you for participating in this study on the mental health and well-being of international students during COVID-19.

The aim of this study is to provide quantitative information on Chinese international students’ mental health and well-being attending classes in China or the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also aims to investigate stress factors caused by the pandemic and discuss potential responses to stress.

We believe that the answers you gave us will help us better understand Chinese students’ mental health studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no right or wrong answer, and we want to know your honest opinion. Please remember that your answers are confidential and anonymous. However, you may withdraw your information from the study at any time without giving a reason. If you would like to withdraw or ask any questions about this project, my email address is qtnv787@ucl.ac.uk.

If you have questions about any of the issues raised in the study, please talk to someone you trust, such as a teacher, parent, or guardian. Furthermore, Samaritans is a 24/7 charity where all staffs are psychologically trained. If you are experiencing any psychological problems can you feel free to consult staffs of Samaritans at 116 123.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Status During the Covid-19

Pandemic: the comparison study between Chinese international students studying in China and the UK

Study Information Sheet

Purpose

The purpose of the research is to provide quantitative information on the mental health and wellbeing status of Chinese international students studying in China and the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Main Research Question

What was the mental health and well-being of Chinese students studying in China and the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Aims

To Conduct quantitative analysis on mental health status in Chinese.

To Investigate the stress factors caused by the pandemic.

To Discuss potential countermeasures coping with the stresses.

Who is running the study?

I am completing this research as part of my Master’s report. My supervisor is Dr Karishma Jivraj, an expert in mental health, well-being, and person-centred care. This research has been reviewed and approved by the UCL Department of Psychology and Human Development Ethics Committee.

What will it involve?

I will conduct a questionnaire survey on Chinese international students aged between 17 and 30. They will be divided into two categories: firstly, international students who live in China and study online, and secondly, international students who live in the UK but are quarantined at home due to the pandemic and are forced to choose online courses. All participants will remain anonymous throughout the study.

What will I ask the Participants?

Participants will be asked to consider: the school’s policy on the Pandemic, whether the school offers counselling, language communication, and jet lag issues.

I may also ask: whether international students are aware of their psychological situation, what psychological states they may have and whether they are aware of depression and anxiety.

Reporting and dissemination

By issuing questionnaires on social software and platforms such as WeChat and WhatsApp, I will collect the influence of Chinese overseas students on their psychological conditions after the school changed to online teaching during COVID- 19 and some feedback on the relevant policies of the school. Their situation and feedback can be incorporated into our practice to create a friendlier school. This may be useful to present and future students and may help staff understand how to improve an online teaching environment better.

I will be submitting a written report to the UCL School of Education as part of my MA Education (Psychology) degree. The report will also be provided to my supervisor Dr Karishma Jivraj.

How will the information be protected?

No one other than my supervisor and myself will have the access to the data. All responses will be kept confidential and anonymous, and your information will only be used for research purposes. Participants of the research do not need to answer all the questions and you can withdraw at any time if you do not wish to continue. Any disclosure of the survey information will be protected following the UCL Data Protection Policy.

How can you get involved?

If you are willing to allow me to proceed with the next step of the study, I will need your written permission. I would like to conduct this study in the spring semester of 2021.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about the study, feel free to contact me at Qtnv787@ucl.ac.uk.

 

Many thanks for your support,

Ruoshi Li