Canadian Black Scientists Network Survey

Informed Consent Statement- Mount Saint Vincent University

Experiences of Black University Students and Postdocs in STEMM in Canada

Principal Investigator: Tamara Franz-Odendaal, Full Professor, Department of Biology, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Collaborating Faculty: Dr. Loydie Jerome-Majewska (Dept. of Pediatrics, McGill University), Dr. Juliet Daniel (Dept. of Biology, McMaster University), Dr. Maydianne Andrade (Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough), Dr. Jennifer Adams (Canada Research Chair, University of Calgary)

You are invited to participate in a research study lead by Dr. Franz-Odendaal, co-founder of the Canadian Black Scientists Network, and Dr. Jennifer D. Adams, CRC in Creativity and STEM. The purpose of this study is to learn more about the experiences of Black undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine/Health Sciences) in Canada. To participate, you must be Black student or postdoc in STEMM in Canada, live in Canada, be able provide informed consent, and be at least 18 years old.

Procedure to be Followed

You are invited to complete the following survey. The survey will take 20-40 minutes to complete and will ask for some demographic information as well as your experiences in STEMM in Canada. At the end of the survey, you can choose whether you are interested in being contacted for a follow-up interview within the next 2 months. If you are, you will be required to provide your email so that we can contact you. At the end of the survey, you will be able to also leave your email address if you would like to be entered in the draw for a $25 Amazon gift card. One gift card is drawn for every 50 respondents of the survey.


Answering some questions of the survey may trigger memories of emotional situations in which you experienced challenges. These feelings are normal and should be temporary. If you experience any lasting negative feelings as result of participating in this study, please contact the researcher or a local mental health care resource. A page of resources will be available to all participants at the end of the survey (including 24/7 helpline for immediate support). You may choose to skip any question or withdraw from the study at any time without consequence.


There are no direct benefits to you as a participant. However, there are broader social benefits- this research will broaden our knowledge of the experiences of Black trainees in STEMM in Canada. This knowledge can then be used by advocates (university staff/faculty, and other stakeholders) for systemic change at post-secondary institutions in Canada.


Only the research team will have access to the data (i.e., Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, Dr. Loydie Jerome-Majewska, Dr. Juliet Daniel, Dr. Maydianne Andrade, Dr. Jennifer Adams, and Drew Burchell). Data files will be stored on a password-protected MSVU OneDrive, which will be accessed only through password-protected computers and accounts. The data will be maintained for 5 years, at which point Dr. Franz-Odendaal will destroy all data (delete digital files).


Every 50 respondents of the survey will be entered into a draw for a $25 Amazon gift card. Enter your email at the end of the survey if you would like to be entered into the draw.
Any compensation received related to the participation in this research study is taxable. It is the participant’s responsibility to report the amount received for income tax purposes and Mount Saint Vincent University will not issue a tax receipt for the amount received.


This project has been reviewed and approved by the University Research Ethics Board (REB 2021-013). If you feel you have not been treated according to the descriptions in this form, or your rights as a participant in research have been violated during the course of this project, you may contact Brenda Gagne, Research Ethics Co-ordinator, Mount Saint Vincent University,

If you have questions at any time about the study, the procedures, or your payment (or you experience adverse effects as a result of participating in this study), you may contact the lead researcher, Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, at Mount Saint Vincent University, 902-457-6140 or by email:  

Participation & Study Withdrawal

Your participation in this study is voluntary; you may decline to participate without penalty.  If you decide to participate, you may withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. However, you must complete the survey and provide your email address to be included in the draw for the gift card. If you withdraw from the study, your data will be removed, destroyed and not analysed. You have the right to not answer any question(s) you choose.

Feedback & Publication

Results from the study will be used to write at least one peer-reviewed publishable academic paper as well as an infographic fact sheet and social media graphics that will be distributed widely. If you would like a copy of these products, let the researchers know (and provide your email) and we will send it to you via email on completion. The results may be presented to other researchers in the field, or policy makers. The results may also be presented at conferences. The findings may be available through Open Access resources.