Research ethics boards (REBs) are independent committees of experts who act on behalf of a parent institution (e.g. hospital or research institute) to review the ethical acceptability of research. REBs can approve, reject, propose modifications to, or terminate any proposed or ongoing research involving human participants.
REBs are independent of the parent institution in their decision-making, and they are required to operate free of inappropriate influence, including situations of real, potential or perceived conflict of interest. The parent institution may not override REB decisions concerning the ethical acceptability of a study.
PHSA has an agreement with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to provide ethical review and approval for research conducted at PHSA and its programs. In addition to UBC's Clinical and Behavioural REBs at its Point Grey campus and a Behavioural REB at its Okanagan campus, there are joint Clinical and Behavioural REBs operating at two PHSA sites: the UBC-BC Cancer REB is located at BC Cancer and the UBC-C&W REB is located at Children's & Women's Oak Street site.
Clinical research ethics boards are responsible for reviewing research that involves surgery, clinical interventions, exercise programs and/or the analysis of clinical data. Behavioural Research Ethics Boards review behavioural or social sciences/humanities research, or research that may involve the study of patients or health care providers.
The specific REB receiving and reviewing an application will depend on the location of the research and the primary affiliation of the principal investigator.