It's important to familiarize yourself with the Research Ethics Board (REB) application process and any site-specific requirements before you apply. Review the steps below and connect with the REB early on if you have any questions.
You must submit your ethics application to the appropriate PHSA-affiliated REB. The REB will depend on your research site and your affiliation/appointment.
Reviews are conducted as follows:
- UBC-BC Cancer REB (Clinical and Behavioural) is located at BC Cancer and provides ethics review for all adult oncology-related research conducted at BC Cancer.
- UBC-C&W REB (Clinical and Behavioural) is located at the Children's & Women's Oak Street site and provides ethics review for research conducted at:
- BC Children's Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre;
- BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services;
- BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre;
- BC Children's Hospital Research Institute;
- BC Mental Health and Addictions Research Institute;
- Women's Health Research Institute; and
- Studies for which the Principal Investigator holds appointments with the Children’s & Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia, which directly involve patients, records or resources of the Oak Street campus. This also includes research projects which involve the use of human remains, cadavers, tissue, biological fluids, embryos and/or fetuses.
- The UBC Clinical board (CREB) and UBC Behavioural board (BREB) provide ethics review for projects conducted at the BC Centre for Disease Control.
- BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) require separate research approval, conducted after an affiliated university REB has approved the project. Contact BCMHSUS Ethics [link accessible only from a health authority network] for additional information.
- Projects for agencies that do not have their own REB are often reviewed by the UBC C&W REB. Contact the UBC C&W REB Administrative Coordinator, Talysa Dhahan, for more information at 604-875-3103, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All UBC affiliated REBs (including PHSA and the Providence Health Care REB) have a "One Board of Record agreement". This means that you can submit a single application to cover research taking place in multiple UBC-affiliated locations. Research taking place in additional locations in British Columbia may be eligible for harmonized review; visit the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative
for more information.
2How to apply
PHSA-affiliated REBs require all ethics applications be submitted electronically through UBC’s Researcher Information services system (RISe). This is a web based system used by all of the UBC REBs to process applications for ethical review of research involving human subjects. It is a secure online document management system. All submissions and department approvals of ethics applications to any of the UBC-affiliated REBs must use RISe. All amendments, renewals, and requests for acknowledgment to previously approved applications must also use RISe.
If you are applying for REB review by another institution, please follow the process outlined by the applicable REB.
First-time users must register with RISe. All researchers and study personnel must have a Campus Wide Login (CWL) and Password and a 'Researcher Number'.
The instructions on the use and application of RISe are found on the RISe Welcome Page as well as embedded within the application itself. This is also where you can familiarize yourself with RISe through tutorials and the test site ("sandbox") where you can try out RISe without using any live data.
3Complete the TCPS2 Tutorial
Students, staff and principal investigators at PHSA and UBC are required to take the online TCPS 2 Tutorial Course on Research Ethics (CORE) before submitting an REB application. This free interactive online tutorial can be completed in approximately two hours and is necessary for conducting research in Canada. It provides an essential orientation to the Tri Council Policy Statement and consists of eight modules ranging from Core Principles to REB Review.
The TCPS2 Tutorial CORE is available at the following links: English Version
/ French Version
. A certificate is available in English or French for printing upon completion.
4Review and complete site-specific requirements
The requirements for preparing and submitting your ethics review can vary depending on the site. Familiarize yourself with the steps you must follow to submit to the following REBs:
Reach out to the REB if you have questions about the requirements. It's never too early to connect!
5Do ethical review fees apply?
A fee for ethical review only applies to research studies sponsored by industry (i.e., pharmaceutical, biological or medical device company) or any other for profit organization.
The initial ethics review fee is waived for:
- Studies that do not have funding
- Studies funded by a grant from a non-profit organization
- Studies that receive internal grants from UBC, PHC or their affiliated agencies or research institutes
- Studies funded by cooperative groups (i.e. COG)
- Studies funded by CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC and NIH (including NIH Institutes)
The principal investigator must ensure the sponsor is aware of these fees.