Research Ethics

Volunteer Opportunity – Research Ethics Boards 

The Research Ethics Boards are accepting expressions of interest for Community Members and Members with Legal Expertise (Health Sciences Research Ethics Board).

Dalhousie University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. The university encourages applications from Indigenous persons, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community.


Dalhousie Research Ethics remains operational during the COVID-19 emergency. The REB continues to review new and ongoing research.

Notwithstanding Dalhousie REB approval, any research conducted during the COVID-19 emergency must comply with federal and provincial public health advice as well as directives issued by Dalhousie University (or other jurisdictions/facilities where the research will occur) regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Dalhousie researchers wishing to conduct in-person data collection from human participants (on-campus or in the field) must follow the Return to Research process. This process is independent of REB approval.

For more information:

When you receive approval to resume in-person research through the return to research process, and any changes to your research plan are limited to measures required to comply with federal and provincial public health advice (e.g. wearing a mask, physical distancing) as well as directives from Dalhousie University (or other facilities or jurisdictions where the research will occur) regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19, you do not require additional review by a Dalhousie University Research Ethics Board unless any modifications may introduce a changed level of risk to your research participants.

September 2020. The national Panel on Research Ethics has released interpretations on how to apply the Tri-Council Policy Statement Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS) during the current public health emergency.

Governing ethical research conduct

Dalhousie has two research ethics boards that review all faculty and thesis research involving human participants, human biological material or human data:

    • Health Sciences Research Ethics Board
    • Social Sciences & Humanities Research Ethics Board

Faculty and students submitting their research projects for human ethics review must prepare their submissions using the appropriate forms and guidance documents.

The work of Research Ethics, as well as the work of the research ethics boards, is described in the Research Ethics Annual Report [PDF - 256kB].

Dalhousie's policy on the ethical conduct of research involving humans

This policy sets out the guiding principles that govern the ethical conduct of human research. It describes the various components of the university’s human research ethics review process, which supports the implementation of these principles. The policy's jurisdiction is also outlined, as are the requirements for institutional compliance with national standards. Read the policy on the ethical conduct of research involving humans.

All those conducting research with human participants, biological material or data must be familiar with and follow the above university policy above, as well as the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS): Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. Departments where students conduct such research must ensure the appropriate ethics review and reporting activities are carried out according to this policy's requirements.

Course on research ethics

Researchers are strongly encouraged to complete the online tutorial, TCPS 2: Course on Research Ethics (CORE). CORE was designed to support the Canadian research community’s implementation of the second edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2).