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Apply for Research Ethics Board Approval

 

Research ethics review process

Learn more about the steps involved in the research ethics review process and how long it takes.

Submission deadlines for 2017-2018

Submissions for research ethics review are accepted at any time. The following deadlines are applied to those projects that require review at a research ethics board meeting. This includes projects that are more than minimal risk, which deal with alterations to consent, vulnerable populations or contexts, dual roles or conflicts of interest, novel methods or projects which the board believes would benefit from contributions of the whole board. Complete submissions must be received no later than 4:00 p.m.

2017:

  • Monday, August 28
  • Monday, October 2
  • Monday, October 30
  • Monday, November 27

2018

  • Tuesday, January 2 (Note: deadline is a Tuesday due to the holiday Monday)
  • Monday, February 5
  • Monday, March 5
  • Monday, April 2
  • Monday, April 30
  • Monday, May 28
  • Monday, June 25
  • Tuesday, September 4 (Note: deadline is a Tuesday due to the holiday Monday)
  • Monday, October 1
  • Monday, October 29
  • Monday, November 26

It normally takes about 4 weeks to receive a response from the Research Ethics Board (REB). In many cases, your first response to a new research ethics application will be a review letter in which the REB requests further information or makes recommendations for changes. Re-submissions in response to the initial REB feedback also require ethical review, which takes additional time. It is recommended that you plan at least 8 weeks from submission to approval, and this estimate is highly variable depending on the nature of the project, the quality of the initial ethics submission and the timeliness of communication between the researcher and the REB.

Research at hospitals

Researchers who intend to use IWK Health Centre, Nova Scotia Health Authority or Horizon Health Network facilities or data, or recruit their patients, must contact the ethics offices in these institutions first to determine whether a submission should be made to their research ethics boards, rather than to Dalhousie.

Research approved by the research ethics boards at these hospitals does not additionally require Research Ethics Board (REB) approval at Dalhousie. However, research approved by the Dalhousie Research Ethics Board does additionally require REB approval by these institutions.

Application for REB approval for prospective research

This application form should be used only if new data will be collected as part of the research.

Application instructions:

Students and learners must secure their supervisor’s review and approval of the research ethics application package prior to submission to the REB. 

Application for REB approval for secondary use of information for research

This application form should only be used for secondary use of information and biological materials (such as health records, student records, survey data, or biological material surplus to diagnostic exams or surgical procedures).  If the study exclusively uses data that are publically available or made accessible through legislation or regulation, it is exempt from REB review (TCPS article 2.2).

Application instructions:

Students and learners must secure their supervisor’s review and approval of the research ethics application package prior to submission to the REB. 

Submission instructions for faculty, staff and graduate student research

An electronic copy of the complete submission package (application form and appendices) must be submitted as a single electronic file in MS Word or PDF format. This single file should be named "REB Submission [researcher’s last name]" and submitted by electronic mail attachment to ethics@dal.ca or sharing with ethics@dal.ca through OneDrive in Office365 (with “REB Submission (researcher's last name)" in the “personal message” text box) or using Dalhousie FileExchange

The submission should come from the lead researcher (PI) at Dalhousie University. Students and post-doctoral fellows must copy their supervisor on the electronic submission.

Applications are accepted any time during office hours. The monthly deadline dates are available above and constitute the deadlines for research requiring review at a board meeting. Please note that no reviews are conducted in August. Submissions must be received by 4:00 p.m. on the deadline day. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

What to include
A single electronic document that includes:

  • Application form
  • Recruitment documents (posters, verbal scripts, online postings, invitations to participate, etc.)
  • Screening documents
  • Consent forms
  • Debriefing forms
  • Research instruments (questionnaires, surveys, interview or focus group questions, etc.)
  • Letters of permission or support (Aboriginal Band Council, School Board, director of a long-term care facility)
  • Confidentiality agreements

Complete all sections of the application form. If a section is not relevant to your proposed research, please indicate “not applicable”.

All appendices must be appropriately labelled and included in the order described above. Please number the pages in the submission.

Text must be in a legible font size, normally no smaller than 11 pts. All documents must be submitted in English.

Each application must be submitted as a stand-alone document. Previous submissions may be mentioned, but all required content must be included in the current submission (i.e., do not refer to another submission to provide details needed in this one).

For funded researchers, if you have a Release of Funds Agreement associated with this study, please attach a copy of it to this submission so that access to funding will not be interrupted.

Submission instructions for undergraduate students' thesis research

Undergraduate students must initially submit their application for unit-level review (to get department, school or faculty research ethics approval) prior to submission to the university's Research Ethics Board. Submissions that have received unit-level approval (indicated on section 1.2 of the application form) are eligible for a streamlined review by the Research Ethics Board. The exceptions are research that is more than minimal risk, or where unit-level review is not available, in which case the research ethics application may be submitted directly to the Research Ethics Board.

Course-based (non-thesis) research that is minimal risk may be reviewed and approved at the unit level.

Undergraduate thesis students should only be the named Principal Investigator (lead researcher) on a research ethics file when it is foreseeable that they will complete the full scope of the proposed research during their academic program. In cases where the research may extend past the term of any single student's involvement, the research ethics submission should be made by the faculty supervisor, with student(s) named as other involved study personnel (that can evolve over time). In effect, if the lab is doing the research rather than the individual student, the supervising faculty member should be the Principal Investigator on the research ethics submission responsible for the ethical conduct of the research.

In the event that a student is named as Principal Investigator (PI), and that student does not complete the full scope of the research by program completion, the supervising faculty member may, normally with the student PI's written agreement, take over as Principal Investigator for the project. Researchers are responsible for considering the scholarly integrity issues related to such a change, such as ownership of data.

An electronic copy of the complete submission package (application form and appendices) must be submitted as a single electronic file in MS Word or PDF format. This single file should be named "REB Submission [researcher’s last name]" and submitted by electronic mail attachment to ethics@dal.ca or sharing with ethics@dal.ca through OneDrive in Office365 (with “REB Submission (researcher's last name)" in the “personal message” text box) or using Dalhousie FileExchange.

The submission should come from the lead researcher (PI) at Dalhousie University. Students and post-doctoral fellows must copy their supervisor on the electronic submission.

Applications are accepted any time during office hours. The monthly deadline dates are available above and constitute the deadlines for research requiring review at a board meeting. Please note that no reviews are conducted in August. Submissions must be received by 4:00 p.m. on the deadline day. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

What to include
A single electronic document that includes:

  • Application form
  • Recruitment documents (posters, verbal scripts, online postings, invitations to participate, etc.)
  • Screening documents
  • Consent forms
  • Debriefing forms
  • Research instruments (questionnaires, surveys, interview or focus group questions, etc.)
  • Letters of permission or support (Aboriginal Band Council, School Board, director of a long-term care facility)
  • Confidentiality agreements

Complete all sections of the application form. If a section is not relevant to your proposed research, please indicate “not applicable”.

All appendices must be appropriately labelled and included in the order described above. Please number the pages in your submission.

Text must be in a legible font size, normally no smaller than 11 pts. All documents must be submitted in English.