Guidelines for Submission of Research Proposals to the REB


Any research proposal, funded or not, that involves humans requires REB review and approval. The RMC REB reviews research proposals that fall within any discipline at RMC.

Full review or delegated review

  1. REB assesses the level of risk that the research under review poses to participants to determine the appropriate level of research ethics review: the lower the level of risk, the lower the level of scrutiny (delegated review); the higher the level of risk, the higher the level of scrutiny (full board review) (TCPS 2, Article 6.12)
  2. Graduate, Faculty, and staff protocols - may be considered for delegated review if the REB deems that the research is of low ethical concern and minimal risk.
  3. A delegated review will be conducted by the REB Chair and at least one other member of the REB selected by the Chair. Delegated review will be conducted on an ongoing basis independent of meeting dates of the REB. All delegated reviews will be brought to the REB at the next scheduled meeting for information and, if necessary, discussion.
  4. Undergraduates conducting research with humans should send their protocols for review to the Undergraduate REB Chair, provided that their research is of low ethical concern and minimal risk. The protocols that do not meet these two criteria should be submitted to the Chair of the REB or delegate.
  5. All Undergraduate, Graduate, Faculty and staff protocols that do not meet the criteria of low ethical concern and minimal risk will undergo full review by the REB.

Research Exempt from REB Review

Some research is exempt from REB review where protections are available by other means. This policy allows the following exemptions from the requirement for REB review, as outlined below:

1. (TCPS2 Article 2.2) Research that relies exclusively on publicly available information does not require REB review when:

  • the information is legally accessible to the public and appropriately protected by law; or
  • the information is publicly accessible and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

2. (TCPS2 Article 2.3)  REB review is not required for research involving the observation of people in public place where:

  • it does not involve any intervention staged by the researcher, or direct interaction with the individuals or groups;
  • individuals or groups targeted for observation have no reasonable expectation of privacy; and
  • any dissemination of research results does not allow identification of specific individuals.

3. (TCPS2 Article 2.4) REB review is not required for research that relies exclusively on secondary use of anonymous information, or anonymous human biological materials, so long as the process of data linkage or recording or dissemination of results does not generate identifiable information.

4. (TCPS2 Article 2.5) Quality assurance and quality improvement studies, program evaluation activities, and performance reviews, or testing with normal educational requirements when used exclusively for assessment, management or improvement purposes, do not constitute research for the purposes of this Policy, and do not fall within the scope of REB review.

5. (TPCS2 Article 2.6) Creative practice activities, in and of themselves, do not require REB review. However, research that employs creative practice to obtain responses from participants that will be analyzed to answer a research question is subject to REB review.

When in doubt about a research exempt from REB review, researchers should consult the REB at

Instructions for New Submissions

Authorisation for any submissions applies only to documents submitted to the Research Ethics Board (REB) in the language that they were presented. Any modifications or additions must be submitted to the REB without delay.

  1. All applications for ethics approval must be made using the Ethics Checklist and the Ethics Submission Form, which are available by emailing the REB at
  2. The submission must include the principal investigator's CORE certificate, completed within three years of the submission date.
  3. Applications must be typed.
  4. Submission forms must be complete (no blank sections). All parts of the submission form require an answer with an explanation.
  5. Submissions must be written in clear, unambiguous language. Please provide sufficient details to clarify all aspects of the proposal.
  6. Submissions must be free of spelling and grammatical errors. 
  7. Submission forms must be signed by the principal investigator.
  8. Completed electronic copies of all documentation (e.g., ethics checklist, submission form, letters of information, consent forms, questionnaires) must be included in a single folder.
  9. Please consult the instructions for preparing letters of Information and consent forms
  10. Name all the documents to reflect their content (e.g., Appendix A - questionnaires; Appendix B - letter of information) 
  11. Email your submission to

Each project must be submitted individually. The REB cannot review submissions containing multiple projects. Note that pilot projects must be submitted separately from any related project. Reviews for projects dependent on pilot projects cannot be reviewed until the pilot project is completed.

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