For technical assistance while working with the forms please contact the Software and Application Support Centre (SAS) at email@example.com. The SAS can assist SMU users with resolving their technical problems. See further SAS Technical Instructions Tips and Tricks FAQ at the bottom of this page.
Request for Exempt Review:
(Requests are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
The general categories of research that require REB review (Form 1) in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans are defined in TCPS2, 2018, Chapter A. Article 2.1.: "A determination that research is the intended purpose of the undertaking is key for differentiating activities that require research ethics review by an REB." Non-research activities do not require REB review (Form 1) even if they employ methods and techniques similar to those in research. The TCPS2 suggests that when in doubt about the applicability of the Policy to a particular project, the researcher shall seek the opinion of their home REB. This process is not mandatory.
Initial Research Ethics Review request forms:
(Requests are sent to email@example.com)
- Application for Ethics Review of Research Involving Humans- Form 1
- Application for Ethics Review of Research Involving Humans- Form 1C(for research that has current clearance from another Canadian REB)
Continuing Research Ethics Review Request forms:
(Requests are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Adverse Event Report Form
- Form 2- Request for Changes to Cleared Research
- Form 3- Annual Status Report
- Form 5: End of Study Report
Sample language for drafting Informed Consent Forms/Scripts and Feedback letters:
- How to Draft an Informed Consent Form- Sample Informed Consent Form
- Sample Participant Feedback Letter
Information for Applicants submitting request during the COVID-19 pandemic:
The REB has transitioned to virtual operations as part of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The REB will continue to provide research ethics related support to faculty, students and staff, including review and clearance of research applications. All forms and related documents should be submitted to email@example.com. Please keep in mind that members of the REB, the REB Vice Chair, REB Co-Chairs, and Research Ethics Officer are all working at home during a pandemic. Some of us are working in circumstances that are challenging. It may take up to 10 business days to respond to emails. Normally, researchers who submit a Form 1 application to the REB receive word from the REB chair 6-8 weeks after the application is submitted.
If you are a researcher with a time-sensitive COVID-19 application, then please contact Ms. Orshy Torok at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate why your application merits expedited review. Research ethics review during the COVID-19 pandemic demands greater attention and consideration because volunteers, researchers and even the members of the REB may be in a position of greater vulnerability.
We will endeavour to process time-sensitive COVID-19 applications within 10 business days. Although we cannot guarantee this turn around time, we will work hard to accomplish this goal. Please note that in some circumstances, the review process may exceed this time frame.
We thank you for your patience.
Important information for researchers drafing requests:
Keep in mind that members of the Research Ethics Board (REB) review your Form 1 application. Please make sure your application is complete and that you explain your proposed research in detail and in non-technical language. The process is much like a peer –review process for grant applications and manuscripts, etc.
If the application is incomplete or lacks sufficient detail, it will need to be returned to the research team, the ethics review process for the proposal will be delayed until materials and information are received. REB reviewers can only be sent complete proposals.
Complete applications receive an initial acknowledgment of receipt from the Research Ethics Officer, followed by a note from the REB Chair within 6-8 weeks after submission, sometimes within a shorter time-frame. Usually the REB Chair will have questions. A prompt and thorough response to the REB Chair enables the review process to continue. Please submit all materials in PDF format without the use of compressed folders. This ensures proper accessibilty and visibiliy, as the materials would appear to research participants, and avoid delay in the review process.
Student research: If the proposed research involves a student research (e.g., thesis, directed study), the faculty supervisor must submit the application (and subsequent continuing review requests) to the REB. The REB Chair will communicate directly with the faculty supervisor (students can be copied on all communication). All subsequent communication must also arrive to the REB directly from the faculty supervisor.
The REB Office can walk you through this process and help you with your application. The REB Office can also review your draft application to identify potential difficulties that could be easily fixed before it is submitted to the REB (saving you time!).
Please contact the Research Ethics Officer to book a consultation at email@example.com, office hours are Tuesdays/Thursdays 10 am to 12 pm.
Review Process- Instruction, Tips and Common Mistakes
Initial Research Ethics Review (New application):
- Form 1 (holds no previous research ethics clearance from another Canadian REB):
Applications are considered complete when they contain:
a) a fully completed (applicants are asked to please write N/A when a question does not relate their research proposal) and signed Form 1;
b) an Informed Consent Form/Script;
c) all supporting documentation as relevant to the research.
- Form 1C (already holds research ethics clearance from another Canadian REB):
a) 1 original package is required. Be sure to review what set of documents make up a submisison package and how it is considered to be complete for research ethics review. Details are provided on top of Form 1C. It is a common mistake that applicants only submit the research ethics clearance letter/certificate from the other Canadian REB who has already granted a research ethics clearance. Please note it is necessary that the application package also include all communication that has taken place between the Principal Investigator and the other Canadian institution's REB Chair and that omitting these documents would result in an incomplete application package causing unfortunate delay. This communication or set of communication qualifies as evidence/material of the other Canadian REB's "review" that applicants are asking their home SMU REB to review at this time via the Form 1C process. If you have any questions or need additional guidance, please don't hesitate to contact the Research Ethics Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a time to go through your draft work. Office hours are Tuesdays/Thursdays 10 am to 12 pm. Feel free to bring the details of your circumstance to our attention!
- Supporting Documents
Supporting documents refer to all research materials applicants are asking the REB to reveiew. Generally, supporting documents are items such as recruitment scripts/posters, interview protocols, surveys, questionnaires, scales, scripts, draft interview questions, invitation letters, letters of support, feedback forms, debriefing forms, advertisements, other research tools as relevant to the research, letters of support, other REB or government clearances, safety reports involving devices or materials used in the research evidencing compliance to Canadian standards, etc. Form 1 lists options for documents that must be included in the submission and provides a custom field to enter any other additional documents applicants wish to detail they are submitting. As a tip, at the minimum; a Form 1, a consent form/script, recruitment material and questions to partipants in some form (full paper versions or copies of an online survey, a word document listing of open or close ended questions, a word document detailing the interview plan) are submitted. Research proposal vary and each research will normally consist of different set of materials. As a rule of thumb, applicants submit all documents that participants would be exposed to for research ethics review and clearance.
- The REB request forms are routinely updated. Be sure to download the most current version of the application form directly from this web page.
Continuing Research Ethics Review Requests
Reporting of Unanticipated Issues, Changes to Previously Cleared Research (Form 2), Annual Status Report (Form 3) and End of Research Report (Form 5) requests:
- Submission via email (email@example.com) is accepted as well as the preferred method for both applicants and the Office of Research Ethics due to the time-sensitive nature of these requests. Only one copy of the request form (Adverse Event, Form 2, 3, 5) is required to be attached. Requests are accepted from the Principal Investigator of the protocol or, in case of student research, from the faculty supervisor, only. Student researchers must ask their faculty supervisors to forward the request. Submission of manual forms is also accepted and routinely submitted. Applicants are welcome to practice either option most convenient to them.
Working with the Forms - Technical Instructions Tips and Tricks
Working with Request Forms - Technical Instructions and Tips
The REB forms are Adobe fillable, savable, PDF forms – they must be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader to ensure that they look and function correctly.
Additional blank space is available on Form 1. If applicants have further additional information to convey, additional supporting documents are welcome.
Tips and Tricks - FAQs
1. How do I open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader?
To open the form on a Windows PC or MAC, using Adobe Acrobat Reader:
- Right-click on the form
- Select Open With
- Select Adobe Acrobat Reader.
2. I don’t have Adobe installed on my computer. How do I proceed?
You can download a free non-trial version of Adobe Acrobat Reader here.
3. Can I save the form and edit my answers at a later time?
Yes, with Adobe, you can save the form and re-open it later to complete it or edit your answers.
4. Why can’t I use other programs to open the forms?
Opening the Forms in a web browser or other programs such as Preview (on MAC) may cause issues with saving and editing the forms.
For technical assistance while working with the forms please contact the Software and Application Support Centre (SAS) at firstname.lastname@example.org. The SAS can assist SMU users with resolving their technical problems.