What We Do

The Role of the Research Ethics Board (REB)

In order to ensure that university research involving human participants is carried out in an ethical manner, the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) requires that each university establish a Research Ethics Board (REB) to review and approve research involving humans.

The Saint Mary's Research Ethics Board (REB)

  • Consists of faculty members knowledgeable in research on human participants, persons knowledgeable in ethics, and members of the community;
  • Meets regularly to review all research conducted at Saint Mary's University or by members of Saint Mary's University that involves human participants;
  • Is empowered to reject, propose modifications to, suspend or terminate research projects that fall under the jurisdiction of Saint Mary's University;
  • Certifies to the Tri-Councils that research at Saint Mary's University involving human subjects is carried out in an ethical manner;
  • Provides Certificates Research Ethics Clearance valid for the period of one year (365 days), extendable via a Certificate of Continuation, clears changes to cleared research, informed consent forms and relating supporting documents, clears reports of new information and unanticipated issues, annual status reports and end of study reports. 


No research with human participants shall begin before clearance is received from the University's Research Ethics Board.  This includes the recruitment of research participants.

Any research involving living human participants or human biological materials (including human embryos, fetuses, fetal tissue, reproductive materials and stem cells) must be submitted to the University’s Research Ethics Board. 

Pilot studies (i.e., endeavors intended to inform the design of another study by collecting data from humans) require REB review prior to any undertaking.  Research review is not required before making contact with any individual or community as long as the purpose is to establish a partnership and does not involve data collection for the purpose of the research.

No research with human participants shall begin before research ethics clearance is received from the University’s Research Ethics Board. Research protocols must have a valid Certificate of Research Ethics Clearance/Continuation. This includes piloting and the recruitment stages of the research project. Please seek guidance from the REB Officer (ethics@smu.ca) or REB Co-Chairs, Dr. Leanna Closson (rebchair.Closson@smu.ca) or Dr. Jim Cameron, (rebchair.Cameron@smu.ca), whenever necessary.

Contact us

Office of Research Ethics
Atrium 210
Mailing address:
Office of Research Ethics
923 Robie Street,
Halifax, NS, B3H-3C3