For research that intends to employ the same methodology over more than one project, while only making minor changes in variables for subsequent projects, the REB has a process whereby a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) can be applied for, and then, once cleared, subsequent applications can be applied for against that SOP.
This process includes filling out a complete application with all details of the research that will not change (e.g., methodology, equipment, laboratory processes etc.). Once cleared, this becomes the SOP that subsequently related REB applications should apply against when making minor variable changes to other aspects of the research.
Please note any changes or deviations to the originally cleared SOP should either be requested using a Request to Revise (if minor), or a new application submission (if major), depending on the context of the changes to be made.
This SOP process can be used for laboratory methodologies, field research, course research and any other repetitive i.e., unchanging, methodologies where an SOP could apply.
The SOP process is intended to help researchers whose projects fit within the bounds described to streamline their REB applications.
The REB derives its authority from the federal guidelines contained in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (www.pre.ethics.gc.ca). All universities who receive funding from the Tri-Council must have an independent REB responsible for the ethical oversight of all research with human participants conducted by faculty, staff or students, regardless of funding or where the research takes place.
No. Only research conducted with human participants is covered under the TCPS2. The TCPS2 defines human participants as “individuals whose data, or responses to interventions, stimuli or questions by the researcher are relevant to answering the research question” (p. 14). This can also include the use of secondary data or human biological materials. The TCPS2 also provides guidelines for activities which are exempt from REB review. Please consult with the REB early in the development of your research project to determine which activities may be exempt and what level of review your research may require.
Yes. The REB office can assist you in transferring your protocols and ethical approvals to the University of Windsor. Please ensure you have complete copies of all files (application, appendices and amendments) and clearances from the previous institution.
First, we recommend obtaining your TCPS2 certificate, which is required of all researchers conducting research with human participants in Canada. The on-line certificate program can be found here. Second, schedule a meeting with the REB to discuss your research and possible ethical clearances needed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Yes. Please contact the REB for the FWA number which provides our researchers with greater flexibility with US funding and ethics review with institutional review boards in the United States.
Things We Wish You Knew about Our Services
Meeting with an REB member to discuss your ethics applications before submission will help identify any possible issues and facilitate a smoother, shorter time to clearance of your protocols.
The REB can offer workshops and in-class presentations on a variety of research ethics topics. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a workshop or presentation and the REB will accommodate such requests within our capacity.
We have REB members with experience from other research ethics boards and processes, such as in the USA, and are willing to assist you in navigating these if you need.
Our questions on your protocol applications are not intended to censure any type of research. Our questions are meant to clarify our understanding of your research protocol, especially if there are methodological approaches and risk mitigations strategies with which we may not be familiar.
Please contact the REB to provide feedback on our reviews, processes or other information. Feedback from researchers is important for ensuring our own accountability and communicating with us helps improve our effectiveness.