Before any research that involves living human subjects can take place at George Brown College, the proposal for research must undergo a review and approval process by the Research Ethics Board (REB) to ensure that the research complies with the highest ethical standards.
If you plan to conduct research that involves human participants you must have Research Ethics Board approval for your study. Please select one of the following:
- Research Ethics
- Research Ethics Board
- Application Instructions
- Approval in Principle
- Study Completion and Renewal Instructions
- Lapsed Certification
- Annual Reports
The Research Ethics Board at George Brown College was established to ensure the protection of study volunteers in research projects. The board follows the guidelines set out in the TCPS 2 Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. TCPS 2 (2014) has replaced TCPS 2 (2010), which replaced the 1st edition of the TCPS (1998) adopted by the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (Centre for Information in Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council).
Research ethics are put in place to protect study volunteers with respect to:
- Human dignity and vulnerable persons
- Free and informed consent
- Voluntary participation
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Justice and inclusiveness
- Balance of potential harms and benefits
- Minimization of harm and maximization of benefit.
Research Ethics Board
The Research Ethics Board at George Brown College was established to ensure the protection of study volunteers in research projects. The board follows the guidelines set out in the TCPS 2 Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. These guidelines were released in 1998 by the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (Centre for Information in Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council).
GBC's research ethics board reports directly to the President of the college. However, it receives administrative support from the office of research and innovation.
Before any research that involves living human subjects can take place at George Brown College, the proposal for research must undergo a review and approval process by the Research Ethics Board to ensure that the research complies with the highest ethical standards
Robin Yap, MSc, LLB, DM (Chair)
Barbara Godfrey, RN MScN
Csilla Reszegi, Doctor Pharm., M.B.A.
Noor Jehan Kabani, Ph.D., RECE
Milan Shahani, B.A., M.F.A.
Sharla Adams, RN, BScN, MN
Nastaran Dadashi, PhD
The Research Ethics Board has five scheduled meetings per year during the Fall and Winter semesters. A sixth meeting may be held as required. Ad hoc meetings may also be convened to review applications in need of Full Review. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the following meetings are scheduled:
- September 9, 2:30 p.m.
To ensure that your proposed research project complies with ethical standards, please read GBC's Research Ethics Policy, and Integrity in Scholarly Research Policy. To learn more about ethical conduct please take this two-hour on-line tutorial. The tutorial covers important topics including ethics reviews, free and informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, and conflict of interest. All researchers applying to the GBC REB must attach to their applications a certificate of completion for this tutorial, or for a similar tutorial provided by their academic institution.
Do I need an Ethics Review?
Internal and external applicants for ethics review who wish to conduct research at GBC and involve staff or students as research participants (subjects) must receive approval from the institution as well as from the Research Ethics Board. If you are working on a project that’s being administered by the Office of Research and Innovation, please consult your Program Manager prior to completing the Institutional Approval form.
REB applications are to be submitted to email@example.com, providing Employee ID (only for GBC staff), Prefix (Mr. Dr. Ms, etc), Family name, Given name, Department (GBC only), Staff type (e.g. Admin, FT faculty, Sessional faculty, etc), Email address, Phone number, Fax number, Address, Institution.
- REB Application Form The REB Application Form may be used for both single site and multisite research.
- Documents supporting your application, including:
- Information letter (sample information letter)
- Consent form (sample consent form)
- Evidence of methodology, e.g. survey, list of interview questions
- Prior REB approval from another institution if applicable. Please submit the comments along with the approval letter
- Administrative Approval form, if required (see above)
- The Ethics Amendment form
- The Adverse Event form
- Ethics tutorial certificate of completion (see above under Application Instructions)
Please be sure to include all of the required information and forms as incomplete applications will not be processed.
Any part of the application that requires an original signature may be mailed to Research and Innovation Office, George Brown College, PO Box 1015, Stn B, Toronto, ON M5T 2T9 following the electronic submission, or a pdf version can be uploaded.
When submitting, please clearly label all the documents in a way that will make them easy to identify.
If you don't receive a response from the REB within 2 business days please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as there may be a system error.
Read GBC Research Ethics Policy
Obtained Administrative Approval if required (for non-GBC applicants)
Submitted all relevant forms and documents:
Application form (Word format)
Information letter (Word format)
Consent form (Word format)
Evidence of methodology
Approval letter/s from other institution/s
Ethics tutorial certificate of completion
Administrative Approval form
Proof read application for completeness, plain and clear language, spelling and grammar
Whole application submitted electronically via the Researcher Portal
Pages containing original signatures mailed to Research and Innovation Office, George Brown College, PO Box 1015, Stn B, Toronto, ON M5T 2T9
Applications for full reviews take up to 8 weeks to process. On average the board takes 28 business days to review an application. However, depending on the number of applications the wait time may be longer. When you submit your application the research office will advise you of the current approximate wait time. Applications submitted near the end of term will be subject to longer than usual delays.
Summer vacation Please note that the REB does not operate during July and August. Applications not submitted by June 1st, are not guaranteed to be returned by August 25th. REB is inactive during this period. Apply early.
Approval in Principle
REB approval is required before beginning any research involving human participants. Research institutes require REB approval before releasing research funds.
While it is best to apply to the REB before beginning the research at all, some researchers will need access to funds in order to complete part of the research, such as a literature review, before being able to fully document how human participants will be involved. In this case, the researcher should seek Approval in Principle from the REB at the beginning of the study, and then submit an application before involving human participants.
To request Approval in Principle, send an email to the REB at email@example.com . The email should include the following information: brief description of the research and how humans will be involved, research start date, description of initial research activities (no human participants), date when human participants will be involved, date the researcher anticipates submitting an application for ethics review.
Study Renewal and Completion Instructions
REB approval is an on-going, consultative process. In addition to the original application, researchers can expect to communicate with the REB anytime there is a significant diversion from the original proposed research or when unforeseen issues arise that may affect the well-being of participants.
As part of the ongoing communication between the researcher and the REB, the GBC REB issues approval letters valid for one year only. If the study continues beyond once year, the researcher must submit a Study Renewal Form before the original approval expires.
At the conclusion of the study the researcher must submit a Study Completion Form.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Researchers are responsible for ensuring REB files are kept up to date and that certification is current throughout the study.
The REB will send the following alerts:
- Expiry date minus 6 weeks – reminder to PI to submit study completion report or request for annual renewal
- Expiry date minus 1 week – 2nd reminder to PI
- Expiry date – 3rd and final reminder to PI
- Expiry date plus 1 week
- GBC staff – a letter will be sent to the PI's manager/division alerting him or her that certification has lapsed.
- External (non GBC) researchers – a letter will be sent to the PI's institution (the research office) alerting them that certification has lapsed.
- Annual Report 2018
- Annual Report 2016
- Annual Report 2015
- Annual Report 2014
- Annual Report 2013
- Annual Report 2012
- Annual Report 2011
- Annual Report 2010
- Annual Report 2009
- Annual Report 2008
- Annual report 2007
How can I help ensure my application is reviewed quickly?
A. Messy, unclear or incomplete applications take longer for the REB to review. Make sure your methodology is clear and detailed, use plain English and avoid jargon, and check your application for spelling and typing errors. Poorly completed applications will be returned to the researcher for improvement before being reviewed.
Another major cause of delay is insufficient in inappropriate language around informed consent. Clearly demonstrate how you will ensure informed and voluntary consent for participants. Also, include a clause of anonymity in your consent letter, if appropriate.
How should I communicate with the REB?
A. Initiate contact with the REB via email to email@example.com . Check your inbox spam settings to make sure emails from the REB are not blocked.
How can I learn more about research ethics?
A. Contact the research office at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about up-coming ethics workshops and training opportunities. Take the on-line tutorial.
Enabling the Innovation Economy