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Research Ethics

Apply for approval

Sign in ~ ROMEO

Start your application far in advance of when you need to begin your research to allow adequate time for the HREB to thoroughly discuss and deliberate your application and contact you for clarifications if necessary. 


Learn the ROMEO portal

ROMEO is the online administration tool for you to apply and manage your application for research and related activities. Step-by-step directions with screenshots are provided within ROMEO to help guide you through your process. The link below will direct you to the Research, Engagement and Graduate Studies website for how to register for a ROMEO account and other useful information.

Learn to use ROMEO


Determine level of risk

The level of risk your project entails and the vulnerability of the research participants will determine the level of approval required. 

Read about risk level decision making


Meet review and submission deadlines

minimal risk project review can be submitted at any time as there is no deadline. The Chair and Vice-Chair will determine if it can be delegated. A protocol review must be uploaded into ROMEO by noon on Thursday (two weeks before a HREB meeting) to allow for proper agenda meeting preparation. 

See upcoming HREB meeting dates


What happens to your application once it is submitted?

Once you submit your protocol application, it is placed in the queue for review by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the HREB. The Ethics, Grants & Compliance Officer will then contact you within a few days and let you know if your research is minimal risk or if it needs a full review.

Faculty research projects

Minimal risk submissions (2-3 weeks)

  • Minimal risk submissions take a minimum of two weeks for the HREB to review and send you any necessary revisions. Once you resubmit revisions to the HREB, approval is then usually given within a week unless further revisions are required.

Higher risk submissions (1-5 weeks)

  • Higher risk submissions take one to five weeks depending on when it was submitted as they need to go through a formal HREB meeting. Then the protocol will follow the same time frame it would have if it were minimal risk, unless major revisions are required.

Student research projects

Minimal risk submissions (1-2 weeks)

  • Recognizing the tight timelines students have to complete a research project in a semester, student projects that are minimal risk will usually be approved within two weeks as long as the student submits their revisions quickly. We expect full supervisor participation in the process.

Higher risk submissions (2-3 weeks)

  • If the student project is not minimal risk, it needs to be reviewed and approved by the full HREB board at the monthly meeting. The protocol review time is subject to the meeting date – if the student submits before the deadline of the next meeting then it will be reviewed and revisions will be requested after the meeting. If the student misses the deadline the protocol will have to wait until the next month’s meeting.

  • If there are multiple student protocols from an instructor and a class assignment, the review and approval time will be closer to three weeks. Please allow enough time for your students to receive approval of their project.

Please contact us if you have questions or concerns

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