The Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada Research Ethics Board

Research involving humans can greatly benefit human society, but it must be done in a way that protects and respects the research participants. The Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Research Ethics Board (REB) was created to provide this oversight. It reviews all research from Health Canada and PHAC that involves humans (including living individuals, human biological materials and information from or about humans) to ensure that it meets the highest ethical standards. Specifically, the Health Canada-PHAC REB reviews all research involving humans that is:

  • Carried out by Health Canada or PHAC (intramural);
  • Performed by Health Canada or PHAC in collaboration with external researchers;
  • Carried out on Health Canada or PHAC premises; or
  • Conducted under contract to Health Canada or PHAC.

The REB may also review research that is funded by Health Canada or PHAC through grants and contributions to external researchers who do not have access to another research ethics board.

Researchers must obtain ethics approval in writing before the research begins.

All research is also subject to continuing ethics review by the REB throughout the life of the project. To maintain a valid ethics certificate, applicants are required to submit annual reports to the REB, seek approval for amendments to the research protocol, and report any unanticipated issues or events.

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If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Research Ethics Board Secretariat.

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