Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada's (PHAC) Research Ethics Board

The information presented in this section is designed to help you with an application to Health Canada and PHAC's Research Ethics Board (REB).

Health Canada and PHAC's REB was created to formalize the ethics review process. It became operational on September 1, 2002. On April 1, 2010, the REB became fully operational as a joint REB for both institutions. The REB Secretariat is responsible for managing and communicating with the REB members on all research proposals received for ethics review from both institutions.

The Operational Policy Framework of the REB was approved by the Deputy Minister (DM) of Health and the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) in 2010.

The DM and CPHO have delegated their decisional authority functions to a senior official within Health Canada and PHAC respectively, each of whom will be referred to as the "Decisional Authority in Research Ethics" (hereinafter, Decisional Authority).

Research is defined as a systematic investigation to establish facts, principles or develop generalizable knowledge. The REB reviews all research involving human subjects 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;
  • Conducted under contract to Health Canada or PHAC; and/or
  • Funded by Health Canada or PHAC through grants and contributions to external researchers.

The REB helps ensure that this research meets the highest ethical standards, and that the greatest protection is provided to participants who serve as research subjects. It is guided by the principles of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2), which sets the standard for research ethics boards in Canada.

Where there is uncertainty as to whether or not ethics review is required, the REB Secretariat should be contacted.

Contact Us

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

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: