Recruitment of External Research Ethics Board Members

The Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada Research Ethics Board (HC-PHAC REB) welcomes membership applications from interested individuals at any time. Current recruitment opportunities are listed below. If there are no openings, applications will be kept on file for future consideration.

Mandate of the Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada REB

The REB serves as an independent ethics review board to help ensure that all proposed or ongoing research involving human participants or communities carried out by, funded by, or otherwise under the auspices of HC or PHAC, meets the highest ethical standards, and that safeguards are implemented to provide the greatest protection to human participants and/or communities. It makes recommendations to HC or PHAC as to whether research projects should be approved, rejected, modified, or terminated. The REB reviews applications in accordance with the considerations set forth in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS) as the minimum standard, and other applicable policies and norms.

Appointment and Reporting

The REB reports to the Deputy Minister of Health and the President of PHAC, who jointly appoint REB members, approve REB procedures and authorize research to be initiated or terminated. The mandate for each REB member is for three years and is renewable.

The REB and its Members

The REB membership is intended to ensure that the REB has the expertise and independence essential for conducting competent research ethics reviews. The REB consists of nine regular and nine alternate members with expertise in the following areas:

  • Two members with knowledge/expertise in research ethics;
  • One member with knowledge/expertise in law;
  • One member from HC with methodological knowledge/expertise in HC research;
  • One member from PHAC with methodological knowledge/expertise in PHAC research;
  • One member external to HC and PHAC with broad methodological knowledge/expertise in both HC and PHAC research;
  • One member with general knowledge/expertise in public health;
  • One member recruited from the community (general population) served by HC and PHAC; and
  • One member from the Indigenous community.

For more information about the HC-PHAC REB or its members, please visit our website at: Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada's (PHAC) Research Ethics Board.

All REB member positions are voluntary and no financial remuneration is offered. However, travel, accommodation expenses, parking and other authorized REB meeting expenses will be reimbursed through the REB Secretariat. The REB is supported by a Secretariat comprised of Health Portfolio employees.

Responsibilities of the Regular and Alternate REB Members

A regular member of the REB is supported by an alternate member available to replace them, when the regular member cannot attend the research ethics board meetings. Preparation time for a full-day meeting is approximately three hours. Regular and alternate members are also expected to participate in delegated review meetings (approximately 3-4 per year).

The regular and alternate members review the ethical acceptability of research projects, reflecting on, for example, potential risks and benefits; respect for, and protection of, research participants; and relevance and rigour of the research.

Expectations, qualities and skills required of all members to ensure quorum and optimal group dynamic:

  • Be available and willing to commit time for board meetings (including preparation time);
  • Participate actively in discussions with other REB members, providing input to research applications/protocols and input in drafting REB documents and procedures;
  • Be a team player - present views and opinions clearly and directly, contribute constructively to debate and possess skills that promote working effectively together;
  • Listen attentively and respectfully to other members;
  • Consider complex issues thoughtfully and objectively; and
  • Be oriented to resolving conflict and supporting board decisions once made.

The REB meets monthly, either by teleconference or face-to-face in Ottawa. In-person meetings typically last for a full day and occasionally for two days. Meetings are usually conducted in English although applicants to the REB can choose to communicate in either official language. Training regarding the ethics review process is provided on an ongoing basis, and with the support of other REB members and the Secretariat staff.

Current Opportunities

There are no openings at this time.


Individuals who would like to apply to become an REB member should send their curriculum vitae along with a covering letter outlining their interest and how they meet the criteria to:

Dr. Gregory Huyer, Manager, HC-PHAC REB Secretariat,
Science Policy Directorate/ Strategic Policy Branch/ Health Canada,
70 Colombine Driveway, Room 941C, Postal Locator 0909C,
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0K9 Tel : 613-941-5199.

We thank all those who apply.

Only applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted.

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