Recruitment of Regular and Alternate External Members

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are seeking to recruit regular and alternate external members to serve on their Research Ethics Board (REB).

Mandate of the Health Canada (HC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) 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, meet 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 2 (TCPS 2, 2014) 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 3 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. Currently, the REB membership consists of nine full–time expert members and eight alternate members with expertise in the following areas:

  • Two members with expertise in research ethics;
  • One member with expertise in law;
  • One scientist from HC;
  • One scientist from PHAC;
  • One scientist external to HC and PHAC;
  • One member representing the public health community;
  • One member representing the community-at-large; and
  • One member representing Indigenous communities.

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 permanent staff.

Responsibilities of the Regular and Alternate External 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.

The regular and alternate external members provide input on research projects from an ethical perspective, reflecting on the validity of the science, the risks for research participants and adequate protections.

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 positively to debate and possess skills that promote working effectively together;
  • Listen attentively and respectfully to other members;
  • Consider complex issues thoughtfully, objectively, with independent mindedness; and
  • Be oriented to resolving conflict and supporting board decisions once made.

The REB meets face-to-face in Ottawa a maximum 10 times per year for a full-day or occasionally two day meetings. A teleconference is often held in July. Meetings are usually conducted in English. Training regarding the ethics review process is provided on an ongoing basis. There is also much learning on the job with the support of other REB members and the Secretariat staff.


Individuals who would like to apply for the positions of REB Regular and Alternate External Members, should send their curriculum vitae along with a covering letter outlining their interest to:

Dr. Peter Monette, Manager, HC-PHAC REB Secretariat,
Science Policy Directorate/ Strategic Policy Branch/ Health Canada,
9th Floor, Room 963D Postal Locator 0909D, 70 Columbine Driveway, Brooke Claxton Building, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0K9 Tel: 613-946-2306.

We thank all those who apply.

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