Research involving human participants requires a human ethics protocol review and must be approved by the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB) prior to commencement of the research activities. This regulation applies to research conducted by faculty, staff and/or students in their capacity as U of T members and pertains also to research involving the secondary use of personal information, whether collected for research purposes from a previous study, or through other activities (clinical, administrative), regardless of whether the data will be identifiable or de-identified.
‘Research’ is defined as “an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry and/or systematic investigation”. ‘Human participants’ are “those individuals whose data, or responses to interventions, stimuli or questions by the researcher, are relevant to answering the research question.” (Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2): Article 2.1) To learn more about the kinds of research activities with human participants that do and do not require REB review, please see the Ethics webpages of the Vice-President of Research & Innovation (VPRI).
Other important information on the VPRI Ethics webpages:
- How to submit a research project for REB review.
- Protocol Submission Deadlines and Who to Submit to
- Regulations and Policies for Research Involving Human Participants
- Data Security Standards for Personally Identifiable and Other Confidential Data in Research
VPRI Contact Information:
General Inquiries: Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO): (416) 946-3273; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean Sharpe, Research Ethics Manager, Social Sciences, Humanities & Education, ROCO: (416) 978-5585; email@example.com
Please Note: Ethics Protocols for Graduate student Major Research Papers (MRP) and Research Practicums involving research with human participants must also be submitted to the REB, whether the research is low, medium or high risk. Faculty supervisors of MRP's and Practicum research projects must initiate the submission process for their students by logging into "My Research Human Protocols" (MRHP) within the faculty member's My Research portal and by following the instructions for creating a portal for student submissions.
Ethics Protocols for low-risk student-led course-based research projects are reviewed by the Sociology Departmental Ethics Review Committee (DERC). Information about how to submit an ethics review for Course-Based Research Projects and the relevant forms to use can be found on this webpage. To contact the Sociology DERC representative email: firstname.lastname@example.org