Submission and Review of Research Ethics Application


The information included in the FAQs listed below is for researcher information and guidance purposes only. Each research study poses unique properties and/or situations that may require additional or different guidance than what is presented. The information throughout this forum is meant to provide general situational advice and does not constitute research ethics compliance in absolute form. If you have any questions or need further guidance, please contact

The development of these questions was aided by MSVU’s Research Ethics Board (REB) and information from publicly available documents at Canadian Universities, such as Carleton University, Queen’s University, and Dalhousie University.

1. How long does it take for the UREB to review research ethics applications?

MSVU’s REB normally provides initial comments on research ethics applications that do not exceed minimum risk within 3-4 weeks.
The REB makes every effort to review protocols within a timely manner, however, reviews may take additional time depending on the complexity/nature of the study, university closures, end of term (exams/marking) or during periods where application submissions increase.

Please review Policies & Guidelines for Conducting Research with Human Participants, specifically, SOPs 401 through 409 and 412, for additional information.

2. I don’t agree with the comments made on my research ethics application. What should I do?

The MSVU REB is an interdisciplinary board, and the review of research ethics protocols is a dynamic process whereby reviewers focus on the guiding principles of the TCPS, with heavy focus on protecting the rights of participants. Multiple reviewers oversee your research ethics application to ensure a variety of voices and backgrounds are heard. Researchers are encouraged to provide additional clarification or justification in response to the UREB review comments.

If you feel that someone has made an error or is unjust in the review process, please forward all inquiries to the Research Ethics Coordinator, Brenda Gagne, at

3. My study requires research ethics clearance from multiple institutions. If I have been granted research ethics clearance by the MSVU REB and not the other affiliated institutions, can I begin recruiting participants and collecting data?

Each study and collaboration are unique. Depending on what is required from the other institution, i.e., data collection, clinical trials, etc., you may or may not need to wait for research ethics clearance from all institutions. However, if participant engagement (recruitment, data collection) is required among all affiliated institutions, research ethics clearance must be given from each institution before the research process can begin.

If a MSVU researcher requires research ethics clearance at a hospital or health authority for their study, the researcher should obtain clearance from that location prior to submitting the application to the MSVU REB.
If a researcher has been granted research ethics clearance from another institution, please submit REB.FORM.010 to the MSVU REB for research clearance.

4. How do I create a survey located on the MSVU LimeSurvey platform?

Please contact MSVU’s Research Ethics Coordinator, Brenda Gagne, to request a survey ID. Normally, this will be completed once you have been granted research ethics clearance, however there are provisions for a researcher to request access prior to research ethics clearance (in these cases, researcher shall not distribute the survey until research ethics clearance is obtained).