Research Ethics/Protection of Human Participants

Off Campus - ResearchLink

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  • ResearchLink is now LIVE, The Human Ethics process is up and running with a new branching, logic-based, smart form instead of the Word form, easier to use online help, and easier storage and tracking of all your human ethics submissions and accompanying documents. As of Friday, November 30, at 4:30 PM all submissions for ethics review must be made using the ResearchLink system. No emailed Word based forms will be accepted for Initial Review, Change Requests, or Annual Renewals.

    How do I access ResearchLink?
    Login using Single Sign-on at

    How do I learn how to use ResearchLink?
    In-person training: In-person training schedule
    DropIn help: Drop-in session schedule

    I already have approval using the ‘old’ system of review. What happens?

    • That’s fine, you don’t need to do anything until you’d like to submit an Amendment or Annual Renewal form. Contact the Ethics Office [] and we’ll upload your documents so you can work within the ResearchLink system.

    I’ve already filled out the Word-based REBApp ready for submission. Do I have to do it all again?

    • The staff of the Ethics Office are prepared to assist with the transfer of information from the old version into the new ResearchLink version. Just let us know how we can help.

    I have a submission (initial review, change request or annual report) currently under review (submitted prior to November 30th). What happens to these?

    • Anything already submitted by November 30th will be reviewed and processed in the usual way.

    I want to submit a Word-based REBApp, but it’s after November 30th. Can I do that?

    • No, we can’t accept any new Word-based submissions of any kind (REBApps, Change requests or amendments) after 4:30PM on November 30th. But we can help you submit what you need to in the new ResearchLink system. Just let us know.


  • All students are now required to undergo “CORE” training prior to engaging in research involving human participants. The Course on Research Ethics (CORE), which is offered on-line free of charge by the Tri-Council’s Panel on Research Ethics, is self-guided and normally takes 2 to 3 hours to complete. 
    Students are advised to register using their,, or email address, list the University of Guelph or the University of Guelph-Humber as their institution, and keep a digital copy of the certificate of completion that is provided.  The certificate can be used for multiple future research projects. Please see Policy section below for full statement.
  • An Annual Report, produced by the Ethics Office on behalf of the Chairs of the REB-General and REB-Natural, Physical and Engineering Sciences, summarizes the work of the REB members and the Ethics Office during the fiscal year, and the goals for the coming year. Information about current membership, number and distribution of submissions, as well as metrics on the functioning of the two boards are included, along with updates on process or procedure and educational outreach to the community. The report is reviewed by both REBs and approved by the Chairs prior to release.
  • The Ethics Office has created a short (3 minute) survey to obtain your feedback on your experience with the REB process. Your input and observations are important to us. Have your Say: Tell us how we did


Research Ethics Board – Natural, Physical and Engineering Sciences (REB-NPES)

Research Ethics Board – General

When should you submit?

  • Please submit your application as soon as you can
  • Minimal risk studies can be submitted anytime
  • Studies requiring full board review (higher than minimal risk) MUST be submitted at least two weeks prior to the meeting date. Submitting by this deadline does not guarantee that your project will be reviewed on that specific meeting date.

If your submission requires pre-review clarification it will be reviewed at the next full board meeting once pre-review clarification is complete. Give yourself time.


Become familiar with the policies and guidelines. Consult with the ethics office regarding your research project: or X58024

  • Brown Bag Lunches - Held each Tuesday
    • Note: Please check the main Brown Bag Lunches page for any upcoming cancellations or schedule changes.
  • In-class or departmental presentations by the Director, Research Ethics available upon request from or X56606.
  • Make an appointment to discuss your project with the Director. Contact

Learn how to submit using the ResearchLink system for your ethics submission. Find training information at including drop-in sessions.

If your research involves human participants at any point, a valid REB number must be provided to Research Support Services prior to an account set-up. In some cases, it may not be feasible to obtain REB clearance if you are not yet able to submit a complete application. The Research Ethics Board (REB) is unable to review submissions that are not complete, and will not provide approvals ‘in principle’. If you must access funds before you are ready to submit an ethics application, please submit the Statement of Intent for Release of Funds Prior to Ethics Approval. Use an electronic signature on this form and submit as an email attachment, or print, sign, scan, and then email the form to



  • Complete your Human Ethics submission within ResearchLink 
    • You will find User Guides and Quick Guides on the homepage of ReseachLink
    • Check the logo for online help within the eForm
    • Follow your submission through the ethics review process using the Workflow Maps on your homepage


  • Every project will require an Annual Renewal submission by the anniversary of the approval date. You will receive a reminder four weeks prior to the anniversary date, and 2 weeks prior to the anniversary date. An Annual Renewal submission can either notify the Ethics Office that the project is complete or request another year of clearance.
  • If your research has changed or has received new funding, create an Amendment submission and let us know. You will need to also amend your consent document if you are still using one.
  • An Event Report must be submitted if something occurs during the course of your research project which should be communicated to the REB. The form provides guidance on the types of information which must be reported, but feel free to use this form to report an occurrence you feel is important. Check with the Director, Research Ethics if you're not sure about reporting. The Event Report is processed outside of the ResearchLink system.


Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, 2ndEdition (TCPS2)
The questions asked in the REB Application eForm are drawn from the TCPS2, 2ND Edition.

The CORE tutorial 
The Panel on Research Ethics has created an online tutorial which provides an applied approach to the guidance provided in TCPS2. CORE is designed primarily for the use of researchers and REB members. 

Create a new account using your University email address and save a copy of the certificate you are issued. For students, it is mandatory to submit this certificate with any Human Ethics submission you are a part of. This tutorial is highly recommended for faculty, staff, and students undertaking research projects involving humans.



Guideline for Obtaining Consent