REB Working Group Report

The REB Working Group was formed in January 2022 at the request of Karina McInnis, associate vice-president (research), to understand the source of “the widespread concern and frustration at U of G that the REB approval process is not working effectively” and to propose strategies and recommendations improve the situation.

Despite these mandates, there is widespread concern and frustration at U of G that the REB approval process does not work effectively. Why not, and what can be done to improve these processes? The REB Working Group has sought to answer these questions.

The Group consulted widely, via a survey of members of the research community as well as interviews and focus groups with stakeholders and key informants. The Group developed five primary and five secondary recommendations to improve the system. The final report, “The REB at the University of Guelph: Recommendations for a Process in Crisis,” was submitted January 16, 2023.

The Office of Research is currently reviewing and consulting with stakeholders to find ways to respond to these recommendations and to develop implementation strategies given extremely challenging financial times. We are pleased to note that Office of Research is investing approximately $1 million for implementation and sustainment of an enterprise-wide software solution that will address two primary recommendations and at least two secondary recommendations.

As updates become available, they will be posted on this page and communicated to the research community.

Read the full report

NOTE As a result of the implementation, response times from the Ethics Office may be more delayed than usual, and expedited review requests cannot be considered except in extenuating circumstances.


REB Working Group members


We are very grateful to the working group members for their efforts and thoughtful approach that resulted in comprehensive and balanced report:

  • Noella Gray - Geography, Environment and Geomatics
  • Jamie Burr - Human Health & Nutritional Sciences
  • Tad McIlwraith - Sociology & Anthropology
  • Lori Ann Vallis - Human Health & Nutritional Sciences



March 2024 The project team is soliciting input from researchers and REB members on the new Main Application Form through ongoing User Acceptance Testing.

February 2024 Hiring of an Ethics Education and Compliance Advisor.

September / October 2023 The Ethics Office and Infonetica began collaborating on building a new Main Application Form to replace the current MS Word REB Application Form, with support from Laura Beaupre and Tom Crabtree.

March 2023 REB Working Group report published.

July / August 2023 Hiring of a dedicated Project Manager and started working with Infonetica.

January to July 2023 Ethics RM software solution from Infonetica selected through a robust procurement process.



Any questions may be directed to the Associate Vice-President (Research Services) at