What if I'm carrying out research outside of Canada?

Protocols which deal with research being carried out outside of Canada and/or in areas in which participation in the research may present an increased risk to participants or researchers will be accompanied by a statement from the Director, Research Ethics regarding risk.

Travel Reports from Global Affairs Canada will alert the REB to potential challenges.

You will need to obtain approval from an REB in the country in which you propose to undertake research. A database listing such REBs/IRBs can be used to source appropriate committees. Use the Advanced Search and enter your country to find REBs.

The International Compilation of Human Research Standards might be useful to inform what sort of approvals you may require.

If no REBs/IRBs exist in the country you intend to visit for research, you must explain how you will ensure that your research is culturally appropriate. Some ways might include:

  • That you are from the country in question and are familiar with the customs
  • You have an in-country contact – someone who has extensive experience with the country and your research context with the country who can advise.

You will need to provide local contact information on your consent form, preferably someone either at a university or with an REB/IRB to act as the ‘in-country’ contact for participants who have ethics questions. Their contact information, in addition to the Director, Research Ethics information which normally appears on consent forms should be included in documentation for participants (e.g., the consent form).

The REB will limit comment on aspects of the research which may pose a danger to the research team due to travel or other research risk. If you will be doing research outside of Canada, please consult:

Wording for Consent Forms

  • Contact information for the international contact for participants should be included on the consent form.

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