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Research Ethics Board

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions that the Research Ethics Office receives about the Research Ethics Board (REB) process. For any questions you may have, please contact us at ask.crs@sickkids.ca

Do I need approval for a small, pilot research study or to pre-test a study instrument or questionnaire?

What do I do if I want to make a change to a study after I obtain approval?
All protocol changes, whether major or minor, must be submitted for approval prior to implementation.This is done via an REB Amendment Application in the eREB. On the main study screen, click "New application" on the left side. This will generate a drop-down list, where the REB Amendment can be found. Pease ensure all form sections are complete and that the Principal Investigator has clicked the "Submit" button.

Who do I contact to arrange a science review of my study? 
Contact your division/program Research Director​. Please have your Science Review Board (SRB) complete the REB-approved SRB form, ensuring both section F and G are signed by the appropriate SRB members. This form, along with the itemized response list to any issues raised by the SRB, must be uploaded to an SRB Application (separate from the Main Application.)

Once I obtain ethics approval on my Health Records/Database application, how can I obtain the charts from Health Records?
Present your signed REB application form to staff in the Health Records Department.

There has been an adverse event at another study site. Do I still have to fill out an Unexpected Problem/Adverse Event Form in the eREB? 

How long does it take to get approval? 
That depends on many factors, which may include:completeness of the application at the time of submission to the office; whether or not full review is required; the extent of unanswered questions raised by the Board following its review; and so on. The estimated timelines can be found here​.

How will I be notified about my approval? 
A notification email is automatically generated by the eREB once final sign-off from the Chair has been obtained. The approval letter is not part of this email, but is found attached to the original application in the eREB.

If a project has been funded by an external agency, is internal science review automatically waived? 
No. Internal science review can be waived if the funder is a major granting agency and the project has undergone a competitive review and approval process. Please contact ask.crs@sickkids.ca for a list of granting agencies from which we accept an SRB substitution.

A waiver can also be requested from the REO Manager, David Kenney (david.kenney@sickkids.ca​). If the waiver is granted, upload the correspondence to the SRB Application in lieu of the SRB form and submit.

Note: Even if a waiver is granted, the SRB Application must still be submitted, with the waiver or granting agency approval attached. 

Do result reports for research need to include a research disclaimer? 
Yes, reports of results generated for research purposes must include the following statement: "RESEARCH USE ONLY: The results contained in this report were generated in a research lab that is not an accredited or licensed clinical laboratory. The results are provided for research purposes only. The underlying tests were not performed for the purposes of obtaining information for diagnosis, prophylaxis, or treatment."