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Health Sciences North Research Ethics Board (REB) 

The purpose of the Health Sciences North Research Ethics Board (HSN REB) is to protect the rights and welfare of human participants in research. The Board reviews all research proposals for projects conducted at Health Sciences North (HSN), the Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI) and the St. Joseph’s Health Centre (SJHC) institutions. 

As specified in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2), in the context of both initial and continuing research ethics review, the HSN REB assesses the ethical acceptability of a research project through consideration of the foreseeable risks, the potential benefits and the ethical implications of the project.

What's New

NEW as of March 2024 - HSN REB is excited to announce the launch of Cayuse Human Ethics (HE), our new online research ethics admin platform. This platform will allow a streamlined, easy-to-access way for researchers to create and check the status of their submissions. All submissions and reviews going forward must be done through Cayuse HE. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.

The HSN REB is guided by the core principles cited in the TCPS2 Article 1.1.

  • Respect for Persons
  • Concern for Welfare
  • Justice

The HSN REB meets the first Monday of the month, or if the first Monday falls on a holiday, then the following Monday, or as called by the Chair. Note: The HSN REB does not meet in August.

For full board review

This level of review is required for all research that the REB regards as posing more than minimal risk. Research materials are to be submitted no later than 4pm on the 15th of the month for consideration at the REB meeting held the following month. In the case that the 15th falls on a holiday or weekend, then next business day will be considered the deadline date.

For delegated review

Ethics applications filed with the REB normally receive delegated review by a member of the REB if the research poses only minimal risk (e.g., questionnaires, chart review, surveys, etc.). These applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no deadline for submission. Turnaround time is generally 2 weeks, but will depend on the complexity of the study or if there are major omissions.

Where to submit

Please submit an electronic copy of applications to If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Research Ethics Office at

For more information please see the Meeting Schedule and Where to Submit. 




What is the REB Reciprocity Agreement?

The REB Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement that permits the Laurentian REB or the HSN REB to recognize review of human participant research from the other’s REB. The Agreement sets forth the authorities, roles, and responsibilities of the Institutions and their REBs when providing REB review.


What types of research can be reviewed under the reciprocity agreement?

The reciprocity agreement (reciprocal review) can be used for research that anticipates using resources from both institutions or for research where the researcher does not hold a primary affiliation at the institution where the research will be conducted.

The research may be externally or internally funded; the Agreement does not limit the scope of what is covered based on funding source or status.

For further details, please review the Request for Reciprocal Review of Human Participant Research Form.


Do I use the reciprocal model for documenting exemption from REB review?

Yes – submit your request for exemption to the appropriate board.


What if I disagree which board should review my proposal?

Please contact the Research Services Office for discussion, however, the final decision is determined by the board.


What if I want to go through the Clinical Trials Ontario system?

The agreement does not preclude participation in any other REB agreements or arrangements.


Who is responsible for determining that a study is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations?

Researchers are expected to be proactive in adhering to all applicable laws and regulations. Individuals are expected to report in good faith and confidentially any information pertaining to compliance. The MRI is responsible for ensuring that breaches in research integrity are efficiently and appropriately addressed.


Can my project be grandfathered in?

No projects can be grandfathered in.


Why is the REB asking me for documents not related to ethical approval (ie, institutional/program approvals, etc.)?

The REB has been tasked with ensuring institutional approval (LU requires a letter, the HSN REB requires a Request for Program Approval), therefore the BoR may request additional documentation to prove site approval (e.g. first nations, school boards, mental health clinics).


Do the REBs charge a fee for review?

There is no fee for the reciprocal review, however, for industry-sponsored research studies, the sponsor will be charged as per the REB’s fee policy.


Can I use my own consent form template?

Yes. However, be aware that there may be additional requirements from the BoR.


Who do I contact if I have questions?

For HSN: Email

For LU: Email

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