New review process makes applying for ethics clearance easier

Monday, February 1, 2016

An innovative co-ordinated ethics review process has been developed to streamline the application process for researchers collaborating with Wilfrid Laurier University, Western University, Conestoga College, or the Tri-Hospital Research Ethics Board (i.e., Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Grand River Hospital, and St. Mary's General Hospital).

These new arrangements make the ethics review process easier and more efficient. Previously, a researcher collaborating on a project with another institution would need to submit a research ethics application to each organization. Now Waterloo faculty, staff, and students applying for human-participant ethics clearance with these institutions need to submit only one application. Each of the ethics review boards work together to simultaneously review the application and provide co-ordinated comments.

Researchers are already seeing a quicker application process. Kelly Grindrod, assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy whose research examines the potential for technologies to improve medication use, has experienced turnaround for ethics clearance applications as long as six months when conducting multi-site research.

“From my perspective, the new process of a co-ordinated review between Waterloo and each of these four institutions has been very helpful. It will make working with these organizations much easier allowing for shorter turnaround to receive ethics clearance for my studies.”

If you have any questions about the coordinated review process, please contact Julie Joza, Senior Manager, Office of Research Ethics.

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