Research Ethics System login

The Research Ethics System is the University's online system that supports the development, review, and clearance of research ethics applications.

Research ethics review during COVID-19 (updated March 3, 2021)

Resumption of in-person/face-to-face research activities

Time and activity with study participants, must be limited to only what is absolutely required. What can be done remotely must be done remotely. 

The process for resuming in-person research is outlined on the Research Information section of the University's COVID-19 information website. To aid researchers in preparing for this next step, a document to assess capacity and readiness, as well as setting priorities has been developed. Please review this information in full.

The timeline for research with populations who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 is yet to be determined.

Procedures and forms for the resumption of in-person research activities:

  • Researchers should follow the instructions on the research information page
  • Researchers are encouraged to begin working on their amendment or new ethics application after their Request to Resume Research involving Human Participants and a Safety Plan has been submitted.  

  • Researchers are to wait until they receive notification their resume research request and safety plan has been approved before submitting the amendment or new application for ethics review.

  • Add "Restarting Research" as the first line in the justification section for amendments.

  • A template COVID-19 information letter, along with a template email and verbal script, have been prepared (see below) to support the informed consent, screening, and tracking processes during the pandemic. Different versions are available based on whether the study is on-campus or off-campus. Tailor these for your study and upload to the relevant sections in the ethics application. 

  • A guideline  for the process of screening and consenting individuals has been developed for use.  

  • FAQ about resuming face-to-face in-person research.

Template documents for use in resumption of in-person research activities:

COVID-19 Information letter for in-person visit  *

COVID-19 Information letter for in-person visit of parent/child  *

COVID-19 Information letter for off-campus in-person visit *

COVID-19 Information letter for off-campus in-person visit of parent/child *

* These information letters were created for all research teams to provide to their study participants outlining the risks associated with COVID-19 and possible exposure, and the mitigating and monitoring mechanisms put in place to secure their safety. Participants must have the opportunity to review and discuss the letter with the research team in advance of coming to campus and to provide their acknowledgement (through a signature on the letter) before taking part in the study.   

COVID-19 Study visit reconsent - email script

COVID-19 Study visit reconsent - telephone script

COVID-19 Study visit reminder - email script

COVID-19 Study visit reminder - telephone script

COVID-19 Self-assessment questions

Sample consent log

Application instructions

Table for describing distance from participants

Other information related to research activities during COVID-19

  • New studies that are related to COVID-19 are given priority review.
  • New studies with in-person contact must incorporate COVID-19 specific processes and templates. 
  • Research activities that require in-person interactions that have not been approved through a Request to Resume Research involving Human Participants may not be conducted. This applies to all new and ongoing studies.
  • Visit the University of Waterloo Coronavirus Information website for more information.

Need research ethics system help?

View the Research Ethics System training guide

FAQ for using the Research Ethics System

Log into the system using your WatIAM credentials. If you are not a Waterloo member, please contact to request access. 

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