Review committees

The human research ethics review process at the University of Waterloo is overseen by these Committees.

Human Research Ethics Committee

Clinical Research Ethics Committee

Applications are assigned to one of these two Committees based on the risk level associated with the research.

Delegated ethics review

Research identified as minimal risk to participants may be delegated by the Committees to an individual reviewer.

Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)

 Review research protocols involving:

  • procedures that pose more than minimal risk to research participants (e.g., sensitive, personal or psychologically invasive interview questions or questionnaires),
  • recruitment of adult participants who are considered vulnerable or potentially vulnerable in relation to the research and/or are considered legally unable to give free and informed consent (e.g., persons in institutions such as long-term care), and
  • Recruitment of children or adolescents where procedures pose more than minimal risk.

HREC Terms of Reference (PDF)

HREC meeting and submission dates    

Application submission instructions

Clinical Research Ethics Committee (CREC)

Review research protocols involving:

  • procedures that pose more than minimal risk and involve the use or administration of a Health Canada approved drug, natural health product or medical device,
  • an investigational or "off-label use" drug or natural health product clinical trial,
  • investigational or "new-indication" testing, formulation, or development of a medical device,
  • procedures that involve a controlled act as defined under the Regulated Health Professionals Act of Ontario, 1991.

CREC Terms of Reference (PDF)

CREC meeting and submission dates    

Application submission instructions

Delegated ethics review

Research identified as minimal risk to participants may be delegated by one of the Research Ethics Committees to an individual reviewer or to an approved Delegated Ethics Review Committee (DERC). Delegated reviewers are members of one of the Research Ethics Committees and DERCs are standing committees of the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

DERC Terms of Reference for Psychology (PDF)

Waterloo ethics process
pre submission and training
q and a
application process
review committees
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