Research Ethics Board Office (REBs-1,2,3,4)

The Research Ethics Board (REB) Office, a unit within the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research&Innovation), promotes the highest ethical standards of research involving humans with the primary goal of protecting the rights and welfare of the individuals who are participants in research.  The REB Office administers the review process for REBs-1,2,3,4; provides guidance to researchers in the preparation of submissions; develops and implements policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable provincial, national and international requirements; educates and advises researchers on research ethics issues and the review process.



UPDATE: February 10, 2021 - Some limited in-person research with human participants may resume, with the exception of research conducted with participants identified by the provincial government as being at higher risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19 (people aged 70 or older, those with the following underlying conditions: chronic heart disease, chronic pulmonary diseases, diabetes, cancer and/or weakened or deficient immune systems), as follows:

Research with in-person human participants may take place on campus if:

  • It is conducted under conditions specified in an approved research resumption plan, during non-curfew hours and all McGill health and safety directives are followed.


Research with in-person human participants may take place off-campus as follows:

  • For research in Quebec- Subject to any travel restrictions, in-person research may take place in locations off-campus in Quebec, conducted under conditions specified in an approved research resumption plan, during local non-curfew hours. If the research is carried out in a third party host organization, any additional authorization must be obtained and the health and safety regulations imposed by the organization must be adhered to. 
  • For research in other provinces/countries - Travel for all University business remains suspended. For McGill researchers or their staff who are located in other provinces or countries, in-person may take place subject to EOC approval. The research must be conducted in accordance with country, regional and locally-specific public health directives and safety measures. Any additional approvals from local authorities to conduct the research must be obtained. Faculties will present resumption plans for out of province/country research to EOC and faculties will communicate EOC decisions to researchers.


Full regulations may be found here: 

Resumption of research with human participants and REB procedures

Research with human participants that can respect 2 metre distancing

  1. Faculty authorization required. Please consult your Faculty/Department Head for details.
  2. For currently approved studies, no additional REB review is required. However, in addition to the already approved consent form, Principal Investigators will be required to provide the approved Participant Letter (see Forms page) to participants explaining the health and safety protocol in place for the study, which includes a reminder that the participants are free to decline to participate or defer participation, as well as an acknowledgment that they have been informed of the health and safety protocols in place and will follow them.
  3. For new ethics submissions, please provide the Faculty authorization with the submission.

Research with human participants where 2 metre distancing is not possible or is unlikely to be consistently maintained

  1. Faculty authorization required. Please consult your Faculty/Department Head for details.
  2. For currently approved studies, an amendment must first be submitted to the REB to restart the research. A revised participant consent form outlining the health and safety protocols in place, what participants will encounter when they arrive and a renewed reminder that participants are free to decline or defer participation is required. Provide the faculty authorization and approved resumption plan with the submission.  Changes to informed consent and any changes to study protocol must be approved by the appropriate Research Ethics Board.
  3. For new ethics submissions, the Faculty authorization and approved resumption plan must be provided with the submission.

Research with human participants done remotely

  1. Faculty authorization is not required.
  2. Any changes to current approved data collection procedures to move to remote data collection must be submitted using the Amendment form as amendments and require REB approval before  implementation. The Temporary Deviation form is no longer being used. As a reminder, an amendment form and prior REB approval is needed for any other proposed changes e.g moving to online surveys, adding surveys or measures, adding audio or video-recording, changing data storage/security procedures. 

Please be aware that, as the current situation is continually evolving, procedures may change. This information will be updated as needed.

Please contact any of the REB staff if you have any questions.
lynda.mcneil [at] (Lynda McNeil) (Associate Director)
deanna.collin [at] (Deanna Collin) (Senior Ethics Review Administrator)
georgia.kalavritinos [at] (Georgia Kalavritinos) (Ethics Review Administrator)

For Faculty of Medicine REB information please go to






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