Research Ethics Board

Guidance for research during COVID-19

NEW UPDATE (July 20, 2020): Reopening research activities

The Osler REB has planned a modified reopen of selected studies to resume research activities. The plan to gradually restart clinical research activities must align with the approach taken by William Osler Health System. The Hospital is following all applicable local, provincial and federal public health directives, and guidelines and direction from Ontario Health, which requires continued reassessment of activity based on local resources and regional COVID-19 activity. Principal Investigators are asked to review the PI Attestation and Agreement (PAA) - Resuming Research Activities for requirements, considerations, and all required signatures. Once the conditions can be confirmed as met and all required signatures are obtained, please complete and submit the PAA form to

Please read the plan to reopen guidance document for more information and FAQs.

We continue to make every effort to conduct reviews in a timely manner. There may be instances, however, when reviews may take longer than usual, or in some cases may be deferred until a later date. Osler REB will be operating as normal, with modified procedures as per SOP 501.002. Clinical research studies that are part of essential clinical care and/or are related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be given priority.

Until further notice, the REB Office will be closed. Please submit all REB applications to the ethics inbox at

  • Include in the subject line: REB#, PI Name, Type of submission

Continuously refer back to this page for further updates. Please see our COVID-19 FAQs for more details.

William Osler Health System’s Research Ethics Board (REB) exists to ensure all research meets current scientific, regulatory, and ethical standards. All research involving patients, physicians, staff, students (i.e., research within the institution or using institutional resources), volunteers or visitors, must obtain ethical approval from the REB before research can begin. The REB has similar responsibility for investigators from other institutions who may wish to carry out research on Osler premises or with Osler patients. The REB reviews and approves research studies that meet acceptable ethical, regulatory and scientific standards and for which adequate facilities and resources are available. The REB also provides advice on the ethical, scientific and technical aspects of planning research projects. Heads of Departments / Divisions / Programs are responsible for ensuring that all such research is submitted for ethics review. To apply for Osler REB review, please visit our conducting research at Osler webpage for more details.

The REB operates in compliance with the Tri Council Policy Statement 2 (TCPS2): Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (2010), the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Guidelines, Part C Division 5 of the Food and Drug Regulations of Health Canada and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA-Ontario 1998, updated through November 2005).

General Questions

In the event that an investigator cannot determine whether an intended investigation constitutes research (for instance, quality improvement studies do not constitute research), the investigator should contact the REB.

Michelle Dimas, MSc
Research Ethics Board Coordinator 
(905)494-2120 ext. 50448

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