Research Ethics Boards (REB)

There are two Research Ethics Boards (REB) at the University of Ottawa. 

  • The Social Sciences and Humanities REB evaluates all research projects originating from School of Management, and the Faculties of Arts, Education, Law and Social Sciences (except School of Psychology)
  • The Health Sciences and Science REB evaluates all projects originating from the Faculties of Engineering, Science, Health Sciences and the School of Psychology

*The Faculty of Medicine research projects are assessed by the Ottawa Health Science Network REB.

Mandate and appointment of members

The mandate of the REBs is to assess and sanction the ethical aspects of all research projects involving human participants conducted under their jurisdiction by their professors and students, prior to their inception and during their execution. The REBs also verify how researchers plan to take on their ethical responsibilities. The REBs must also approve all projects in which students, professors or support staff of the University of Ottawa serve as research participants.

  • Each member is appointed by the Vice-President, Research.
  • The mandate is a two-year period, renewable once, with the terms staggered to maintain continuity.
  • For student members, the mandate is a one-year period, renewable twice.
  • During the transition period, some members may be appointed for a three-year term to maintain continuity.
  • A period of observation and training takes place before the beginning of the mandate.
  • The Vice-President, Research may appoint substitute members so that REB activities are not paralyzed by any unforeseen eventualities.
Membership Requirements

Both the Social Sciences and Humanities REB and the Health Sciences and Science REB adhere to the guidelines set forth by the TCPS 2 (Article 6.4).  The membership of the REB is designed to ensure competent independent research ethics review. Provisions respecting its size, composition, terms of appointment and quorum are set out below (TCPS 2, p. 70).

Article 6.4: The REB shall consist of at least five members, including both men and women, of whom:

  1. At least two members have expertise in relevant research disciplines, fields and methodologies covered by the REB
  2. At least one member is knowledgeable in ethics
  3. At least one member is knowledgeable in the relevant law, but that member should not be the institution’s legal counsel or risk manager.  (This is an advisable but not mandatory requirement.)
  4. At least one community member who has no affiliation with the institution

It is advisable that each member be appointed to formally fulfil the requirements of only one of the above categories. To ensure the independence of REB decision making, institutional senior administrators shall not serve on the REB.

Quorum for REB meetings consists of 50% of appointed voting members, plus one.  Each REB is presided by a faculty member or by a member of the community. A Protocol Officer, a non-voting member, acts as the Secretary of the REB.

Responsibilities of the REB
  1. To set guidelines in matters relating to the ethics approval of research involving human participants in accordance with the TCPS 2
  2. To review policies and procedures at timely intervals to ensure that research project evaluations respect the principles established by the TCPS 2.
  3. To be available for consultation by researchers within the university community
  4. To undertake an educational function on ethical matters related to the conduct of research with human participants within the university community
  5. To review research projects and issue ethics approval to projects meeting ethical standards.
  6. To examine annual status reports for ongoing projects and grant or refuse extension of ethics approval for such projects.
  7. The Appeal Board reviews cases in which the decision of a REB is being contested and confirms or modifies the REB's decision after consultation with this REB.
  1. The REBs and the Appeal Board operate under the policies and guidelines established by the TCPS 2.
  2. The REBs and the Appeal Board may seek the advice of the University of Ottawa Legal Counsel. It may also consult any member of the University whose knowledge and expertise could assist in its deliberations.
  3. The REBs and the Appeal Board may seek the opinion of persons not employed by the University. Such consultations may be requested by a Board or by an applicant for ethics approval.
  4. The REBs or the Appeal Board may request an applicant's attendance at its meeting prior to making a decision. Similarly, an applicant may request to meet with the REB or the Appeal Board. Such requests should be addressed to the Chair. If an applicant attends a REB or Appeal Board meeting, the members will discuss the project and their concerns first, and then invite the applicant to clarify outstanding issues and/or to make a presentation about the project.
  5. The REBs will monitor all ongoing research projects involving human participants. Continuation of approval will be based on the annual status report submitted by the researcher.
  6. The Protocol Officer keeps the minutes of the meetings of the REB and the Appeal Board and of all files for which a final decision has been taken.
Current members
Social Sciences and Humanities REB

Barbara Graves, Education, Chair


Nadia Abu-Zahra, Social Sciences (Int'l Dev and Global Studies)

Stephen Brown, Social Sciences (Political Studies)

Peter Danyluk, Community Member

Jaime Flamenbaum, Ethics Expert (CIHR)

Christopher Gunter, Student Member (Public Administration)

Nir Harrel, Student Member (Law)

Stephen Levey, Arts (Linguistics)

Cheryl McWatters, Telfer School of Management

Trevor Milford, Community Member

Karine Morin, Legal Expert (Genome Canada)

Sergio Piccinin, Community Member

Justin Piché, Social Sciences (Criminology)

Sheena Sumarah, Student Member (Educational Counselling)

Elena Valenzuela, Arts (Modern Languages and Literature)

Joel Westheimer, Education


Non-voting members:

Riana Marcotte, Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research

Kim Thompson, Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research

Germain Zongo, Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research


Health Sciences and Science REB

Daniel Lagarec, Chair

 Mark Audcent, Legal Expert

Isabelle Blain, Community Member

John Ekholm, Community Member

Marianne Fenech, Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)

Thomas Foth, School of Nursing

David Handelman, Mathematics and Statistics

Audrey Giles, Health Sciences (Human Kinectics)

Catherine Lee, Social Sciences (Psychology)

Bradley MacCosham, Student Member (Human Kinetics)

Rose Martini, Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy)

Dave Miranda, Social Sciences (Psychology)

Gordon Robertson, Health Sciences (Human Kinetics)

Peter Wesolowski, Ethics Expert

Odilia Yim, Student Member (Psychology)


Non-voting members:

Riana Marcotte, Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research

Kim Thompson, Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research

Germain Zongo, Protocol Officer for Ethics in Research

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