Human Ethics

Human Ethics

Research involving humans

All research involving human participants conducted by faculty, staff, and students of Brock University, regardless of where the research is conducted or whether it is for academic publication or internal use must be reviewed by either the Social Science Research Ethics Board (SREB) or the Bioscience Research Ethics Board (BREB). This also applies to research conducted on Brock premises by researchers who are not members of the Brock community but wish to utilize Brock resources.


Release of TCPS 2 (2014):

A revised version of the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) was released on December 18, 2014. TCPS 2 (2014) replaces TCPS 2 (2010) as the official human research ethics policy of the Agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC).

Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) announcement

TCPS 2 Highlights of Changes - December 2014

TCPS 2 (2014)


Important notice regarding REB submissions

The Research Ethics Office has gone green! REB applications must now be submitted electronically (as PDF or Word attachments) to, and include digital or scanned signatures. Alternatively, Principal Investigators (i.e., faculty only) may email REB applications with a note in lieu of signatures, provided that the application package is sent from their Brock University email addresses. Hard copies will not be accepted after January 1, 2015.

Important notice for graduate students

Starting January 1, 2015, all graduate students involved with human participant research projects are required to complete the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 CORE tutorial before commencing research.

  • This applies to all graduate student investigators (including PhD students) completing an exit project (thesis, major research paper, dissertation etc.) that involves human participant research requiring Research Ethics Board clearance.
  • It also applies to graduate students conducting course-based research, or working as research/laboratory staff, project managers, and research assistants, where they will be responsible for recruiting or interacting with human participants.

What is CORE?

  • CORE stands for Course on Research Ethics. It is a free, self-paced, online tutorial featuring interactive exercises, and multidisciplinary examples. Developed by the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics, CORE consists of 8 modules and is designed for researchers and REB members to assist with the interpretation and application of the TCPS2. The tutorial does not have to be completed in one sitting as progress points are automatically saved allowing users to resume their session at another time. The length of time a person takes to complete the tutorial varies depending on how many examples and options they choose to explore but on average, completion takes three hours. While the tutorial includes quizzes, it is not a test or examination and there is no pass or fail assessment. CORE is mastery-based, providing a certificate of completion that can be printed.  

Notes for faculty supervisors and course instructors

  • As mentors and role models to students, it will be the principal investigator’s (or faculty supervisor/course instructor’s) responsibility to ensure that graduate students conducting human participant research under their authority have completed the tutorial and adhere to the principles and requirements set forth in the TCPS2. While not mandatory, faculty members will be encouraged to take the tutorial in order to support their students.

  • Upon submitting to either of Brock’s REBs, principal investigators/faculty supervisors will be required to identify, and list on their application, any graduate students (including RAs) involved in conducting the research. They will also be asked to attest that ethics education training has been completed by the graduate students. A copy of students’ certificate of completion from the CORE tutorial should be attached to the ethics application.

For more information click here


Click Here for Application Forms and Templates  

Contact Us

To obtain more information about what may require clearance please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact the Research Ethics Office.

For general questions regarding file status, dates and educational events, email

For questions regarding undergraduate and course-based research, contact:

Research Ethics Officer
Call 905-688-5550 ext. 5182 or email

For questions regarding graduate and faculty research, policy, and compliance, contact:

Lori Walker, Manager, Research Ethics
Call 905-688-5550 ext. 4876 or email

You can also drop by the Research Ethics Office in Mackenzie Chown, D Block, 250A

Please note:

Due to the current volume of applications, researchers should anticipate a 20 (working) day turnaround time on delegated (minimal risk) reviews and plan project timelines accordingly. Expedited reviews will only be considered in exigent circumstances. For information on full-board reviews (greater than minimal risk), please contact the Research Ethics Office.


SREB Meeting Schedule for 2015

May 19, MC D350 - L

June 9, MC D350 - L


BREB Meeting Schedule for 2015

May 12, MC D350 - L - Cancelled

June 2, MC D350 - L

*Applications for Full Board Review should be submitted 10 working days prior to a scheduled meeting



REB Annual Reports