Research Ethics Boards
Research that will involve human participants requires ethics review and approval by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR). ICEHR reviews ethics applications for faculty, students, and staff at the St. John’s campus, as well as the Marine Institute, conducting research in the social sciences, humanities, sciences, education, human kinetics, business, social work, and music. The ethics review process requires four to six weeks but may take longer during peak times.
Researchers at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus are required to submit their proposals to the Grenfell Campus Research Ethics Board.
The Health Research Ethics Authority Act (2011) mandates that all health research in Newfoundland and Labrador be reviewed by the provincial Health Research Ethics Board (HREB), overseen by the Health Research Ethics Authority (HREA).
ICEHR is authorized by the HREA to review health-related research, except clinical trials and genetic studies, conducted by Memorial University faculty, students, and staff.
However, prior to submitting an ethics application to ICEHR, researchers in the Faculties of Medicine and Nursing, and the School of Pharmacy are advised to consult the HREA to determine whether their proposed research fits the definition of health research and should be reviewed by the HREB.
The Act defines ‘health research’ as “... activities whose primary goal is to generate knowledge in relation to human health, health care and health care systems, and involving human beings as research subjects, health care information respecting human beings and human biological material.”
This includes medical / health education studies that examine training and/or competencies for medical residents and/or other health care professionals in nursing or medicine, as well as studies involving patients as participants, and secondary use of clinical data, biological samples or medical records. Health research does not include tests on non-healthcare equipment or tools to be used by humans (e.g. automobile or helicopter safety studies, or human kinetic research to establish safety parameters for sports equipment or training).
NOTE: Medical students and/or residents doing course / program projects are required to apply to the HREB for ethics review, as such projects are generally considered to constitute medical / health research / education.