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Research Ethics


Purpose and Policies

The purpose of the Research Ethics Board (REB) is to ensure that appropriate standards are followed and to support researchers in their efforts to conduct ethically sound research when research is conducted using human participants.  Specific policies and procedures governing Research Ethics Review at KPU can be downloaded below and should be read by all researchers before applying for ethics review.

Unless expressly exempted, all behavioural research under the auspices of KPU that involves living human subjects requires prior review and approval by the REB. This includes research by those who are not KPU employees or students.

What is ‘Research’?

Research is defined as an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services defines research as, “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” (HHS (US) 46.102(d))). 

Some quality assurance, quality improvement studies, or program evaluation activities do not constitute “research” and therefore do not fall within the scope of the REB (see TCPS2 Article 2.5).  However, it is highly recommended that you first discuss your project with the REB Chair regarding any exceptions from REB Review.

How to Apply for Ethical Review

Romeo Video - for KPU Honours Students

All applications for REB Review are now submitted online through the ROMEO Researcher Portal.  Links to guidelines and instructions for applying for Ethics review through ROMEO can be found below

Multi-jurisdictional Research

KPU researchers collaborating on multi-jurisdictional projects must submit their ​ethics review applications via the Research Ethics BC (REBC)'s Provincial Research Ethics Platform (PREP).

For ethical review of multi-jurisdictional projects, use PREPdo not submit your application in ROMEO. The single, online application process housed within the UBC human ethics module in RISe enables multi-jurisdictional review of research ethics applications. To submit your application for harmonized review in RISe​, review the REBC ​application instructions.

How to register on the Provincial Research Ethics Platform (PREP) 

Free PREP (RISe) tutorials are available online

NOTE: Undergraduate students wishing to apply for Ethics review must have a supervising Faculty member who acts as Principal Investigator on the project.  Applications must be completed and submitted through the Faculty member's ROMEO account. 

Guidelines & Resources

The following links and resources are provided to help researchers engaged in research involving human participants.

Breach of the Policy

  1. On behalf of KPU, The REB reserves the right to immediately halt any research project involving human participants that has been started without the required approval, or which does not follow the procedures specified in the approved application.
  2. KPU employees may be served with a warning letter and/ or lose research privileges for serious or repeated violations of ethics policy. For students, penalties may include a warning letter, a failing grade on a research project, or suspension from studies.

Research Ethics Board Appeals

Application for Ethics Review Timeline

The REB review process for minimal risk applications is on-going and take approximately 2-3 weeks, depending on the complexity of the application. More than minimal risk applications require full board review and can take between 4-12 weeks or longer, depending on the complexity of the application.

All REB Meetings take place on the 3rd or 4th Friday of the month, 9:30 - 12:30.  During the summer months (June, July, August), applications will be processed on an ad hoc basis. Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing.

REB Links