Institutional announcements

Senate, SCAR discuss changes to Research Ethics Board to ensure compliance with national standards

February 09, 2023

Research is a university-wide priority and upholding a successful environment to conduct research is a continued focus that is reflected in our new strategic research plan.

The Research Ethics Board (REB) plays a critical role in ensuring that research at Simon Fraser University is aligned with national and international standards that ensure the safety and welfare of participants. Following recommendations from an external review panel, changes to the REB are being considered by the vice-president, research and international (VPRI). These changes are intended to better support researchers, ensure appropriate diversity and expertise of reviewers given the volume and nature of research, and provide a flexible structure that will enable research ethics to respond proactively and in a timely manner to current and future needs. Changes would also ensure SFU can better engage in Indigenous and equity-seeking research opportunities. The changes proposed are in alignment with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2), as well as other applicable regulatory frameworks.

Senate held a productive discussion about the REB and these changes on Monday, February 6. As a result of that discussion, the topic has been moved to the Senate Committee on Agenda and Rules (SCAR) for further discussion and guidance on procedures as we work to ensure REB complies with national standards. The first meeting of SCAR on this topic is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14.

In the meantime, there is no disruption to the current process, and ethics approvals continue as usual.