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Applications that involve only SFU team members are submitted and managed in the SFU system called 'Kuali Protocols' (Note: various emails and prompts from the system will come from non-SFU addresses.)

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If the project involves collaborators within BC, the application may be eligible to proceed through the harmonized review model (used by most BC universities and colleges and all health authorities) which allows researchers to submit a single ethics application.  You will be required to access the 'PREP' system which is hosted by UBC's RISe system.  You will need to create a UBC CWL account -

NOTE:  SFU students are not eligible to be a Principal Investigator.  The student's Supervisor is accountable for oversight of the research and must be listed as the Principal Investigator.  The ethics application, recruiting materials, and consent documents must state that the research is being conduct by a student and for the purposes of a Master's or Doctoral thesis.


If a research project already has approval from an external REB and a SFU collaborator is involved, the SFU collaborator must submit a 'previously approved by a TCPS2 compliant organization' through the SFU Kuali system and upload the following documentation: a copy of the approved research ethics application form and documentation, a copy of the research ethics approval, and a summary of activities taking place at SFU.  

If you would like to recruit participants from SFU and a SFU collaborator is not involved in your project, please contact the REB for review and approval via email with the following documentation: a copy of the approved research ethics application form and documentation, a copy of the research ethics approval, and a summary of activities taking place at SFU. The REB will review the application as per the applicable process.

NOTE: The SFU REB reserves the right to deny a request from an external researcher to conduct research at SFU, and the institution is under no obligation to facilitate the project in any way, including assisting with participant recruitment.

There are no deadlines for minimal risk applications, but deadlines for submission to the full board meetings are strictly observed.  Submissions must be deemed of sufficient quality to be placed on the meeting agenda.  REB meetings are not held in August or December.


Submission Deadline

January 17

December 15, 2023

February 14

January 19

March 13

February 23

April 10

March 22

May 8

April 19

June 12

May 24

July 10

June 18

September 11

August 20

October 9

September 17

November 13

October 22


Once initial approval is issued, post-approval activities (PAAs) can be submitted to make changes to the project, to renew the project on an annual basis, to report an unexpected event or to request an acknowledgement, or to close the application. Amendments to the study must be submitted and approved PRIOR to the changes being implemented except where necessary to eliminate an immediate hazard to participants.

Research ethics review is a multi-step and ongoing process.   Review turnaround times (for initial submissions, resubmissions, amendments, and renewals) may vary due to a variety of factors such as the quality of the submission, availability of reviewers, the volume of applications submitted, the level of risk associated with the research project, and the complexity of the application. 

A project will be reviewed only when it has been determined that the information and materials submitted are sufficient to enable an informed review of the ethical acceptability of the research. Should information and materials be deemed insufficient, the application will be returned to the researcher for revisions.

It is not possible to guarantee review turnaround times or accommodate requests for urgent reviews except in exceptional circumstances (i.e., unforeseen circumstances that arise under a research protocol that require immediate consideration). Exceptional circumstances do not include research deadlines or timelines known well in advance (e.g., course timelines).

It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure that the research team can meet any time sensitive deadlines (e.g., conducting research at an event that is scheduled in advance) and that projects are feasible to complete within restricted timeframes (e.g., course-based research projects).

Please only follow up with status enquiries once the timelines below have expired.

Initial Review

Minimal Risk projects – 15-20 business days (*if minimal risk projects are referred to the Full Board or require additional expertise to assist with the review, the turnaround time will increase). 

Above Minimal Risk projects – the turnaround time will substantially increase as these studies are reviewed at scheduled Full Board meetings.  Allow at least 10 days from the date of the meeting at which the project is reviewed to receive a response.  ABOVE MINIMAL RISK PROJECTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE AND MUST BE DEEMED OF SUFFICIENT QUALITY TO BE PLACED ON THE MEETING AGENDA.

Post Approval Activities

Amendments – 5-10 business days

Annual renewals – 5-10 business days.  The Kuali system sends out automated reminders 60 days, 45 days and 14 days ahead of the current approval's expiry date.  It is expected that the Principal Investigator will respond to this notice in a timely fashion and well ahead of the approval expiry date either by submitting an application for renewal or by notifying the REB of the closure of the study.

Last updated: May 23, 2024