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A Brief Introduction to Research Ethics at Simon Fraser University

The Office of Research Ethics has made available a narrated presentation offering an introduction to research ethics at SFU.

Download the presentation (.pptx)


Top Tips for Preparing Your Research Ethics Application

Please use the below guidance when conducting research with human participants using Zoom. Note that while the guidance is specific to Zoom, similar principles can be applied across most online video conferencing platforms.

Download the infographic

Please see our top tips for creating and submitting your research ethics application. This guidance contains the most common action items that we issue. 

Download the guidance

Course on Research Ethics (CORE) Tutorial

This interactive online tutorial takes approximately three hours to complete (longer if you look at all the optional material) and provides an essential orientation to the Tri Council Policy Statement (TCPS2) (2018). It can be completed in your own time and you can enter and exit the tutorial as you have time to work on it.

All SFU-affiliated study team members, including but not limited to, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and research staff, applying for ethics approval through the ORE, should complete one of the following: TCPS2 Core Tutorial,  one of the CORE alternatives discussed below, one of the Social & Behavioral Research or Biomedical Research courses offered through the CITI Program. All students must complete one of these courses prior to submitting an application for ethics review, and the certificate of completion must be uploaded with the application. SFU faculty and staff are required to complete one of the courses but they do not need to include the certificate with the application. 

CORE Alternatives

SFU Research Ethics recognizes that SFU researchers may have completed ethical training other than the Course on Research Ethics (CORE) Tutorial hosted by the Panel on Research Ethics.

While SFU Research Ethics requires all SFU-affiliated researchers conducting research with human participants to have completed the CORE Tutorial and to be able to provide a certificate of completion upon request, there are alternative training courses considered equivalent.

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) is a web-based training platform, that, through a partnership with the Network of Networks (N2), offers a variety of training courses with customized Canadian content. Either the Social and Behavioral Research Ethics course or the Biomedical Research Ethics course offered through the CITI Program may be completed in lieu of the CORE Tutorial. Certificates of Completion from any of these three courses will satisfy the ethics training requirement of the Office of Research Ethics. 


Conducting Research Involving Indigenous People 

The following two training courses provide guidance on processes and best practices for conducting research involving Indigenous people. 


San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Online Training 

San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) training is a unique, facilitated on-line training program designed to increase knowledge, enhance self-awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Aboriginal people. The goal of the ICS training is to further develop individual competencies and promote positive partnerships.
The program was developed by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) Aboriginal Health Program. The Core ICS training is general, and relevant for foundational learning for many disciplines.
For more information, please visit the SFU webpage: San'yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety Training - Human Resources - Simon Fraser University (

Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP)

From the FNIGC website: 
The First Nations principles of OCAP® establish how First Nations’ data and information will be collected, protected, used, or shared. OCAP® is a tool to support strong information governance on the path to First Nations data sovereignty.

Please note that there may be costs associated with taking these training courses.  Please enquire within your department / school / faculty for further information


Flowchart: Does My Study Require Ethics Approval? 

This infographic breaks down the types of studies that require ethics review, what to submit for an ethics application and the ethics application process. Please continue to check the website for the latest version. 

Download the Ethics Flowchart


Ethics resources for graduate students

Checklist for Graduate Students

The ORE has created a ‘Human Ethics Requirements Checklist for Graduate Students’ to help them identify when they need research ethics review. This document is available here.


Custom Lectures

Lectures are available by request for individual departments and courses. Please contact Research Ethics if you are interested.

NOTE: If you are interested in a lecture, seminar or workshop on research ethics, the ORE requires at least 2 weeks advance notice.


Additional resources

CIHR Ethics Office Education Workbook

The CIHR Ethics Office Education Workbook consists of a Knowledge-to-Action/Ethics framework, and a series of scenarios where an ethics lens is applied and discussed.

The ethics research education resource material is initially intended to assist CIHR’s young investigator and trainee communities to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to be able to identify and address the ethical issues inherent in their work throughout the research life cycle.

CIHR Ethics Office Education Workbook


Social Sciences Ethics Training

This free online module was created by a team at Macquarie University in Australia to provide ethics training specifically for social scientists. It deals with the distinctive ethical issues that social scientists face in conducting research with human participants. It also has an extensive section on research in Indigenous communities which, although tailored to an Australian context, has insights relevant to Canada.

Register for the Social Sciences Ethics Training module


The Ethics Application Repository (TEAR)

This is an open access, online repository of approved ethics application forms and consent statements hosted by the University of Otago. Although the site is hosted in New Zealand, the repository includes ethics applications from researchers in various parts of the world (NZ, Australia, Canada, USA, etc.). It provides an opportunity to read how researchers have articulated ethical principles in their subject area or methodology. You can search the repository by topic and methodology (e.g. "cancer" or "autoethnography").

Access The Ethics Application Repository (TEAR)

    Last updated: November 5, 2021