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SFU is a member of the Research Ethics British Columbia (REBC) network and part of the province-wide, harmonized system for research ethics reviews of studies conducted in multiple geographic areas involving the resources, people, patients or data from more than one BC research institution.

For more information on what this means and an introduction to REBC, click here

Does my study need harmonized review?

If you, or research team members you are working with for a study, are conducting research under the auspices of SFU as well as another REBC network institution, a harmonized application is required and should be submitted via PREP.

Possible examples of applications requiring harmonized review include, but are not limited to:

  • SFU PI collaborating with researcher(s) at UBC, UVic, Providence Health, Fraser Health, etc.
  • SFU PI holding dual affiliations between SFU and UBC, UVic, Providence Health, Fraser Health, etc.
  • SFU PI recruiting participants from UBC, UVic, UNBC, BCIT, etc.
  • SFU PI recruiting patients from Providence Health, Coastal Health, Northern Health, Island Health, etc.
  • SFU PI recruiting students or staff or patients through their work email that is not publicly available or through an institutionally managed email list or asking participants directly about their work at Providence Health, Coastal Health, Northern Health, Island Health, etc.

Possible examples of applications that do not require harmonized review include:

  • SFU PI collaborating with researcher(s) SFU
  • SFU graduate student with an external committee member at UBC, UVic, BCIT, etc.
  • SFU PI recruiting participants from SFU or the general public or community organizations, etc.
  • SFU PI recruiting patients through community groups, social media channels not managed REBC institutions, private emails, newsletters, listserves, etc.  
  • SFU PI recruiting through snowball sampling methods/social networks
  • SFU graduate students who are performing secondary analysis on data originally collected at another REBC institution but is shared with the student by the data steward for their independent research project   

If you are unsure if your application requires harmonized review, please contact dore@sfu.ca.

Applications requiring harmonized review will not be accepted through the Research Ethics Application System.

Applying for Harmonized Review

The Provincial Research Ethics Platform (PREP) is available to SFU Researchers and is hosted by UBC’s Research Information System (RISe). Note that PREP looks almost identical to RISe, and guidance notes will be directed towards UBC processes and the SFU logo will not appear. You are still in the right spot and SFU will review your application (along with our REBC partners) and the SFU logo will appear on the approval letter.

 

PREP Account (UBC CWL)

  1. To access PREP you need to obtain a UBC Campus Wide Login or CWL which can be done here: https://activate.id.ubc.ca/iamweb/
    1. For assistance follow these instructions: https://researchethicsbc.ca/apply-for-ethics-review/
    2. SFU researchers can sign up for a Basic account (i.e. non-UBC affiliated investigators).
  2. Once the CWL is created you will need to contact risesupport@ors.ubc.ca to register.
  3. RISe Support may contact SFU to confirm your identity and requested permissions. This may take a day or two.

 

PREP Link

Once you have an account and are registered, sign in to https://www.rise.ubc.ca/

PREP Resources

Please note that some of the following resources are developed by UBC and informed by UBC practices. However, as PREP lives on a system developed and maintained by UBC, these resources can be extended to anyone who is working within PREP.

UBC recently developed a series of introduction and training videos which are available here.

An outline of the harmonized review process is available here.

Play with the training Sandbox. This section of RISe behaves exactly like the ‘real’ thing, but allows you to create a fake application in order to become familiar with the process. When you are ready to submit, please make sure you create and submit your application in the real system.

Please see the below diagrams developed by REBC on the minimal risk and above minimal risk review processes for application submitted to PREP. This is an excellent illustration of the relationships between the Board of Record (main/home REB) and the Partner Boards (partner institutions). 

Model of Minimal risk research review

 

Model of Above Minimal Risk Research

 

Please see the latest guidance here.

Access the Forms and Templates as desired. A reminder that these are UBC informed documents and if used, will need to be tailored to SFU.

Step-by-step guidance notes for each section of the application are available here.

Please see the latest guidance here.

Step-by-step guidance notes for each section of the application are available here.

The REBC is a hub for information on harmonized review in BC. Their website contains the latest changes, pilot review models and updates from REBC network institutions. Check out the REBC website or sign up for email notifications.

For the latest resources for researchers click here.

For REBC specific questions contact Paola Pinto Vidal at pvidal@bcahsn.ca

Since 2014, BC universities, health authorities and institutions together have created a robust harmonized review system. This enables effective ethical review of multi-jurisdictional studies in BC that involve human research ethics clearance from more than one of the following research ethics boards (REBs). In 2018 a new submission platform, the Provincial Research Ethics Platform (PREP) was launched. All applications with an REBC partner institution are required to be submitted and maintained via PREP.

SFU Policy R20.01 “Ethics Review of Research Involving Human Participants”, Article 20, now permits the University to accept reviews undertaken by an external REB where there is a formal agreement between Simon Fraser University and the other institution(s) involved, and this agreement includes a commitment to adhere to the requirements of the Tri-Council Policy Statement, 2.

Such arrangements allow for alternative models for ethics review with the express purpose of facilitating collaborative research projects involving researchers, data or participants from more than one institution, helping to avoid redundant research ethics reviews.

Benefits of the online provincial ethics platform include:

  • A single research ethics application for all harmonized reviews, irrespective of which REBs are providing oversight for your study
  • An easy-to-use online interface (presently hosted at UBC)
  • An interface that includes separate clinical and behavioural research ethics application forms
  • A web-based system that supports document management and certifications
Last updated: August 5, 2021