Research Involving Human Participants: Overview

The University of Toronto requires that all research involving human participants be reviewed and approved by the relevant institutional Research Ethics Board (REB) before work can begin. 

​Every researcher carrying out research with human participants has the obligation to adhere to the relevant University of Toronto policies. Ethics approval must be received from all relevant Research Ethics Boards (REB) before the research commences. Students must seek ethics approval for a new project, or if they are joining an ongoing project they must be certain that their research has already received ethics approval and that they are named on the proposal. This applies to student research as part of a graduate course or degree requirement, thesis research, and/or as part of any research conducted at or under the auspices of the University of Toronto whether or not the research is funded.

As required by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans – TCPS 2 (2022), REB review and approval is required for all research involving living human participants and/or human biological materials from living and deceased individuals. Researchers are encouraged to complete the TCPS2 CORE-2022 (Course on Research Ethics) online tutorial. 

Students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars require a Faculty Supervisor or Sponsor to conduct research at the University of Toronto. Students based at affiliated hospitals or research institutes should also be aware that their research may require a TAHSN hospital REB review followed by administrative review at the university.  

For complete information on policy, guidelines, submission requirements and ethics-related frequently asked questions, please visit the University of Toronto Office of the Vice-President, R​esearch and Innovation​ website. ​