Governance

University policy related to human and research ethics flows from recommendations presented by the Research Ethics Board Oversight Committee and the University Animal Policy and Welfare Committee to the Vice-President (Research) (VPR) and approved by the Board of Governors.

The VPR, directly or indirectly, appoints the Chairs of the policy committees and the chairs of ethics review committees. Both the human research ethics boards (REBs) and the animal care and use committees (ACUCs) are autonomous in their decision-making with respect to ethics reviews and accountable to the institution for their processes. The REBs and ACUCs are comprised of volunteers from the University and elsewhere who are:

    • Experts in content and methodology/scientific members
    • Knowledgeable in the law
    • Ethicists or veterinarians
    • Community or lay members

In addition to their regular duties on campus or in the community, reviewers volunteer their time for:

    • Training and orientation for their role on the committee
    • Preparing for and attending monthly meetings 
    • Conducting primary or secondary reviews
    • Conducting delegated reviews in addition to the studies reviewed at meetings

Committee members maintain the confidentiality of the applications submitted for review and they do not participate in reviews in which they are in a conflict of interest.

Qualified individuals from the University or general community who wish to volunteer their time to serve on a review committee should contact us at reoffice@ualberta.ca or 780.492.0459.

Structure

Administratively, the office reports to the Vice-President (Research).

REO staff responsibilities include the following:

    • Provide effective, efficient support for researchers and reviewers
    • Implement and maintain integrated and compliant systems for review, approval and post-approval processes
    • Advise researchers on issues and processes in ethics review
    • Promote a culture of research ethics on campus
    • Develop relevant, compliant policy, procedures and guidelines
    • Liaise with other institutions and agencies
    • Recruit and retain reviewers and Chairs
    • Train, educate and orient committee members, students, and researchers
    • Address non-compliance
    • Respond to external assessments