Ethics FAQS


Research involving human participants conducted by faculty members and graduate students under the auspices of the University of Toronto must be reviewed and approved by a University of Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB) prior to its commencement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is the email address of the Research Funding Coordinator at the Faculty of Information?

The current Research Funding Coordinator is Stephanie Fisher (s.fisher@utoronto.ca).

When should I submit my research ethics protocol?

Investigators are advised to submit well in advance of their anticipated start date. We recommend that researchers begin the process two months (8 weeks) prior to the start of the research.

The overall duration of a given review will depend on how many rounds of revision are required. The initial review of the application by the Faculty of Information Research Funding Coordinator and Associate Dean, Research, can take up to FIFTEEN (15) working days. Following this, the initial REB review can take up to five weeks.

Note: All research that is conducted in schools must have administrative consent/permission prior to recruitment. Some school boards, including the Toronto District School Board, require protocol review by their Research Committee before gaining administrative permission. This approval process can take several weeks or months. Please contact the school board to be involved with your research for further information.

What are the deadlines for submitting my protocol to the REB via MRHP?

The deadline for delegated review is EVERY Monday (or first business day of the week) by 4 pm. Each cycle through the delegated review process (i.e. initial review or review of revisions) takes approximately 4-5 weeks to complete from the date the study was sent to the reviewer.

Please consult the Research Ethics Board webpage for the most up to date Full Review submission and meeting dates.

I have never prepared or submitted an ethics protocol before. Where can I get some help?

The Faculty of Information highly recommends that you enroll in a Faculty/Graduate Research Ethics Workshop before preparing the protocol. These workshops are conducted twice per year and require advanced registration. The schedule is posted on the Office of Research Ethics website, where you can find information on one-on-one consultation, in-person training, and other online resources to guide you in preparing your protocol.

For questions related to the content of the ethics protocol, you can contact the Research Ethics Coordinator at 416-946-3273 or ethics.review@utoronto.ca.

I’m a student. Can I make an appointment with the Research Funding Coordinator?

Your first point of contact is your supervisor. If they are unavailable, you can get in touch with the Faculty of Information’s Associate Dean, Research. For questions specifically about ethics, the Research Ethics Coordinator at the Office of Research Ethics is available to answer your questions and offers one-on-one consultations with students.

Can you give me any tips in preparing my protocol?

Where can I download the Word version of the ethics protocol application or the Graduate Student Ethics Protocol Submission Checklist?

Click the appropriate link below for specific instructions and forms relating to your situation.

I’m working with human participants in my project, however I am not sure if what I am doing is considered research/requires prior approval from the REB. How can I find out?

Certain activities such as quality assurance or quality control tests may be exempt from REB review. The Office of Research Ethics has created a screening guide to determine whether ethics review is required.

  • For Faculty, Status-Only Appointees, and Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • For Graduate Students

  • For Courses, Including Independent Reading Courses