Research Ethics Protocol Submissions

*Please Note Changes to REB Protocols*

As of April 17, 2020 there are no specific halts on data-collection; however, all data-collection must abide by the current restrictions placed on face-to-face interactions.  

Resumption of Previously Approved Student-Led Protocols

The CBU REB has determined that previously approved student-led data collection may resume—effective immediately—with the understanding that supervisors work with their students to confirm the following directives are met. These directives are provided by the province of Nova Scotia under the current state of emergency as well as the TCPS 2 guidelines outlined in Chapter 6, Section D: Research Ethics Review during Publicly Declared Emergencies.

  • Research with participants that involves human contact including face-to-face conversations must be suspended immediately.
  • Researchers should consider how in-person participant interactions could be replaced with telephone or online communication. Considerations include the nature of your protocol, the type of participants engaged in the research, and any additional risk that may arise by switching from in-person to virtual communication.
  • Revisions to consent processes may be required (e.g., to update privacy considerations with use of mediated communication channels).
  • While the TCPS 2 requires review and approval of modifications prior to implementation, an exception can be made where the change is necessary to eliminate an immediate risk to participant(s) (Article 6.15). Such changes may be implemented but must be reported to the REB at the earliest opportunity (within 5 business days)
  • Please review Chapter 6, Section D: Research Ethics Review during Publicly Declared Emergencies and consider how increased risk to participants may be mitigated.

Protocols Awaiting Review

Students who submitted protocols to the CBU REB prior to the pause on student-led data collection will receive feedback by the first of May, 2020.

Student Submissions Moving Forward

The CBU REB will be accepting CBU student protocols at our next regularly scheduled intake (May 4, 2020). As usual, the CBU REB will be reviewing protocols on a case-by-case basis and considering the risks and benefits of the proposed project.

Prior to completing the CBU REB application, students and supervisors should consider the following:

  • Is participant-based research essential to the project? Could the research be completed through other methods that do not require REB approval such as meta-analysis, literature review, archival research, etc.
  • As stated in the TCPS 2: “Special attention and effort should be given to upholding the core principles of Respect for Persons, Concern for Welfare, and Justice when reviewing the ethics of research to be conducted in emergencies”. Due to COVID-19, there may be increased risks when working with participant groups.  Please review Chapter 6, Section D: Research Ethics Review during Publicly Declared Emergencies which includes the following:

“The increased public risks and devastation that cause public emergencies to be declared can threaten autonomy and physical, emotional, institutional and social welfare or safety. They also bring inherent tensions and pressures that may impact deliberative decision making. Taking all of this into consideration, REBs and researchers should ensure that the risks and potential benefits posed by any proposed research are appropriately evaluated, including provisions for greater than normal attention to risk, where applicable.”

  • All applicants will be required to explicitly address how disruptions caused by COVID-19 will impact the risks and benefits of the project. Supervisors should direct their students to the updated application form located on the CBU REB website.
  • Be sure any digital platforms used for recorded interviews or surveys have data stored in Canada.

If you have any questions, please contact or

Submitting an Application

Important: The CBU REB will be moving to a once a month review system starting May 2019. Please see the list of submission deadlines for 2019-2020 below. Contact for further information. Expedited review requests will not be accepted at this time.

Submission Process

  1. Review the submission deadlines for 2019-2020 (below).
  2. Complete your REB protocol by downloading and completing a CBU
    REB Form. (Last revision: April 15, 2020)
  3. Include all relevant forms such as interview guides and/or an informed
    consent form
  4. Student researchers are now required to complete the TCPS
    2 Tutorial
     and submit proof of completion as part of their application.
  5. Students are required to have their application reviewed and approved by their supervisor. The
    supervisor and student’s signature must be submitted as part of the application.
  6. Email a completed application to
  7. You should receive a confirmation email that your application has been received one week after it has been

Submission Checklist

  • Informed Consent form(s)
  • Questionnaires, Interview guides, recruitment tools (emails, posters, etc.)
  • Students: Supervisor signature for student ethics application (signed by your professor,
    scanned, and ready to upload)
  • Students: TCPS2 Tutorial Certificates (upload the certificate of each group member)

You should receive a confirmation email that your application has been received one week after it has been submitted.

Submission Deadlines to the CBU REB for 2019-2020

Monday, February 10, 2020 Monday, October 5, 2020
Monday, March 9, 2020 Monday, November 2, 2020
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Monday, May 4, 2020 Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Monday, June 1, 2020 Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Thursday, July 9, 2020 Monday, March 1, 2021
Wednesday, August 5, 2020 Wednesday, April 8, 2021
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
  • Contact Nicole MacDougall, CBU REB Administrator, at if you have any further questions.
  • The CBU REB aims to have applications reviewed within 4 – 6 weeks. However, during peak times, there may be longer wait times. Applications that are partially incomplete will take longer to process.

Any research involving human participants requires approval from the CBU REB prior to the start of the research project.

Questions? Contact



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