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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of Research Services
April 16, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Additional Information about the REB Process

ROMEO Online REB Application System:

1. WLU Research Ethics Policy 

You are encouraged to read the WLU Research Ethics Policy, Policy 11.13, Ethics Review of Research Involving Humans, if you have further questions about the REB review process.

2. Consent Letters

Every project that involves collecting information from human subjects needs a consent / information letter. Such documents inform participants about your project, explain what they will be asked to do as participants and set out their rights and responsibilities.

To assist you with this the REB has prepared a sample consent letter. This provides suggestions for dealing with the types of information that generally need to be included in the consent / information letter. You can find this template under ‘Documents’ – ‘Informed Consent Statement/Info Letter Template’; a link to this has also been provided within the online system.

3. Additional Documents

There are often other documents that need to be attached to your application for ethics review. For example, if you have surveys or questionnaires, they need to be attached (this can be done in the online system using the “Attachments” Tab). If you are telephoning your participants, attach the script for your telephone call. If you are recruiting participants with a poster, letter or email, attach a copy of the material used in the recruitment process. If you are using an unstructured interview or focus group, attach a list of topics or questions that will be covered during the interview or focus group.

4. Review Process

Once your application has been submitted online, either to the University Research Ethics Board (REB) or to a department level research ethics committee (REC), it will be checked over to ensure that all required documentation has been submitted. If the application is complete, the review process will begin (incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant). Normal processing time is 10 working days.

The Chair of the REB (or REC) will likely send comments and suggestions for changes to the projects. Once these changes have been made and re-submitted for review, you will receive an approval letter from the Chair.

5. Modifications

Please note that the University REB or department RECs must review and approve any changes or modifications to the project that relate to the researcher’s dealings with his or her participants before those changes are implemented. Such modifications will be submitted online (if applying to the REB) or sent via email (if applying to an REC.)