Office of Research Ethics

The Office of Research Ethics (ORE) serves the research community at York University by providing oversight of and support throughout all ethics review processes.  ORE provides the resources and expertise necessary for faculty to complete the appropriate ethics review process in an efficient and timely manner.

Specifically, ORE provides:

  • Assistance with the completion of all ethics protocols and forms;
  • Pre-review of ethics documents to ensure timely review by ethics committee(s)
  • Resources and information regarding research ethics guidelines and requirements
  • Workshops and seminars on research ethics

ORE staff provides a variety of consultative and advisory services to researchers who wish to undertake research involving human participants (as well as animals and/or biological agents).  Broad advisory services are available so as to provide assistance and guidance on a one-on-one basis to researchers – both faculty and student -  with regards to ethics policy and its applications, the completion of protocols and the design of consent documents.

Education Sessions

In addition, in continued furtherance of the goal of facilitating a broader understanding of research ethics policy and processes within the research community, ORE provides a variety of educational and outreach activities throughout the academic year.

Researchers may contact the Office of Research Ethics to book an appointment or request a presentation.

*Ethics 101

*Brown-bag sessions 2017-18

Responsibility and Authority

York University has three university-wide ethics review committees – the Human Participants Review Committee (HPRC), Animal Care Committee (ACC) and the Biological Safety Committee (BSC).  The committees are charged with the responsibility for conducting independent, multi-disciplinary review and approval of all research proposals involving humans, animals or biological agents/biohazardous materials.  They are subcommittees of the relevant Senate research committee (APPRC) and report to York University Senate through APPRC.

The ultimate responsibility for the administration of research ethics policies and procedures, resides in the Office of the Associate Vice-President Research.  Operationally, the Sr. Manager & Policy Advisor, Office of Research Ethics provides oversight, management and implementation of Senate Ethics policies as they relate to research involving humans, animals and or biological agents/biohazardous materials.  ORE faciliates compliance with all relevant ethics regulations within the university research context.

External Researchers

Research Conducted by External Researchers

Similar to other educational institutions, York University receives requests by external researchers – researchers who are not affiliated with the York University community in any capacity – to conduct research on campus and/or involving York University community members be they staff, faculty or students.

Research conducted at York University and/or with/involving York University community members (Staff/Faculty/Students) is subject to review and approval by the HRPC.  As it is difficult to provide the necessary oversight of researchers external to York University and as the HPRC/ORE has little recourse with regards to the activities of external researchers, it is necessary to require external researchers to provide proof of approval from their own research institution’s REB, prior to submitting a protocol to the HPRC for review. Research conducted by external researchers which is not subject to review by other institutional REBs and thus does not have external REB approval, shall be considered for review by the HPRC on a case by case basis.  However, such research, if more than minimal risk, shall not be reviewed by the HPRC.

Researchers should:

  1. Provide the Office of Research Ethics with a copy of their home institution’s REB approval certificate. In the absence of an approval certificate, external researchers shall contact ORE for further information and guidance re the potential for review.
  2. Submit an ethics protocol to the HPRC for review and approval. Please contact the Office of Research Ethics for a copy of the form ( or phone 416-736-5914 or 476-736-5201).

NOTE:    For those External researchers that are simply posting flyers throughout York University and not utilizing any university resources (departments/ faculties/ university listservs etc), and have ethics approval from their home institution, further ethics review from the HPRC (York’s REB) is not required.

Said external researchers must provide copies of the following documents to ORE:

  • REB approval certificate from home institution
  • Posters to be distributed around the campus

The Office of Research Ethics is not responsible for the authorization of posting any flyers or advertisements at the University.  Please contact the relevant university office for further information.