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Athabasca University

Research Ethics

Research Requiring Ethics Review

Research projects involving human subjects, or participants, conducted by members of the University community or by external researchers who use AU resources or participants must receive prior written approval of the AU Research Ethics Board (REB). Approval is required irrespective of the source of financial support (if any) and irrespective of the location of the project, in the latter case, so long as the investigator represents the work as AU research. The "University community" comprises all AU faculty, staff, research assistants, graduate students, and visiting researchers.


There are some cases for exemption from ethics review which are further detailed in the policy. Please contact the Research Ethics Officer for confirmation of exemption prior to undertaking a study.

Review Options and Timing

Research ethics applications may be reviewed by the Research Ethics Board (REB), or may receive delegated review via the REB Chair or one of five departmental ethics review subcommittees.

The REB regularly meets once a month. The Chair and departmental subcommittees are limited to minimal risk projects with short time constraints (e.g. AU student research projects that must be completed within a 3-month timeframe). These reviews are conducted as needed. All other projects can be expected to go through the regular monthly REB meeting (which is generally held at the end of the month). Researchers are advised to plan for a start date no earlier than the second week of the month following review (in case changes requiring further review are identified).

Application Deadlines

Board Membership

AU Research Ethics Board (REB)

The REB mandate and procedures are in AU Policy and Procedures, Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

Ali Akber Dewan Public Members: Linda Bonneville
Fathi Elloumi   Robert Normey
Debra Hoven    
Sherri Melrose, Chair    
Hugh Notman    
Simon Nuttgens Vice Chair    
Pierre Wilhelm    
Carolyn Greene  

More Information

Applicants are invited to consult with the Research Ethics Officer to explore solutions that will assist their application to move smoothly through the review process.

Updated November 09 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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