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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

Hussein Al-Zyoud Public Members: Linda Bonneville
Donna Clare  
Ali Akber Dewan    
Joy Fraser, Chair    
Carolyn Greene Vice Chair    
Carolyn Greene    
Debra Hoven    
Hugh Notman    
Simon Nuttgens, Co Vice-Chair    
Lynda Ross    
Pierre Wilhelm    

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 August 09 2017 by Student & Academic Services

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