Research Ethics Board
The purpose of Seneca's Research Ethics Board (REB) is to ensure research involving humans conducted under the auspices, or on the premises, of Seneca meets high scientific and ethical standards that respect and protect participants. The REB reviews research projects to ensure adherence with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. All research involving human participants must undergo REB review and receive approval before participant recruitment and/or data collection may commence.
Seneca's REB meets face-to-face monthly throughout the academic year. The REB Co-ordinator will typically communicate rejections, approvals and/or requests for revision within approximately 10 business days when the proposed study has been determined to pose minimal risk to participants. Applications for studies that pose potentially greater than minimal risk to participants, will undergo full-board review at the next scheduled board meeting. These applications may take longer to review depending on the timing of submission. Board meetings are generally held on the 2nd Thursday of every month.
Research Ethics Approval Process
Below you will find links to the Seneca REB Forms. Please ensure that prior to developing any submission to the REB, that you download the most current version of the applicable form(s). Submissions received on forms that are not the current versions will not be accepted and/or reviewed. If you have any questions about the forms, please email the REB Co-ordinator.
When conducting research with human subjects, Seneca REB Approval is required for the following:
- Research activities are independent of a course and conducted by Seneca students and/or faculty. This includes thesis or capstone research projects - REB Form 1
- Research activities are a part of a course (non-thesis or capstone courses) and conducted by Seneca students and/or faculty (Course-based student research) - REB Form 2
- A similar project has been approved by another REB -
REB Form 3
- Information is collected directly from Seneca subjects or from existing Seneca records
- Data collected from participants will be published
The Seneca REB only accepts electronic copies of documents. Please complete all parts and submit the full application along with the relevant appendices in electronic format to REB@senecacollege.ca.
You will receive email acknowledgement of your application within 2 business days after the submission deadline date. This email will notify you if your application is complete and has been assigned for review or if you are required to modify your submission.
REB Application Submission Process
The Seneca REB only accepts electronic copies of documents. Once you have completed the appropriate form for your research study, please submit the full application along with the relevant appendices in electronic format to the Research Ethics Board.
You will receive an email acknowledgement of your submission within 2 business days of the submission deadline. This email will notify you if your application is complete and has been assigned for review or if you are required to modify your submission.
Form 1 -
This form should be used by both internal and external applicants to obtain approval for research being conducted by or with Seneca faculty, staff and/or students. This form should be used by all thesis or capstone students.
Form 1A -
for Amendment and/or Renewal
This form should be used by both internal and external applicants to renew and/or amend research studies that have been previously approved by the Seneca REB.
Form 2 -
Approval of Course-Based Research
This form should be completed by faculty members for student course-based research at Seneca that involves the collection of data from human subjects by students for educational purposes; meaning, research conducted by students under the supervision of a course instructor and as part of a normal course/program curriculum. This form does not apply to thesis or capstone student projects.
Form 3 -
for Research Approved by Another Institution
This form should be used by both internal and external applications to obtain approval for research being conducted by or with Seneca faculty, staff and/or students and should be submitted alongside the other institutions' approval letter attesting to the approval as well as the corresponding original submission documents.
Form 4 -
Access to Institutional
If the research require access to institutional data related to Seneca faculty, students, administrators, or from any other employees at Seneca College, then institutional approval is required. Please include a completed and approved Seneca College institutional approval form with your application. To obtain this form and obtain permission, please contact the Office of Institutional Research at: IR@senecacollege.ca
Form 5 -
This form should be used by both internal and external applicants to inform the REB that the research study being conducted by or with Seneca faculty, staff and/or students has been completed.
Form 6 -
Ethics Application Form
This form should be used by researchers who intend to conduct a study at more than one college in Ontario. Applicants who submit a Form 6 must ALSO submit a Form 6A. This form is not submitted to the Seneca REB but to the Expert REB Panel representing participating colleges. After receiving approval from the Expert REB Panel, researchers then submit the application to Seneca with the approval letter.
Form 6A -
Researcher Agreement to the
Multi-College Review Process
This form must be completed by any researcher who is submitting a project for review using Form 6 (ie. any study being conducted at more than one college in Ontario).
Form 7 -
Multi-College Change/Amendment Form
This form should be used by researchers who wish to make a change or an additition to an approved Ontario Community College Multi-site "Application to involve human participants in research" form.
Form 8 - Common Multi-College Annual Renewal/Completion Form
This form should be used by researchers who wish to request a renewal or file a completion report for an approved Ontario Community College Multi-site "Application to involve human participants in research" study.
Most REB applications will include the application form, TCPS 2 certificate(s), a recruitment document, an information letter, a consent form, and study materials such as questionnaires, interview questions, or intervention materials.
There are many ways of recruiting participants (email, in-person, poster, announcement, social media post, etc.). Usually recruitment materials give participants a very short explanation of what the study is about and what participation will involve. Recruitment information does not replace a Letter of Information.
Please note: Seneca does not generally allow posters to be posted on campus to recruit participants. If you are recruiting participants on a Seneca campus you may need to apply for additional permissions to set up a table or to post an announcement on Seneca Blackboard.
Some examples of common recruitment materials are provided below:
- Sample Recruitment Poster
- Sample In-Person Recruitment Script
- Sample In-Class Recruitment Script
- Sample Recruitment Email
- Sample Recruitment Email for On-line Survey with Link
Letters of Information and Consent Form Samples
The Letter of Information should provide all the details about the purpose of the study, what the participants will be required to do, how confidentiality will be maintained, how participants can withdraw, what the risks are, and what the benefits are of the study. The information in the letter should be consistent with the information given in the REB application document. A Consent Form should also be attached to the Letter of Information. Some examples are provided below:
- Sample Letter of Information and Consent for Survey Administered In-Person
- Sample Letter of Information and Consent for On-line Survey
- Sample Letter of Information and Consent for Interview
- Sample Letter of Information and Consent for Focus Group
Sometimes researchers employ assistants to work on research projects. In this case, all employees must maintain the same level of confidentiality as the researchers named on the application. Having research assistants sign a confidentiality agreement is good practice. Here is a sample:
In the case of a focus group, participants may feel more comfortable answering questions in a group setting if there is some assurance that what they say will be kept in confidence by other participants. In the case of focus groups, it is good practice to have participants sign confidentiality agreements. Here is a sample:
Seneca’s Research Ethics Board has members from across all faculties at Seneca, as well as external representatives.
If you're interested in becoming a member of the REB, please contact the Research Ethics Board Co-ordinator.