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Research Ethics

All Faculty research meets Tri-Council Research Ethics requirements.

Faculty of Education ethics submissions go through the Education Research Ethics Board (EREB) and the General Research Ethics Board (GREB).


In 1998, the 3 major research funding councils to universities (SSHRC, NSERC, MRC/CIHR) introduced the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS) on research with human subjects. The Tri-Council went on to state that universities were required to comply with the TCPS if they wished to continue receiving research funds from them. The ultimate purpose of research ethics procedures is to protect all participants in the research, including the researcher. In addition to ethics review, the TCPS also requires that all research studies must be subjected to a scholarly review.

In the fall of 1999, the Queen's University response was to put its new ethics review process in place, through the creation of a university-wide General Research Ethics Board (GREB), and a series of unit Research Ethics Boards (unit REBs). The Education Research Ethics Board (EREB) is the unit REB for the Faculty of Education. Through the GREB and EREB, Faculty of Education ethics submissions go through a "two-tier" and "two-stage" process.

EREB is a service committee within the Faculty of Education that assists faculty and students (both undergraduate and graduate) in preparing ethics submissions in such a way that they will be positively reviewed by GREB. EREB plays an enabling role since it facilitates the pursuit of our research work in an ethical and timely manner. Submissions are reviewed in light of the TCPS "guiding ethical principles" which are:

  • respect for human dignity,
  • respect for free and informed consent,
  • respect for vulnerable persons,
  • respect for privacy and confidentiality,
  • respect for justice and inclusiveness, and
  • balancing harms and benefits.

The role of EREB is not to question research traditions but rather to ensure that the research is able to meet its intended outcome in a manner that reduces and minimizes the risk to both the researcher(s) and the participants.

In order to comply with the TCPS (article 1.5) and GREB policies, EREB conducts the scholarly review at the same time as it conducts the ethical review. For studies that have been reviewed and approved by other external agencies, for example SSHRC, the scholarly review completed by that agency fulfils this requirement. In addition to reviewing submissions, EREB answers questions about research ethics, suggests changes to a study in order to address ethics issues, and makes presentations to BEd and graduate students about research ethics.

This document was created by Peter Chin, EREB co-chair 2002-2004, on behalf of EREB. Although every effort has been made to ensure accurate information, keep in mind that ethics policies are constantly being revised by GREB and at the national level.

EREB Committee Members

The Education Research Ethics Board (EREB) committee for 2013/2014 is as follows:

EREB and GREB Submission Dates

EREB Submission Date

EREB Meeting Date

GREB Submission Date

GREB Meeting Date

April 23, 2014 May 2, 2014 May 26, 2014 June 4, 2014
May 28, 2014 June 6, 2014 June 23, 2014 July 2, 2014
June 25, 2014 July 4, 2014 July 28, 2014 August 4, 2014
July 23, 2014 August 1, 2014 August 25, 2014 September 3, 2014
August 27, 2014 September 5, 2014 September 22, 2014 October 1, 2014
September 24, 2014 October 3, 2014 October 27, 2014 November 5, 2014
October 29, 2014 November 7, 2014 November 24, 2014 December 3, 2014
November 26, 2014 December 5, 2014 TBA TBA

Angelina Gencarelli, EREB Secretary, (A101C) must receive ethics review submissions by 4:00 pm on the submission date to ensure inclusion on the agenda for the next EREB meeting.

The EREB submission date is the one you need to pay attention to since all Faculty of Education submissions initially go to EREB. GREB submission dates are only applicable if EREB recommends that your submission needs to undergo "full review by GREB." In that scenario, your revised submission needs to be returned to EREB early enough so that required changes can be verified by EREB, and that the file can be sent to GREB prior to their submission deadline. Where possible, EREB does prefer that all submissions be sent to GREB prior to the GREB submission date just in case GREB determines that an EREB recommendation for expedited review is over-ruled.