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The University has established two Research Ethics Boards (REBs). The appropriate REB must approve any project involving the use of human subjects.


The Biomedical Research Ethics Board (Bio-REB) is responsible for the review of all protocols involving human participants which include:

  • Medically invasive physical procedures, invasive interventions and invasive measures (includes administration and testing of drugs)
  • Physical interventions that have the potential for adverse effects such as drug, exercise and dietary interventions
  • Surgical procedures such as biopsies, the collection of blood or other specimens
  • Use of permanent health charts or records in accordance with provincial legislation.

The Behavioural Research Ethics Board (Beh-REB) is responsible for the review of all protocols involving human participants which include:

  • Non-invasive interventions and measures including interviews, surveys, questionnaires, psychological, social or behavioural interventions, non-invasive physiological measures (e.g. heart rate, blood pressure)
  • Observation or descriptive research, including drug, dietary, and exercise protocols that are observational in nature with no intervention
  • Audio and/or video recording or other monitoring.


With the increasing numbers of multidisciplinary research projects and the use of mixed methods, research ethics submissions that combine elements of both biomedical and behavioural research are becoming more common. An ethics application using mixed methods will be reviewed by the REB with the best expertise in the methods that may impose the greater risk to a research participant from either a biomedical or behavioral standpoint. Where appropriate, the Biomedical and Behavioural REB may collaborate in the ethics review of the submission.


The Research Ethics Office may determine that an ethics application is more appropriately reviewed by one REB than the other and reserves the right to move the ethics application to the REB with the most appropriate expertise to conduct the review. In those cases the researcher will be consulted and informed of the transfer. No new submission will be required, but additional information may be requested.

Questions? Contact Research Excellence and Innovation (REI) at 306-966-2975 or ethics.office@usask.ca.