The Research Ethics Board (REB) is a joint venture between The Group Health Centre (GHC) and Sault Area Hospital (SAH), a collaboration that facilitates clinical research at these institutions.  Our office at SAH serves as the administrative gateway for ethical review for both organizations. 

An independent entity, the REB approves, rejects, proposes modifications to, or terminates any proposed or ongoing research involving GHC and/or SAH patients, staff, physicians, students, residents, and GHC/SAH information.  Of utmost concern are the protection of patients, investigators, institutions, and society.  The REB also educates, supports, and mentors researchers regarding the process of ethical review.


As a joint organization, the membership of the REB consists of physicians and pharmacists from each agency, but also community members, such as lawyers, spiritual leaders, and privacy experts.  These non-medical members ensure that all legal, religious, and psychological implications are considered and safeguarded during the course of research projects.


It is the duty of the REB to protect the rights, safety, and well-being of study participants at all phases of research projects undertaken at GHC and/or SAH.  The REB is constituted by, and functions in accordance with, the International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical Practice, the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2, and other commonly accepted standards, guidelines, and applicable legislation.


In most cases, research is undertaken at SAH and/or GHC by physicians, medical students, nurses, department managers, supportive care workers, or anyone else who needs to receive prior REB approval before the project begins.  Such projects may be varied, including, but not limited to:

  • the use of new/experimental medications, therapies, devices, and/or technologies
  • comparison of treatment methods
  • monitoring symptom control and/or severity of side-effects
  • needs assessments and/or identification of barriers to treatments
  • evaluation of hospital services
  • quality of patient care
  • gathering personal health information statistics

However, not all research requires REB approval; for example, quality improvement initiatives for internal processes (i.e. LEAN projects) and some surveys (i.e. staff feedback on recent presentations) are exempt from REB review.

Please click on the Research or QA Ethics Screening Tool at the top left of this page to help guide you if you are unsure or contact our office at reb@sah.on.ca for more information on determining whether a proposed research project requires REB oversight.

To access the ARECCI website directly and for information about minimizing ethical risks, please click here.

To access the ARECCI guidelines for the ethics screening tool, please click here

Many departments and employees at SAH and GHC undertake research, either self-initiated or sponsored.  Studies can take many forms: testing new medications, performing interviews, reviewing patient charts, conducting surveys, and more.  If you are interested in undertaking research at SAH and/or GHC, please contact the REB office at reb@sah.on.ca to see if your project requires prior REB approval.


REB meetings are held over an extended lunch hour on a monthly basis from September to June of each year.

Materials must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. at least 14 calendar days before the scheduled REB meeting

Submissions made after this cut-off date will not be reviewed by the REB until the next scheduled meeting in approximately one month.

The following is a schedule for 2023:

Submission Deadlines

  • December 21, 2023
  • January 18, 2024
  • February 22, 2024
  • March 21, 2024
  • April 18, 2024
  • June 6, 2024
  • August 22, 2024
  • September 19, 2024
  • October 24, 2024
  • November 21, 2024

Upcoming Meetings

  • January 4, 2024
  • February 1, 2024
  • March 7, 2024
  • April 4, 2024
  • May 2, 2024
  • June 20, 2024
  • September 5, 2024
  • October 3, 2024
  • November 7, 2024
  • December 5, 2024


Researchers are required to submit an original signed and dated paper copy of the completed application to the REB office; this must include an original signed and dated paper copy of the Declaration of Conflict of Interest form (pages 7 and 8 of the REB Application).  In order to meet submission deadlines, a faxed or e-mailed copy of the application will be accepted temporarily; however, the REB approval letter for the study will be held until original signed and dated paper copies are received. 

Required Documents:

  • A completed Joint GHC/SAH REB Application Form (must be an original signed and dated copy)
  • The research proposal/clinical protocol/study methodology
  • A TCPS 2: Course on Research Ethics completion certificate for each research team member
  • Written approval from the SAH/GHC departmental manager where the research is to be conducted
  • Written institutional approval to conduct research on-site (for non-institutional investigators)
  • All informed consent forms (both clean and tracked changes)

Additional Documents (where applicable):

  • Product monographs, investigator brochures
  • Health Canada No Objection Letters
  • Protocol appendices
  • Correspondence to participants (information letters, notifications, etc.)


Please complete the desired form, save it, and send it to reb@sah.on.ca.

For more information or assistance, please contact the REB office at ext. 4238 or email reb@sah.on.ca


Joint GHC/SAH Research Ethics Board
Sault Area Hospital, Mailbox # 90
750 Great Northern Road 
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 0A8