Research Ethics BC is pleased to announce that two new partners, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Camosun College have connected to an existing provincial network that provides a harmonized system for ethics reviews of studies conducted in multiple geographic areas.
“The Research Ethics Board at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is excited to join Research Ethics BC and the BC Academic Health Science Network,” says Farhad Dastur, Chair of KPU’s Research Ethics Board (REB). “KPU’s REB is quite active with applications spanning many disciplines…Research Ethics BC’s province-wide harmonized review system will help make the ethical review of multi-jurisdictional projects much more efficient.”
Camosun College’s Research Ethics Board (REB) is similarly enthusiastic.
“The harmonization process is the biggest improvement to the application process that I’ve seen in the ten years I’ve been on the REB,” says Karen Shirley, Chair of the REB. “The harmonized process for dealing with multi-institutional research projects is a huge step forward in the streamlining of the ethical review of research projects. We are very excited about implementing it here at Camosun College.”
By joining the network, these two institutions increase the total to 19 academic institutions and health authorities committed to streamlining the multi-jurisdictional ethics review and approval process, so that researchers submit a single ethics application and more readily begin their research studies. Since 2018, the Provincial Research Ethics Platform (PREP), housed within UBC’s RISe system, has allowed a growing number of collaborative partners work together to support REBC’s province-wide, harmonized systems of ethics reviews.
“REBC’s broader harmonization initiative will help REBs learn best practices from each other, share standard operating procedures, and participate in educational and professional development activities,” Farhad notes.
“Membership in the REBC network will lead to better research at Camosun College,” Karen says. “No more will researchers be deterred from multi-institutional research because of multiple REB application forms. As a result, they are more likely to recruit from various institutions, which is likely to lead to more meaningful results.”
Formerly known as the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (BCEHI), REBC is a collaboration between BC’s regional health authorities, universities, and colleges, who collectively conduct more than 80 per cent of the province’s human participant ethics reviews.