What is the Research Ethics Board?

SAIT's Research Ethics Board (REB) approves, rejects, proposes modifications to, or terminates any proposed or ongoing research which is subject to REB review in order to protect human research participants. The REB's analyses and decision-making is guided by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (often referred to as the TCPS 2), created by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC).

The Terms of Reference for the REB can be found under AC.4.4.1 Research Requiring Ethics Review, Schedule A: SAIT Research Ethics Board.

‘Researcher’ as defined in AC.4.4.1 Research Requiring Ethics Review, is “any member of the SAIT community or any person external to the SAIT community who conducts or carries out research using SAIT resources and/or formally using members of the SAIT community as human participants. This includes but is not limited to researchers carrying out scholarly activity, applied research, and/or research under the terms of a Cadmus Trades Teaching Chair award or a Cisco e-Learning Chair award.

If you are a researcher according to the above definition, you can find more information about if your project requires Research Ethics Board (REB) approval in AC.4.4.1 Research Requiring Ethics Review, B: Obtaining REB Approval.

See AC.4.4.1 Research Requiring Ethics Review, F. Review of Off-Campus Research and G. Review of Multi-Centered Research if your project will be conducted off-campus or at multiple sites.

  • Complete the online tutorial TCPS 2: CORE (Course on Research Ethics): This eight-module online tutorial takes approximately 4 hours to thoroughly complete. The REB suggests completing the tutorial before you complete your application in ROMEO as the content of the TCPS 2 should inform your application. When you finish the tutorial, you will be issued a certificate. Save a copy of your certificate to include in your application.

  • Submit a comprehensive application through the ROMEO management system. It is important to carefully include all required information and to work through each of the tabs in the system (project info, project team info, request for ethical review, attachments). The Request for Ethical Review tab has several sub-tabs (application guidance, project summary & details, methodology & recruitment, involvement of Aboriginals, consent, risks & benefits, confidentiality and anonymity, conflict of interest, compliance). Pay close attention to the yellow text boxes that mention attachments you should include such as sample interview or survey questions and your letter of consent.

To request ethical review for research being carried out on SAIT premises and/or involving SAIT faculty, staff and/or students, you must apply online through ROMEO. ROMEO is the online management system used at SAIT to manage human research ethics submissions.

ROMEO account sign-up:

  • Create a ROMEO Account.
  • Click Register.

  • Fill in the required information and click the Register button.

  • You will receive an email with a link to enter a new password.

  • Once you create a new password, log into ROMEO to start your application.

If you encounter any problems or need help with ROMEO, please email research.ethics.board@sait.ca.

The Research Ethics Board (REB) meets on the last Monday of each month, with the exception of July and August. Applications are not reviewed in July or August and any applications received after the June submission deadline will be held over to the September meeting. Your application must be submitted two weeks before the monthly meeting to allow adequate time for review. As per the SAIT Research Requiring Ethics Review Procedure AC 4.4.1, the REB shall make a decision no more than 45 days from the receipt of a properly completed application.

Proposal submission deadlines Research Ethics Board meeting dates
Sep 9, 2022 Sep 26, 2022
Oct 7, 2022 Oct 24, 2022
Nov 11, 2022 Nov 28, 2022
Nov 25, 2022 Dec 12, 2022
Jan 13, 2023 Jan 23, 2023
Feb 10, 2023 Feb 27, 2023
Mar 10, 2023 Mar 27, 2023
Apr 7, 2023 Apr 24, 2023
Apr 28, 2023 May 8, 2023
May 26, 2023 Jun 12, 2023
Jul (no meetings) Jul (no meetings)
Aug (no meetings) Aug (no meetings)
Sep 8, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
Oct 13, 2023 Oct 23, 2023
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 27, 2023
Nov 24, 2023 Dec 11, 2023
Jan 12, 2024 Jan 22, 2024
Feb 9, 2024 Feb 26, 2024
Mar 8, 2024 Mar 25, 2024
Apr 12, 2024 Apr 22, 2024
Apr 26, 2024 May 13, 2024
May 31, 2024 Jun 10, 2024
Jul (no meetings) Jul (no meetings)
Aug (no meetings) Aug (no meetings)
Sep 13, 2024 Sep 23, 2024
Oct 11, 2024 Oct 28, 2024
Nov 8, 2024 Nov 25, 2024
Nov 29, 2024 Dec 9, 2024
Jan 10, 2025 Jan 27, 2025
Feb 7, 2025 Feb 24, 2025
Mar 7, 2025 Mar 24, 2025
Apr 11, 2025 Apr 28, 2025
Apr 25, 2025 May 12, 2025
May 30, 2025 Jun 9, 2025
Jul (no meetings) Jul (no meetings)
Aug (no meetings) Aug (no meetings)

No, the Research Ethics Board (REB) must retain its objectivity by not assisting with research project planning or application preparation. If one of your colleagues is a member of the REB and you consult with them, they will be required to remove themselves from the review of your individual application due to conflict of interest concerns.

SAIT's Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) can consult with you about your research. Within CLT, Diane Janes (diane.janes@sait.ca) should be your first point of contact.

If your research is being conducted in partial fulfillment for an educational credential such as a Master's or Doctorate, your academic supervisor should be your primary resource.


Contact us

All inquiries for the Research Ethics Board should be directed to research.ethics.board@sait.ca.

Frequently asked questions

The SAIT Research Ethics Board (REB) is a committee responsible for reviewing research applications to ensure the proposed research addresses ethical criteria as outlined in the Tri-Council Policy Statement.

Research involving SAIT staff, faculty or students, regardless of where the research is carried out, requires ethical review and approval from the SAIT REB. It may also include research conducted on SAIT premises by third parties or research that uses SAIT resources such as equipment, web space or money.

The SAIT REB is governed by the national policy statement of three federal government bodies: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Together, they have developed the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, 2018.

For detailed information, visit the complete TCPS 2.

Please email the SAIT REB at research.ethics.board@sait.ca with your question and contact information. The SAIT REB chair will respond to your inquiry.

As per the SAIT Research Ethics Procedure AC 4.4.1, the REB shall make a decision no more than 45 days from the receipt of a properly completed application.

This definition is outlined by the TCPS 2. Research requiring an ethical review involves either:

  • Human biological materials such as body fluids, hair, skin, human remains, embryos, blood, tissue, etc.
  • Human participants are individuals, whether alive or not, whose data or responses to research questions, interventions or stimuli by the researcher are relevant to answering a research question.

Not all research involving humans requires ethical review. Narrowly defined exemptions include: 

1. Quality assurance

Many common assessment-related activities are not considered research. This would include testing for educational purposes, performance reviews, short-term course projects under an instructor's supervision, student evaluations of courses or instructors, and most quality-assurance activities.

A quality-assurance project DOES require review if: 

  • It is not within the mandate of the organization;
  • It is not a condition of employment or training;
  • The results are intended for research purposes;
  • The results are later used for a research purpose.

2. Creative-practice activities

Making and interpreting works of art do not normally require REB review unless responses from participants are sought for research (e.g. asking a concert audience to participate in a focus group with the musicians).

3. Research using only publicly available information

The use of news articles, Statistics Canada surveys, court judgments, publications, archival records, etc., does not necessarily require REB review. However, the researcher must demonstrate that the information is either:

  • Legally accessible to the public and already appropriately protected by law such as privacy legislation; or
  • Publicly accessible and free of reasonable expectations of privacy.

Information available in the public domain through print or online publications (news media, blogs), recordings (video, audio) or artistic events (exhibitions, readings) may or may not contain personal information. As long as the individuals involved have no reasonable expectation of privacy, research using this information can proceed without REB review. If individuals have reason to expect that information about themselves will normally be accessed only by people within a select group (e.g. family, friends, co-workers, religious communities or members of an online support group), they may have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Data collected that may identify specific individuals who are not in public life can make the research subject to review.

4. Observation in public places

Observational research is a way of studying human behaviour under natural circumstances (e.g. hockey fans in an arena, passengers on a bus). Because the consent of the individuals being observed is not sought, care must be taken to make appropriate privacy and confidentiality measures part of the research design (e.g. blurring faces in photos, altering frequencies of voice recordings, changing screen names, paraphrasing direct quotes).

Observational research sometimes requires REB review, but will not require REB review if the proposal meets three criteria:

  • There is no staged intervention, manipulation of events or direct interaction with those being observed such as sounding an alarm, placing a foreign object, planting a researcher posed as someone else, etc.; 
  • Those observed have no reasonable expectation of privacy, as may a support group or online meeting where only members of a particular group are welcome; and
  • There is no identification or risk of identifying any specific groups or individuals in the dissemination of results. If there is any possibility that those observed could be identified in the dissemination of results through publications, presentations, posted photos or videos, etc., REB review is required.

5. Secondary use of data or biological materials

Information gathered for purposes other than research (e.g. patient or school records, biological samples, online opinion sites) may be later discovered to have research value. Data files or samples from one study may be useful for other research purposes on their own or when combined with information from another study. This is called "secondary use of data." This type of research activity does not require REB review as long as the data or samples are anonymous and there is no way the data can be linked to the individuals who provided it. Where there is a reasonable possibility that secondary use of data or biological samples could generate identifiable information, REB review is required. Advances in technology have made it easier to identify individual participants (or their communities) from data files that once would have been considered anonymous; care must be taken to ensure they are not exposed or at risk. As well, if the nature of the research requires follow-up contact with the original study participants, providers of the biological samples or produces identifying information of any kind, then REB review will be required.

This form is directed to instructors who have students that perform minimal-risk research as part of their course activities. The instructor can request to be a delegate reviewer of the research by completing the form. The form will also assist the instructor in determining if the course activity requires a full REB review submission form. To qualify for this type of delegation, the student research must never be published or used in any context beyond the instructor and the students enrolled in the course. For example, the research may not be presented at conferences or included in a journal article.

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a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.