Submit an Ethics Application

Welcome to the Research Services Portal for online submission of research ethics approval, operational review, and continuing review forms. Please refer to the videos, FAQs, and help documents on the right hand side of this page. If you have questions about using the Portal, please consult these materials before contacting us.

When you are ready to begin your submission, log in to the Research Services Portal

Students, Faculty, and Harmonized ethical reviews

Researchers who must obtain multiple ethical approvals from separate BC research ethics Boards (such as UVic, UBC, BC Cancer, or another BC health authority) must now do so using the Provincial Research Ethics Platform (PREP).  All new research projects that involves both UVic and Island Health must be completed in PREP.  Please visit here for instructions on how to get started.

Behavioural or Health Research at Island Health Only

The Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) reviews research that is predominantly behavioural or social sciences related. Studies may involve the study of patients or healthcare providers and retrospective chart reviews. Studies also may involve interviews, focus groups, observations, the administration of questionnaires or tests, or retrospective chart review (where no clinical interventions are performed as part of the study). However, they do not include performing clinical interventions. Clinical interventions are defined as the administration or testing of drugs, medical devices, medical imaging or diagnostic techniques, and the taking of blood or other specimens.

Clinical and Interventional Research at Island Health Only

The Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB) reviews research that involves surgery, clinical interventions, and the analysis of clinical data. The CREB will also review clinical studies involving registries and/or the linkage of databases. This does not include retrospective chart reviews.

If you are unsure of which form to use, please call our office at 250-519-6726 before you start your application. Any applications started in the system prior to January 1st will be accepted.


Our goal is to review and respond within three weeks of receiving a completed application. The timeline for full approval will be affected when other approvals are required, such as:

Please contact the Ethics office as soon as possible to begin these requirements so that your submission can be processed quickly.

Annual Renewal

Ongoing studies must be reviewed at least annually to ensure they continue to be conducted as described in the initial approval.  The annual renewal process can be completed within the Research Services Portal and must be 'submitted' by the Principal Investigator. 

The Principal Investigator or other identified study main contact will receive a reminder approximately six (6) weeks in advance of the expiry of the study through the Research Services Portal.

If the study is not renewed prior to the expiry of the current Research Ethics approval, it will be considered as lapsed and you will be unable to conduct research activities until such time as the renewal is in place.  In addition, the lapse will be reported to the department head(s) where the research is taking place and not further funds will be released.  We may also be required to notify the funding agency, study sponsor, and/or regulatory authorities of the lapse of approval.

Notification of Study Closure

The Principal Investigator is required to notify the REB when the study is ready to be closed (i.e. when there are no active study activities with participants, and the study can be archived for the requisite period of time indicated in the application).  Please submit the Study Closure form in the Research Services Portal.

Note, an additional Research Impact Survey summary report will be requested at the time of completing this form. This is requested as part of the overall requirement to submit an end-of-study report upon the closure of a study.