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Departmental Research Ethics Review

Undergraduate course-based research activities may be delegated to a departmental Research Ethics Committee (REC) if you meet the specific criteria.

If your research qualifies for departmental ethics review, you must fill out a REC Review Application form and submit it to your department's research ethics committee (REC). If your department does not have a REC (check for REC), submit your ethics application to the Research Ethics Board, using the ROMEO research portal.

Before Completing the Application

Before completing the form, you must review Laurier’s Policy 11.13 on Ethics Review of Research Involving Humans.

All individuals listed on the application for review must also complete the current online TCPS2 Course on Research Ethics (CORE) and provide proof of completion.

REC Review Criteria

Your research activity may qualify for departmental research ethics committee (REC) review if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You and all members of your group are undergraduate students.
  • Your department has a departmental REC.
  • Your research activity is course-based (i.e. not undergraduate theses or equivalent research projects such as directed studies and major research papers). Such pedagogical activities are normally required of students with the objective of providing them with exposure to research methods in their field of study. Examples of course-based research activities include:
    • Structured or semi-structured Interviews with key informants working in a particular area/field (e.g., professors, not-for-profit organizations, employers)
    • Surveys with family/friends/other students/members of the general public
    • Focus groups/group interviews with employees or members of an organization or group
  • Your supervisor/instructor will not be using the research data as part of their own research program and data will not be used outside of the course.
  • Your research activity is considered minimal risk to human participants (see below).
  • The research does not aim to recruit Indigenous Peoples (including First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada), use Indigenous identity or membership in an Indigenous community as a variable for analysis, or meet other criteria that would require Indigenous community engagement in accordance with Chapter 9 of the TCPS 2 (2018).
  • Your research does not involve individuals, groups, or populations in vulnerable circumstances. This includes individuals who lack decision-making capacity (e.g., children, those living with cognitive impairments, persons who are not able to legally consent to participate in research).

If any of the above criteria is not met, the project must be submitted to the University Research Ethics Board (REB).

* In some cases, graduate classwork may be subject to review by the REC. This can only occur if the instructor has sought previous approval to do so from the REB. Details on this process can be found in the Request for REC Review for Graduate-Level Course-Based Research Projects document.

How to Apply

If you meet the criteria: 

  1. Complete the REC Review Application form.
  2. Attach a copy of the TCPS 2 CORE Certificate for all individuals listed on the application (students and supervisors). CORE certificates must be renewed every four years.
  3. Send all completed forms and attachments, including your information and consent letter for participants, to your department’s REC for review. See list below. Submitting the form confirms that you have read and agree to comply with Laurier’s Policy 11.13 on Ethics Review of Research Involving Humans.
  4. Wait for clearance from your departmental REC prior to recruiting participants or beginning your research.

All correspondence related to your application will be sent to your Laurier email address. 


  • Be sure to complete the form and provide all relevant attachments listed in the checklist.
  • Projects with incomplete or inadequate forms and supporting materials take longer to process.

Next Steps

  • Once you submit your application, your department’s REC will usually request changes and/or ask clarifying questions.
  • The REC Chair must review the revised application, including any changes, and provide clearance prior to beginning research. Participant recruitment can not begin until you've received REC clearance.
  • Once your project has received clearance, you cannot change or modify it without clearance from your department’s REC. You must obtain this clearance before implementing any changes. To request clearance, email your REC.

Departmental REC Contacts 

Departmental REC Documents