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Research Ethics Board Timelines

Research Ethics Board (REB) review is a multi-step and ongoing process. Review turnaround times (for both initial submissions, resubmissions, and modification requests) may vary due to a variety of factors such as the availability of reviewers, the volume of applications submitted to the REB, the level of risk associated with the research project, and the complexity of the application.

It is the principal investigator’s responsibility to ensure that the research team is able to meet any time sensitive deadlines (e.g., conducting research at an event that is scheduled in advance, WRDSB review deadlines) and that projects are feasible to complete within restricted timeframes (e.g., course-based research projects). The REB recommends submitting applications well in advance of any time sensitive deadlines.

Average REB Review Times

Type of Review

Average Review Time*

Initial review (minimal risk projects)

15 business days

Initial review (higher than minimal risk projects or projects requiring expert review)

20-30 business days

Initial review of modification requests

5-10 business days

Review of resubmissions

5-10 business days

*Note: Although these are general guidelines, they may be exceeded during busy periods.

The REB recommends submitting minimal risk projects at least one and a half to two months before any anticipated start dates to allow for initial review, your revisions, your resubmission, and approval) in advance of any anticipated start dates or deadlines. For example:

  • For courses beginning in September, submit by Aug. 1
  • For courses beginning in January, submit by Dec. 1
  • For courses beginning in May/June, submit by April 1
If you are planning on conducting research with WRDSB, please note that all projects must first be approved by Laurier’s REB prior to submission to the WRDSB Research Review Committee (which meets four times per year). Please see the WRDSB deadlines for more information.

Due to the high volume of projects submitted to the REB, it is not possible to guarantee review turnaround times or accommodate requests for expedited reviews except in exceptional circumstances (i.e., unforeseen circumstances that arise under a research protocol that require immediate consideration). Exceptional circumstances do not include research deadlines or timelines known well in advance (e.g., course timelines). If you are requesting an expedited review, you will need to clearly define the exceptional circumstance to the REB.

Projects that have been submitted for review will be automatically withdrawn from the review process if there has been no activity after a period of six months.

Please note that alternative review processes (e.g., psychology review process, full board review, expert review) may also impact review timelines. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact REB@wlu.ca.

Delegated (Minimal Risk) Non-Psychology Applications

Alternative Review Processes