Ethical approval MUST be obtained before research can begin.

HHS offers the following options for ethics review:


The Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HiREB) reviews all research projects involving McMaster University, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences. HiREB is responsible, on behalf of the institutions, for ensuring that all research involving human participants meets current ethical standards.

For more information, please visit the HiREB website.       

CTO Streamlined Research Ethics Review System (SRERS)

Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) is an independent, non-profit organization established in part with support from the Government of Ontario. Their mandate is to work collaboratively with the clinical trials community, the public, and various partners to improve the clinical trials environment in Ontario and to attract clinical trial investment to Ontario.  They have a number of programs established and in development to facilitate this, including a streamlined ethics review system that aims to decrease the time for clinical trials with multiple sites in Ontario to have ethics review completed by qualifying a single research ethics board to perform the review for all sites involved.  This option is most helpful for investigators conducting clinical trials at multiple sites in Ontario, but some industry trials are able to use the system as well.

For more information on SRERS, please visit the CTO Website.