Ethics & Compliance

Ethics and compliance

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for submitting HREB applications for guaranteed initial review feedback before the Summer break is May 15, 2017. Applications that require significant revisions may need to be approved in the Fall semester.

Applications that are incomplete, or those where significant methods concerns are noted, will be returned to applicants with a request to revise and re-submit prior to ethics review by the HREB.

Researcher Instructions for Submitting HREB Applications via ROMEO

All research at MRU that involves humans as participants requires review by the Human Research Ethics Board (HREB). Initiating this review process is now paperless through the MRU ROMEO portal. Please click on this link to access the instructions on how to submit HREB applications via ROMEO. Please see the Process Guide for additional information on the HREB Review Process.Tri-CouncilThe Tri-Council is comprised of the following three federal research agencies, created and funded by the people of Canada: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). These agencies promote ethical research standards and conduct of research involving humans with TCPS  as the benchmark. When funded by any of the three agencies adherence to TCPS is strictly required.

Human researchThe Tri-Agency Agreement on Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions requires researchers have an active Human Research Ethics Board (HREB) approval in place before they may receive access to funding for research involving human participants.

Mount Royal University believes in maintaining high ethical standards in research and scholarly activities. If you are a Mount Royal researcher or someone that wishes to conduct research at Mount Royal, using human participants, or human health information, proper ethical clearance needs to be secured for your funded or unfunded research.

HREB clearance for a project is valid for one year. If your project extends beyond a year, you are required to renew your certification.


Researchers have the responsibility to comply with the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS2) guidelines outlined on the TCPS2 CORE (Online Course on Research Ethics) or Ethics 101 training provided at MRU.TCPS 2: Core - Tutorial The online tutorial TCPS 2: CORE (Course on Research Ethics) is an introduction to the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). It consists of eight modules focusing on the guidance in TCPS 2 that is applicable to all research regardless of discipline or methodology.

Ethics 101

A few Ethics 101 sessions are available during the semester. The sessions consider principles of “Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans” as required by the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement, and assists researchers planning to apply for Ethics Clearance from HREB. Custom sessions for groups are available by request.

Dates for winter 2017

Date: Friday, May 12, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: T107

Register Now
If you are a student registering please register here or contact the ADC.
at:, 403-440-6042.

This session is open to MRU faculty, staff, and students.

Delegated review – Approximate time to initial review response: 2 Weeks
  •   Full board review
    • Board meetings are generally the first Friday of each month. An application requiring full board review should be submitted at least 1.5 weeks before a meeting in order to be added in the next meeting agenda.
    • The deadlines for submitting ethics applications for Full Board review in Winter & Spring 2017 are as follows:
      • January 25, 2017
      • February 22, 2017
      • March 22, 2017
      • April 26, 2017
      • May 24, 2017
  • Course based review- Approximate time to initial review response: 2 Weeks
    • The deadlines for submitting applications for course based student research based ethics review are as follows:
      • Winter: December 3
      • Spring: April 7
      • Fall: September 1

     How do I …

  1. Submit a new HREB Application?
    Approximate time to initial review response: 2 weeks
  2. Submit a course-based application?
    Approximate time to initial review response: 2 weeks
    Course-based SHREC applications will be moving to ROMEO in fall 2017. Please stay tuned for those changes.
  3. Submit a modification to my study?
    Approximate review timeline: 1 week
  4. Submit a progress / completion report?
  5. Submit by anniversary date of study clearance. Note that submitting a progress report is a request for extension of clearance for the study for an additional year. A study is considered complete after the last contact with participants regarding data collection or analysis
  6. Know if my application will be delegated?
  7. Submit an external application?
  8. Submit a multi-site application?

The HREB Release of Funds process enables researchers to access their funding pending preparation and approval of a fully developed ethics application.

There can be times where the first months, or years, of a research project do not involve human participants. In these situations, preparing (and reviewing) a complete ethics application during the developmental phase of the project may be impossible. Researchers may still receive access to their project funds via a request for an HREB Release of Funds.

The HREB Release of Funds Agreement is valid for up to one year. In cases of a multi-year award where human participant research will not begin until later in Year two or Year three, the HREB Release of Funds Agreement will need to be renewed.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to either renew the HREB Release of Funds Agreement, or obtain ethics approval prior to the HREB Release of Funds Agreement expiry date.

If the HREB Release of Funds Agreement expires prior to renewal or ethics approval being obtained the ORSCE will cease to release any remaining funds until the renewal has been updated, or ethics approval has been obtained.

To Apply:

  1. Submit the completed HREB Release of Funds request to our Research Compliance Officer, Priscilla Wamucii, at
  2. The Research Compliance Officer will send you a Release of Funds Agreement based on the information you provided in your HREB Release of Funds request for your review and signature.
  3. The Research Compliance Officer will advise the Office of Research, Scholarship and Community Engagement when the signed Release of Funds Agreement has been received.
  4. The Office of Research, Scholarship and Community Engagement will open your new research account and you may begin your research activities. 

Approval of the HREB Release of Funds request will result in the generation of a 'Release of Funds Agreement' in which the researcher explicitly agrees they will not conduct any human participant research until after they have obtained HREB approval for the research.

Ethics FormsClick here to view ethics forms         

Biomedical studies

Any biomedical studies involving human participants or human health information cannot be reviewed locally, as only five boards in the province are legally able to perform such reviews. Mount Royal University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Calgary’s health board (CHREB) that allows our researchers to access their services. Please submit your application to CHREB using their forms, found at CHREB at the University of Calgary.

In addition, Mount Royal does not review biomedical studies that involve biomedical treatments or interventions. These are also reviewed by CHREB at the University of Calgary, with the exception of Course Based student research that is biomedical in nature, but does not fall under the HIA

Animal research

Processes are currently underway to handle this type of research. Please contact the Office of Research Services, Scholarship and Community Engagement for current information.

Conflict of InterestConflict of Interest (COI) in research exists in any situation where there is potential divergence been the Researcher’s personal interests and his or her obligations to the University.

A COI may be perceived, real, or potential.

  • Real Conflict of Interest occurs when a private interest that is known to the researcher interferes with their responsibilities to the university.
  • Perceived Conflict of Interest exists when a reasonably well-informed person could have a reasonable apprehension that a COI exists.
  • Potential Conflict of Interest is one that could develop into an actual COI. The potential for Conflict of Interest exists when the researcher can foresee that they have a private interest that may be sufficient to influence a University related duty or responsibility in the future. 


Please review MRU’s Conflicts of Interest in Research Policy (POL 960-15.1) for more information.

Any potential or perceived Conflict of Interest must be immediately disclosed by the Researcher(s) involved. Failure to do so constitutes misconduct and may be pursued under the University’s policy on Integrity in Research and Scholarship (POL 585-2).


When performing research involving students, researchers have a dual role: that of instructor and that of researcher. Because of this dual role, the potential for ethical complications due to conflict of interest arises. However, with proper planning and consideration, an instructor can ethically use their students as study participants.

Ethical Considerations for Dualā€Role Research

Distinguishing quality assurance and research

We are here to help
If you have any questions or require more information on ethics and compliance, please contact Research Compliance Officer, Priscilla Wamucii, at 403.440.8470 or