Student Applications

In order to facilitate the work of the HiREB, the Student Research Committee (SRC), a subcommittee of the HiREB, reviews student research applications.  When an application is submitted, the HiREB makes the determination as to which committee will review that application.

The following descriptions outline the criteria that the HiREB uses to determine what applications will be reviewed by the Student Committee.

The Student Research Committee (SRC), reviews MINIMAL RISK research for the following students:

  • Undergraduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS)
  • Undergraduate student conducting research as part of a course in the FHS with your supervisor appointed in another faculty
  • Master’s student in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS)
  • Master’s student conducting research as part of a course in the FHS with your supervisor appointed in another faculty
  • Undergraduate or master’s student in another faculty with your supervisor appointed to the Faculty of Heath Sciences

The main Board reviews ALL submissions for:

  • PhD students
  • Residents
  • Clinical Fellows
  • Post-doctoral work

The main Board reviews the following types of student research (students at ANY level):

  • Retrospective review of medical charts/health records
  • Human tissue research
  • Prospective Databases

Student Participation in FHS Faculty Research:

Students frequently participate in faculty research; if the research is UNRELATED to the student’s coursework requirements, then the application will be deemed faculty research and reviewed by the main Board.

NON Faculty of Health Sciences Student:
If you are a McMaster University undergraduate or master’s student doing health-related research but are NOT from the Faculty of Health Sciences, please contact the Research Ethics Officer to confirm whether you should apply to the HiREB or to the McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB).

Students OUTSIDE of McMaster University:
If you are an undergraduate or master’s student from outside of McMaster University, you should first obtain the REB approval of your home institution. If your research will involve participants and/or resources at HHS, SJH or FHS, you should then submit to the HiREB.

Referral to main Board:

The SRC may refer an application to the main Board. Examples of situations in which referral to the full REB would be appropriate are research that exceeds minimal risk, research involving ethical or legal issues for which the ethics committee members do not have adequate expertise, and/or cases for which conflicts of interest may arise. The student applicant will be advised by the SRC in this situation.


The following forms are used for an INITIAL submission:

  • General Research Application
  • Retrospective Review of Medical Charts/Health Records Application
  • Prospective Research Database/Existing Database Application
  • Review of Research Approved (formerly Reciprocal Review) Application
  • Human Tissue Research Application

The form you use depends on the type of study you are doing. For example, if your work involves ONLY a review of medical charts, the Retrospective Review of Medical Charts would be used. The same is true for the remaining forms listed.

MOST submissions would use the General Research Application form, REGARDLESS of your professional or student status. If you are uncertain about the form to use, please contact HiREB for assistance.

Any student, at any level, must appoint a Local Principal Investigator who holds affiliation with on of our institutions.

Any applicant, at any level who does not have a recognized affiliation with any of our participating institutions, must appoint a Local Principal Investigator who does hold said affiliation.