About Us

The mandate of the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HiREB) is to safeguard the rights, safety, and well-being of all research participants.

What should I know about the HiREB?

All research projects involving McMaster University, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences physicians, staff (including staff acting as investigators outside the Institutions), students (i.e., research within the institution or using institutional resources), volunteers, visitors, or patients, must obtain ethical approval from the HiREB before research can begin. The HiREB is responsible, on behalf of the institutions, for ensuring that all research involving human subjects under the auspices of its institutions meet current ethical standards. The HiREB reviews and approves research projects that meet acceptable ethical and scientific standards and for which adequate facilities and resources are available. The HIREB also provides advice on the ethical, scientific and technical aspects of planning research projects.


HiREB Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the HiREB reviews and approves minimal risk research projects which meet acceptable ethical and scientific standards and for which adequate facilities and resources are available. The Tri-council Policy Statement (TCPS2) definition of minimal risk helps to guide the selection of projects that can be considered by the Executive Committee (TCPS2, Chapter 1, Part C). The project must be approved by the full HiREB at its next meeting for the research to continue.

The Executive Committee also reviews Serious Adverse Event Reports (Local and Non-Local); Amendments; Protocol Deviations, Violations, Waivers; and Annual Progress Reports of approved projects; as well as Study Completion Reports. A report of these activities is provided to the full HiREB at a subsequent meeting for information purposes.

Human Tissue Committee

The Human Tissue Committee (HTC) is a subcommittee of the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board. Our mandate is to review studies that are restricted to the collection and analysis of human tissue.

Student Research Committee

The Student Research Committee (SRC) is a subcommittee of the HiREB.  Our mandate is to review minimal risk research conducted by Faculty of Health Science students at the undergraduate and master’s levels.  Please look under ‘Students’ in the ‘Guidelines’ section for more information about student applications.

HiREB Terms of Reference

A Collaboration of

Disclaimer: The Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HiREB) represents the institutions of Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Research St. Joseph's-Hamilton, and the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and operates in compliance with and is constituted in accordance with the requirements of: The Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans; The International Conference on Harmonization of Good Clinical Practices; Part C Division 5 of the Food and Drug Regulations of Health Canada,  and the provisions of the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act 2004 and its applicable Regulations; For studies conducted at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, HiREB complies with the Health Ethics Guide of the Catholic Alliance of Canada