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 Research Committee.

The SRC reviews MINIMAL RISK research for the following students:

  • Undergraduate or master’s student in the Faculty of Health Sciences


  • Undergraduate or master’s student conducting research as part of a course

in the FHS with your supervisor appointed in another faculty

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 (student at ANY level):

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

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 NOT from the Faculty of Health Sciences, but doing health-related research, or your supervisor is 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, SJHH or FHS, you should then submit to the HiREB.

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

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.


There is no deadline for submission. The approval process generally takes 4-6 weeks.

For enquiries, please contact the Research Ethics Officer,
Janice Sancan
905-521-2100 x 44574

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