Research Involving Two or More Institutions (Multi-Jurisdictional Research)

When you collaborate with researchers from other institutions, keep in mind that UA REB approval only applies to you and your work and not to your collaborators/co-investigators or their activities. Similarly, your co-investigator’s ethics approval only applies to them and their activities. This means that human participant studies involving researchers from two or more institutions will likely require approval from the REB of each institution. Per the TCPS2, examples of multi-jurisdictional research include:

  1. a research project conducted by a team of researchers affiliated with different institutions;
  2. several research projects independently conducted by researchers affiliated with different institutions, with data combined at some point to form one overall research project;
  3. a research project conducted by a researcher affiliated with one institution, but that involves collecting data or recruiting participants at different institutions;
  4. a research project conducted by a researcher who has multiple institutional affiliations (e.g., two universities, a university and a college, or a university and a hospital. See Application of Article 6.1);
  5. a research project conducted by a researcher at one institution that requires the limited collaboration of individuals affiliated with different institutions or organizations (e.g., statisticians, lab or X-ray technicians, social workers and school teachers); or
  6. a research project that researcher(s) working under the auspices of a Canadian research institution conduct in another province, territory or country.

We have formal agreements with other research institutions to simplify some multi-jurisdictional research.

  • The Health Research Ethics Board reviews research by AHS and Covenant Health researchers as well as UA staff and students. Researchers from AHS, Covenant Health or Royal Roads University should contact HREB.
  • Health research in Alberta has been streamlined through the provincial Health Research Ethics Reciprocity Agreement and HREB (UA/AHS/Covenant Health) reviews are accepted by CHREB (UCalgary) and vice versa. The REB Exchange (REBX) has now accelerated reviews and approvals for multi-site health research in Alberta.
  • All cancer-related research in Alberta has been delegated to HREBA:CC regardless of the location or affiliation of the researcher.
  • If your research involves Athabasca University, MacEwan University, University of Lethbridge, Norquest College, the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan, your ethics reviews might be simplified. Ask us for details.

For all other research:

  • If a UA researcher is the principal investigator, she or he should apply for UA REB approval first and then send the UA ethics application, attachments and approval to their co-investigators to support their ethics applications.
  • If a UA researcher is a co-investigator, she or he will have to submit an ethics application, and will only need to complete the form up to section 2.1. In section 2.1, describe only the work that will involve the UA researcher and why you are seeking ethics approval. Complete all other sections with "see attached" and attach a copy of the proposal, along with the ethics approval. Note that if the study involves Alberta participants then a full application will be required. These applications are given delegated review and approval and do not go for full board review.

Many Canadian REBs will accept or rely on one another's review and approval. REO is well connected with REBs across Canada and can advise you who to contact if you are planning research with colleagues from universities or institutions not named above.