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Procedures for Clearance of Faculty, Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Research

Submission to Psychology REB Diagram

Submission Process
The new online ethics system is here at Queen's (ROMEO). This system went live June 1st, 2011. The Office of Research Services does offer workshops on the new ROMEO system. Click to view the schedule.
A complete application consists of the GREB application form, the Psychology facesheet, a letter of information, a consent form, and other relevant materials.
PSYC REB Meeting
The PSYC REB committee meets each Thursday at 1:30, to consider applications submitted during the previous week. As long as your application has been received by us by Monday at noon, we will consider it in that Thursday's meeting. During July/August, meetings will be less frequent than once a week, and the PSYC REB does not meet during the last two weeks of December.

The PSYC REB will:

  1. make recommendations for any changes to facilitate review by GREB;
  2. decide whether the application should be considered by GREB for delegated clearance or whether it merits full review. (See here for GREB's criteria for full/delegated submissions) (PDF, 19 KB)
Delegated clearance does not require the GREB to meet; it is granted fairly quickly, if the Chair of GREB agrees that the study is of "low ethical concern and minimal risk". If you think that your study may require full review, please get your application to the Psychology REB at least two weeks before the next scheduled GREB submission date to ensure that it will get to the GREB in time for the next meeting. Click here for the GREB meeting schedule.

Decision Letter

Once GREB or the GREB Chair has reviewed your application (after either delegated or full review) you will receive a letter which either grants clearance or requests certain changes be made. The Psychology REB office also gets a copy of this letter.

For more information about the Psychology REB, who's on it, and what its mandate is, please see the FAQ.

An application must include:

Psychology Face Sheet (PDF, 138 KB) (MS Word.doc, 138 KB)

  • GREB submission (see GREB Forms): This can be downloaded from GREB and should be completed fully in black type. Applications which do not use this form will not be processed by GREB. Whenever you are using procedures that have already been approved by GREB, it could save time and explanation if you refer to this explicitly, including the GREB reference number.
  • Letter of Information*: Here is a sample of a letter (MS Word.doc, 58 KB) that must be given to each participant before they consent to take part. The requirements are quite stringent and applications will be returned if the information is insufficient. See GREB info for applicants (PDF, 81 KB) for requirements, which can be summarized as:
  • identity of researchers and institutions
  • statement of aims and procedures specifying what will be required
  • estimate of the time required
  • clear description of any risks or discomforts
  • statement that participants are free to withdraw at any time
  • a description of any devices used to record responses or data
  • a description of the data to be recorded and a list of all those who will have access to it
  • a description of how confidentiality will be assured with publication and with data storage
  • a statement of how the data will be published and any secondary usage
  • the statement "This study has been granted clearance according to the recommended principles of Canadian ethics guidelines, and Queen's policies."
  • any details of remuneration
  • instructions on who to contact if they are concerned. This should list the chief researcher and the Chair of the Queen's University General Research Ethics Board at (613) 533-6081 or email:

If the data you collect will be archived and used by future researchers, you must make this clear in the letter of information. Any study that makes use of this data in the future will be required to demonstrate that the new use of the data conforms to what the participants were led to expect with the original letter of information.

Consent Form*: All participants must sign a consent form (MS Word doc, 48 KB) prior to taking part in the study. Again, the requirements for the form are quite stringent. The requirements are quite stringent and applications will be returned if the information is insufficient. See (GREB info for applicants) (PDF, 81 KB) for requirements, which can be summarized as:

  • project title
  • participant's name
  • a statement that he or she has read the letter of information
  • a statement that he or she understands that they will be participating in (title of study), that they have been informed that their involvement consistents of (procedures) which will be recorded by (devices), that they understand that the purpose of the (study) is to (insert purpose).
  • a statement " Should I have further questions about the study I understand that I can contact the chief researcher (contact info) and any ethical concerns may be directed to the Chair of the General Research Ethics Board at (613) 533-6081, email: .
  • a statement that he or she understands that participation is voluntary
  • a statement that the participant has been told (insert provisions taken to maintain confidentiality).
  • If debriefing will be provided in writing, a copy of this must be included with the application. This is required if you are using the subject pool. If deception or withholding of information is central to the study a debriefing session is essential. For all experiments some debriefing (spoken or written) is required.

*The Letter of Information and Consent Form can be combined into a single document. See a sample of the document (MS Word doc, 27 KB)

If the data are to be archived and used by future researchers, it must be clear in the consent form that the participant has agreed to such usage. If the participants are off-campus so that ethics clearance is required by another agency, such as a schoolboard or a hospital, the application must state that clearance will be sought from that agency and that a copy of the letter granting clearance will be filed with the GREB.

Use of Archival Data
If a study uses data that was collected as part of an earlier research effort, the application package would, obviously, include neither a new letter of information nor a new consent form but it would have to include a copy of the original letter of information and the original consent form. Such a study may require a full review by the GREB to ensure that the proposed use of the data conforms to the usage that the participants expected and to which they consented.