Ethics / Regulatory Requirements

If researchers are working with human participants or animals or will be dealing with radioactive or bio-hazardous materials, proper certification must be obtained before the research may begin.

Human Ethics

Research involving human participants must be designed and carried out in an ethical and responsible manner.  There are four Research Ethics Boards (REBs) established across the province which are responsible for the ethics review and approval of applications for research involving human participants.  In carrying out their duties, the REBs apply the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, 2014 and the Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice of the International Committee on Harmonization (if applicable).

  1. Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research (ICEHR) – an REB internal to Memorial University (St. John’s campus) which provides ethics review of non-health related research involving human participants conducted by faculty, students, and staff.  ICEHR is also an approved research ethics body by the Health Research Ethics Authority (HREA) to review non-clinical and non-genetics health research.
  2. Grenfell Campus-REB – an REB internal to Memorial University responsible for reviewing non-health research being conducted by faculty, students, and staff at the Grenfell campus. 
  3. Health Research Ethics Board – Clinical Trials subcommittee (HREB-CT) – a provincial REB established by the HREA to review clinical trials.
  4. Health Research Ethics Board –Non-Clinical Trials subcommittee (HREB-NCT) – a provincial REB established by the HREA to review health research other than clinical trials (including genetic research).

Researchers can access the Human Ethics & Certification Module at:

Animal Care

The Institutional Animal Care Committee (IACC) is responsible for the ethical assessment of all protocols involving animal care and use in research or teaching. A standing committee of the university, the IACC has representatives from Memorial’s veterinary, technical, research and student communities, as well as non-animal users and external community members. The broad base of membership provides diversity of expertise and insight.

All research or teaching that involves animals must go through Memorial’s Animal Care Committee for ethical approval prior to initiating work.

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) has accredited Memorial University with a certificate of Good Animal Practice.  Oversight for the animal care and use program is governed by federal and provincial laws, guidelines, memoranda of understanding and the Canadian Council on Animal Care, whose standards and guidelines that are recognized by public and private institutions across the country.

Memorial University is committed to the highest standards of animal care, building top-quality Animal Care Services programming, and to the renewal of its animal care facilities.

Researchers can access the Animal Ethics & Certification Module at:

Biosafety Certificate Application

A MUN biosafety certificate is required for all activities (research and teaching) that involve the use or manipulation of biohazardous agents, and materials containing such agents which are:

  • • Conducted on University premises, or in a building or location administered by or under the control of the University
  • • Undertaken by University personnel (staff or students)
  • • Funded through University-administered funding


Researchers can access the Biosafety Certificate Application at: