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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Ethics Review for Student Research

All research involving human participants conducted by faculty members and graduate students under the auspices of the University of Toronto must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate U of T Research Ethics Board (REB) prior to its commencement.

Before you begin research for your thesis or Major Research Project, it's important that you and your supervisor determine whether your research requires ethics approval.


In order to get ethics approval for your research, you'll need to submit an Ethics Protocol. You should work closely with your supervisor to develop it.

The University of Toronto’s Research and Innovation website offers important information for completing the Ethics Review Application as well as supporting documents/appendices. Consult the site before you get started with your application – information is updated periodically. 



  • Review the University of Toronto’s Guidelines and Practices Manual for Research Involving Human Subjects to see if your research qualifies.
  • Discuss your research with your supervisor to determine whether it requires a protocol, and at what stage.
  • Once you have determined that your research requires a protocol, you must create a New Application in the My Research Human Protocols (MRHP) online system. MRHP is the University of Toronto's online system for submitting and reviewing human ethics protocols. 
  • Begin by reviewing the section on this page titled My Research Human Protocols (MRHP). The "I am a Student PI" subsection contains information about how your thesis supervisor can initiate the creation of your protocol. Please review this information with your supervisor. 
  • Once submitted, it can take between 4-6 weeks for a delegated review (i.e., if there is no or minimal risk to participants) by the REB, or longer if a full review is required. The REB will e-mail you and your supervisor with comments or revisions if required.
  • Once the protocol is approved, the REB will notify you and your supervisor.



Tips and resources 


Continuing ethics review

Ethics approvals are valid for up to one year. If you want to continue with a project beyond the expiry date of your current ethics approval, you are required to submit a renewal through MRHP.


Helpline: 416-946-5000


Regular Hours of Operation

9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays)