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Human Ethics FAQs

Who can apply for human ethics approval at the University of Winnipeg?

In order to submit an application for UHREB review, the primary investigator must have a UWinnipeg affiliation, specifically one of: professoriate, instructor, librarian, professor emeritus, adjunct, graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or senior research associate. Other individuals may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Trainees, research staff, and community research partners should normally be listed as co-investigators, co-primary investigator, or staff as applicable. Undergraduate students should submit their minimal risk ethics proposals for departmental review and greater than minimal risk ethics proposals for UHREB review with a faculty supervisor as co-PI.

Do I need to apply for human ethics?

If you plan to carry out research that involves humans, you will need to apply for human ethics. You cannot begin any research activities involving human participants until you have received approval for your research from UHREB.

How do I apply for human ethics?

Check out our Apply for Human Ethics page for guidance on each type of human ethics submission. Human Ethics applications, amendments, renewals, and final reports are submitted in WebGrants.

There are other types of applications that are submitted directly to the Ethics Program Officer by email at ethics@uwinnipeg.ca. 

Do I need to address COVID-19 in my human ethics application?


UHREB acknowledges that implications of COVID-19 on research and public health are continually evolving. In the context of changes to Public Health Orders within Manitoba, the following changes are being implemented by UHREB as of November 15, 2022, with regards to ethical review of research:

  • A face-to-face checklist is no longer required.
  • A separate COVID-19 safety plan is not required for projects where the risk of COVID is deemed no greater than participants or researchers encounter in their normal daily activities.
  • The WebGrants check box for “research in a publicly declared emergency” should not be checked.
  • Risk mitigation strategies related to COVID-19 should continue to be detailed in the protocol and informed consent, proportionate to the likelihood and magnitude of the potential harms.

As COVID-19 continues to pose health risks, researchers should ensure that the safety of their research team members and participants remains a high priority. In cases where the investigator or UHREB determines the likelihood or magnitude of COVID-19 risk is elevated, or that participants may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection or adverse outcomes, investigators should include more detailed risk mitigation. Although no longer required of all applications, UHREB may request the above documents on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, view Guidance Document 11: COVID-19 Requirements in Resources.

How long will it take for my human ethics application to receive approval?

The minimum amount of time for a minimal risk human ethics application requiring little to no revisions is 6 weeks. Most applications will take longer than that, so please plan accordingly. Applications considered greater than minimal risk will require review by the full UHREB, which meets approximately 3 times per year.

When and where do I submit an amendment?

Any time you are making a change to the approved human ethics protocol, you must submit an amendment. Amendments can be done in WebGrants under Post-Approval Activity.

For more information on the process for submitting an amendment, see Apply for Human Ethics.

My ethics approval has expired. What can I do?

Please renew your ethics protocol before the expiry date by submitting a renewal through WebGrants. For more information on the process for submitting an amendment see Apply for Human Ethics. 

If the expiry date has already passed, immediately cease any research activities involving human participants and contact the Ethics Program Officer at ethics@uwinnipeg.ca.