Research Ethics Board Volunteer

Research Ethics Board - Member Knowledgeable in Law

Volunteer Position


Health Sciences North/ Horizon Santé Nord is seeking a Member for the Research Ethics Board (HSN REB).  Health Sciences North is an academic research hospital based in Sudbury, Ontario. As the tertiary care centre for Northeastern Ontario, HSN’s purpose is to provide high quality health services, support learning and generate research that improves health outcomes for the people of Northeastern Ontario.   


The REB is responsible for the ethical assessment and approval of research involving human participants, as well as promoting the ethical conduct of research at HSN, the Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI), and Saint Joseph’s Health Centre (SJHC).


The HSN REB has entered into a reciprocal review relationship with Laurentian University, and has agreements with Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) and the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB).  


The REB Member Knowledgeable in Law is responsible for providing a legal perspective to the board, and serves as an advocate for the work of the REB.



General REB Member Responsibilities

  • Work with researchers to ensure that the rights, safety, and welfare of research participants are protected
  • Review the ethical acceptability of research projects, based on an assessment of potential risks and benefits; respect for, and protection of, research participants; and relevance and rigour of the research
  • Work with other members to review, propose modifications to, approve, reject, suspend or terminate any proposed or ongoing research involving human participants
  • Be available to attend monthly board meetings (including preparation time)
  • Be available to perform delegated reviews of minimal risk research between meetings
  • Participate actively in discussions with other REB members
  • Provide input to research applications/protocols and input in drafting REB documents and procedures
  • Present views and opinions clearly and directly, contribute constructively to debate and possess skills that promote working effectively together
  • Ensure that the REB review process conforms to the requirements of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS), and other requirements

Responsibilities of the Member Knowledgeable in Law

  • Alert the REB to legal issues and their implications, but not to provide formal legal opinions nor to serve as the legal counsel to the REB
  • Provide support to the REB with an understanding of relevant legal issues and contexts
  • HSN, HSNRI, or SJHC legal counsel cannot be a member of the REB




  • Legal training in relevant law, at minimum having received a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree
  • Proven problem solving and critical thinking skills with the demonstrated ability to engage with stakeholders (researchers and administrators)
  • Knowledge of issues and standards in human research ethics, or willing to be trained
  • Demonstrates personal and academic integrity
  • Able to positively represent the HSN REB at regional, provincial and national events
  • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans certification, or to be completed prior to commencement of position



  • Current or former REB member
  • Previous experience participating on a committee
  • Knowledge and experience in research methodology and statistics
  • Experience with or knowledge of clinical research and clinical trials
  • A background and/or strong knowledge of the special considerations for conducting research with northern, rural, and Indigenous populations
  • Bilingual in French and English
  • Knowledge of medical science and clinical research would be desirable, but is not necessarily required for this position


Time Commitment

  • Three (3) year term
  • Preparation for and attendance at eleven committee meetings annually onsite at HSN (post-pandemic, meetings are currently held remotely)
  • Ad hoc weekly availability
  • Typically 3 - 6 hours monthly to attend meetings, review applications, and correspond with Research Ethics Board staff (occasionally more time is required)



  • Join a highly experienced and committed inter-professional team of volunteers committed to upholding ethical standards in research
  • Network and build lasting professional partnerships with colleagues, industry professionals and stakeholders
  • Join a culture of excellence that supports meaningful research and improvements to patient care and experiences
  • HSN is a proud member of Northern Ontario’s health innovation cluster that includes Laurentian University, Lakehead University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, HSN and HSNRI.