Research is both encouraged and promoted at Grand River Hospital (GRH).

We believe that research:

  • enables high performance programs, services, and systems;
  • nurtures effective and collaborative relationships; and
  • promotes best practice through innovation and collaboration.

To this end, we take part in and lead a number of research projects to ensure that we remain at the forefront of best practice in care and service provisions.

Additionally, various departments within GRH collaborate within academia, as well as government and private agencies to participate in the conduct of clinical trials that contribute to improve patient care. 

How is a research study approved?

Grand River Hospital’s research committee
The first step for all research, excluding studies at GRH’s regional cancer centre, is to obtain administrative approval from the GRH research committee. This committee serves as the initial point of contact and primary resource for those interested in conducting research at GRH.

All proposed research must be submitted to the GRH’s research committee for review and approval before it can begin. The committee assesses the impact on hospital resources, and determines whether a study meets the requirements for administrative approval or needs modification. Receiving administrative approval permits your application to proceed to ethical review.  Ethical review may be conducted by the Tri-Hospital Research Ethics Board (THREB), Coordinated Review with THREB & University of Waterloo REB, or through Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO).

Administrative Review/THREB review
In order to streamline the approval process, the same application template is used for both the GRH research committee review and THREB review. Links to all application documents are provided below. All application documents can be emailed to

We encourage you to view the following pages/files:

Administrative review/CTO review

For studies that will proceed with ethics review conducted through CTO, please contact the Research Office to discuss the administrative approval process prior to submission of a centre application form.

A Research Data Agreement is required for all studies in which personal information and/or personal health information will be collected.

In some cases (such as industry-sponsored studies), a contractual agreement between the study sponsor and the hospital may be required. Contracts will be reviewed by GRH’s risk management department prior to hospital approval. GRH follows the Council of Academic Hospital of Ontario’s (CAHO) clinical trial agreement principles. Sponsors are encouraged to use these principles as a guide when developing their contract language in order to expedite the process. Industry sponsored studies are also subject to an overhead fee as indicated by hospital policy. 

Research committee or administrative approval questions can be directed to:

Sarah Laferriere, Research Office Administrator
Phone: 519-749-4300 extension 2876
Email: or

Grand River Regional Cancer Centre Scientific Review Committee

All oncology clinical trials are reviewed and approved by a scientific review committee.

The purpose of the scientific review committee is to lead and facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of oncology clinical trials activity and oncology research within the Integrated Cancer Program (ICP).

This committee reviews the scientific purpose, impact on Grand River Hospital (GRH) resources, and budget of proposed oncology clinical trials and makes decisions on approvals to proceed. The committee ensures that the research is aligned with GRH’s mission, vision and values and that all administrative requirements are fulfilled prior to approval. For more information about participating in a clinical trial at GRH or for more information about conducting oncology clinical trials at GRH please contact:

Carla Girolametto, Manager, Research & Clinical Trials 
Phone: 519-749-4370 extension 2307

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (opens in new window)

For more information on clinical research for cancer patients, visit the Cancer Care Ontario website (opens in new window).


For general information, please contact:
Phone: 519-749-4300 extension 2876

If you need to obtain a form in a more accessible format, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

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