NOTICE: Due to the COVID-19 situation, the THREB office will temporarily become a virtual office only. The Administrative Coordinator and the Chair will be working from home and meetings will be by teleconference. Telephone messages will be checked and responded to on Mondays and Wednesdays. For the duration of this situation, please submit all applications, other materials and queries electronically only. No hard copies will be required for now. Please email all queries and materials to the Administrative Coordinator with a copy to the Chair

The Tri-Hospital Research Ethics Board (THREB) is a shared research ethics board serving Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital. THREB reviews all research involving human subjects at these hospitals, except for research reviewed by an alternate Board of Record for one of the hospitals (e.g. the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board).

In order to facilitate this review, all the necessary documentation must be included in the application (see forms below).

THREB meets the first Wednesday of the month except during July and August. A completed application package must be received by the second Wednesday of the month prior to the meeting date. A checklist outlining the required steps is included as the first part of the application form.

The completed application should include:

  • The original hard copy application form (all 3 parts) with appropriate signatures
  • 2 additional hard copies of the application form (Part 2),
  • 3 hard copies of the protocol, consent forms if any, study budget and all supplemental materials
  • 1 electronic copy (PDF) of the entire package sent to the THREB Administrative Coordinator (opens a new window)
  • In addition, 1 hard copy of any Investigator Brochure (if relevant)

Minimal risk studies that may receive delegated (expedited) review instead of full board review have no deadline for receipt.

The primary responsibility of the THREB is to make decisions concerning the ethical acceptability of research proposed by the hospital(s), by researchers having an association with the hospital(s), or any research involving patients or staff at the hospital(s). For purposes of review by THREB, research is defined as "an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation" [Tri-Council Policy Statement (2018)].

THREB is mandated to approve, reject, propose modifications to, or terminate any proposed or ongoing research involving human subjects that is conducted within the hospitals, again with the exception of research reviewed by an alternate Board of Record for the hospital(s). THREB complies with guidelines from

  • The Tri-Council Policy Statement Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans 2 (2018)
  • The Good Clinical Practice: Consolidated Guideline of the International Conference on Harmonization
  • Division 5 Health Canada Food and Drug Regulations
  • Relevant Canadian health and privacy legislation

THREB also endeavours to facilitate compliance with the human subject requirements of two US federal agencies: The Food and Drug Administration and the Office for Human Research Protections, US Dept of Health and Human Services.

Co-ordinated ethics review process between THREB and University of Waterloo

For collaborative research involving investigators from both the University of Waterloo and any of the three THREB hospitals, there is a co-ordinated review process that involves the REBs of both THREB and the University of Waterloo. Full details can be found through the link to the coordinated review process (opens in a new tab).

Administrative review required prior to ethics review by THREB

While THREB reviews all research for ethical acceptability, administrative departments at each hospital also review research for financial, resource, and contractual implications (see administrative approval form application part 3).

Please note: Each hospital has a unique process for administrative review and approval. This process must be completed before THREB review can be initiated. It is up to the Investigator to make contact with the relevant institutions to determine their requirements. Contact information for administrative review at the three hospitals can be found below and in the administrative approval form (application part 3).

Cambridge Memorial Hospital
Julia Ropotyn, Professional Practice Specialist
700 Coronation Boulevard, Cambridge, Ontario N1R 3G2
Telephone: 519-621-2333 extension 2456

Grand River Hospital
Sarah Laferriere, Research Office Administrator
Grand River Hospital
835 King Street West, Kitchener, Ontario, N2G 1G3
Telephone: 519-749-4300 extension 2876

St. Mary's General Hospital

Sherri Ferguson, Vice President, Quality, People & Performance
St. Mary’s General Hospital
911 Queen’s Blvd. Kitchener, Ontario N2M 1B2
Telephone: 519-749-6578 ext. 6403

Both the administrative review and the research ethics board review must be completed and any outstanding issue resolved prior to the research being initiated.

For more information, or to send an application and other forms, contact:

Shelley Croth, THREB Administrative Coordinator, Tri-Hospital Research Ethics Board
Grand River Hospital, Kaufman Building room K415,
835 King Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 1G3
Phone: 519-749-4300, extension 5367
Fax: 519-749-4282

The THREB office is open Monday and Wednesday only.

You can reach the THREB Chairperson, Alison Williams at:

More information is available under the following links:

In general, the THREB requires an electronic copy, the signed original and two copies (three hard copy packages in total) of all documents that must be reviewed. To provide sufficient time for review, completed application packages and other items for review must be received by the second Wednesday of the month prior to the THREB meeting date. Please email an electronic copy of the submission to

Application forms

Forms for continuing review