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Ethics Reviews – Information for Graduate Students

Ethics Protocol

Before you begin your individual research for your thesis, it is up to you and your supervisor to determine whether your research falls under the Research Ethics Board of the University of Toronto.  “Research involving human participants conducted by graduate students under the auspices of the University of Toronto must be reviewed and approved by a University of Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB) prior to its commencement” (www.research.utoronto.ca).  This means that if your research includes interviews or rehearsal(s) or performance-based research, you will likely require an Ethics Protocol before you begin your research.  Please discuss with your supervisor, or with Antje Budde (Associate Director), or another faculty member about these options.

If you require departmental letterhead please email Samiha Chowdhury at samiha.chowdhury@utoronto.ca to obtain a copy.

If you would like to view a sample of theatre and performance studies student’s ethics review submission, please email Samiha Chowdhury at samiha.chowdhury@utoronto.ca to obtain a confidential copy.


There are several steps to this process.  Everyone’s experience with the REB will be slightly different, based on the nature of their project.  Be prepared for this process to take time and attention.

PLEASE NOTE: The REB only accepts applications once your thesis proposal has been approved.

  • Please review the Research Ethics Board (REB) guidelines, to see if your research qualifies. http://www.research.utoronto.ca/about/boards-and-committees/research-ethics-boards-reb/
  • Discuss your research with your supervisor to determine whether your research requires a protocol, and at what stage. If you do not yet have a supervisor, or would like further insight, you are encouraged to speak with the CDTPS Associate Director, Antje Budde, or another faculty member.
  • Once you have determined that your research requires a protocol, you must complete the New Application Form for Supervised and Sponsored Research. It can be found here: http://www.research.utoronto.ca/forms/
  • Your form must be signed by your supervisor and a CDTPS representative, most likely either the Director (Stephen Johnson) or the Associate Director (Antje Budde).
  • Once your form is submitted, there will be a waiting period of 3-6 weeks for comments and notes from the REB. Subsequent submissions of edits and revisions will be reviewed quickly.  You may only begin the research covered by the Ethics Protocol once the protocol is in place.
  • Once your protocol is in place, you may begin your research. You will be assigned a protocol reference number.  Protocols are in place for one calendar year.  You must submit an annual renewal form or a study completion report 15 – 30 days prior to the expiry date of your protocol.
  • The appropriate contact at REB is Dean Sharpe at the Social Sciences, Humanities and Education REB. 416-978-5585 or dean.sharpe@utoronto.ca.

Important Links and Helpful Forms:

University of Toronto Guide to Ethical Research:


University of Toronto Ethics


University of Toronto Ethics Application Form:


Sample Checklist from OISE:


If your protocol involves drama or theatre in education, some helpful information also from OISE:


Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans: http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/initiatives/tcps2-eptc2/Default/

download the Canadian government’s policy regarding ethical research with human subjects.

Tri-Council Policy Statement Course on Ethical Research with Human Subjects: http://tcps2core.ca/welcome
an online course providing you with a certificate upon completion. This course also provides essential information on ethics in research.

The U of T Research Ethics Board FAQs: http://www.research.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/documents/2015/02/FAQs-for-Site-March-20151.pdf

FAQs for Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Students

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