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Certifications and Clearances


All research involving human or animal subjects, biohazardous materials, radioactive substances, or controlled goods and/or technology must receive clearance from a McMaster ethics, animal-care, biohazards, radiation safety or controlled goods review board before research can begin. This includes projects that involve:

  • human participants, their records or tissues;
  • animals and their tissues;
  • biohazardous materials (e.g. viruses, bacteria or yeast, cancer or immortalized cell lines, parasites, toxins of a biological origin, plant or aquatic pathogens);
  • nuclear substances and radiation devices; or
  • controlled goods (e.g. weapons, ammunition, explosives, weapon design and testing equipment, missile technology, technology necessary for the development, production or use of a controlled good).

Additional information about McMaster certifications and clearances can be obtained by visiting the following websites:


  • Presidential Biosafety Committee

    U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) - Financial Conflict of Interest Requirements

    Are you applying to a funding agency that falls under the U.S. Public Health Service Regulations? If so, a Declaration and Disclosure form concerning Financial Conflict of Interest must be completed, as well as completion of an on-line tutorial to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the PHS. For further details regarding the requirements and access to the disclosure form, please select U.S. PHS - Financial Conflict of Interest.

Research may require an environmental assessment if it:

  • takes place outside an office or a laboratory, or
  • involves construction, operation, modification, decommissioning, abandonment or other activity in relation to a permanent physical structure. 

For additional information about environmental assessments, visit the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Please note that a research account will not be opened until all applicable approvals are in place.