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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:

  • McMaster Research Ethics Board (MREB)
  • Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HIREB) - human participants, their records or tissues;
  • Animal Research Ethics Board (AREB) - animals and their tissues;
  • Biosafety Office - biohazardous materials (e.g. viruses, bacteria or yeast, cancer or immortalized cell lines, parasites, toxins of a biological origin, plant or aquatic pathogens);
  • Health Physics Department - nuclear substances and radiation devices;
  • Controlled Goods Program - 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).
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency - 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.
  • U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Financial Conflict of Interest
    • 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 contact ROADS.


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