Multi-site studies and clinical trials play a vital role in child health research in Canada. Often, children living with a health condition – and especially a rare disease – live in locations across the country. Since different regions have unique research ethics review processes, coordinating multi-site studies can be challenging. Imagine if we had a process that streamlined research ethics review across different provinces to move child health research forward faster and get new treatments into hospitals and clinics more quickly. Now that would be something to CHEER about!

The Canadian Collaboration for Child Health: Efficiency and Excellence in the Ethics Review of Research (CHEER) is making that hope a reality by partnering with investigators, research ethics boards, research institutions and hospitals providing care for children, and other organizations across Canada to develop a cross-province research ethics review process and educational opportunities that will facilitate efficient multi-site studies. Based at Queen’s University and led by Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) and the Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network (MICYRN), CHEER’s work will enhance and expedite pediatric research in order to position Canada as a global leader in children’s health.

Vision To improve child health across Canada through enhanced and expedited pediatric health research.
Mission To develop a cross-province streamlined ethics review process for multi-site studies to achieve a single ethics review for child health studies in Canada.
Activities1. Developing a cross-province streamlined research ethics review platform customized to support the needs of the child health research community, considering different states of readiness and legislative and structural differences.
2. Creating a Canada-wide Research Ethics Board (REB) assessment program to ensure quality and engender trust across Canada’s REB and institutional communities.
3. Delivering educational resources to advance the ethical conduct of child health research and support efficiency, quality, and consistency in research ethics reviews.
4. Assessing key successes and challenges and identifying future opportunities to prepare the ground for streamlined research ethics beyond child health research.

Learn more about CHEER’s activities and download a summary of the project activities here.

This project is possible thanks to funding from the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health and the CIHR Institute of Genetics.