Project Activities

Web-Based Collaborative Review Program

Our goal is to help make Canadian child health research more streamlined, timely and efficient. Working collaboratively with the CHEER advisory committees and stakeholders, we are developing a web-based research ethics review platform that will include a Canada-wide ethics review system, tools to facilitate collaboration, and training and support services. The program will be bilingual, accessible from anywhere in Canada, and customized to support the needs of the child health research community, considering different states of readiness and legislative and structural differences. Most importantly, it will enable pediatric study submissions to be reviewed by a single REB, multiple REBs or new ethics board/committees comprised of members from various REBs across Canada, enabling more efficient multi-site clinical trials.

Research Ethics Board (REB) Assessment Program

Consistency and quality across participating REBs are needed in order to enable a single REB review for multi-site studies. In collaboration with REBs, our advisory committees and others, we are developing standards and creating a REB Assessment Program to qualify REBs for participation in the CHEER web-based collaborative review program. Customized and robust, the Assessment Program ensures that REBs are following regulatory compliant review processes and are conducting high-quality reviews.

CHEER Research Ethics and Education Program

By sharing knowledge about ethics review across the child health research community, we can generate greater efficiencies and raise ethical standards. CHEER’s Research Ethics and Education Program provides educational opportunities for researchers, administrators, REBs, patients and families and others to support high-quality and efficient REB reviews. Examples of educational opportunities include:

  • Child health research ethics educational modules and webinars
  • Educational supports to improve the efficiency and quality of REB reviews, addressing common issues and challenges in research ethics review for child health research, including ethical implications associated with study design, and supports for patients and family members participating on REBs

The Queen’s University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Office for Professional Development and Educational Scholarship will play key role in supporting the educational programming.

Looking Ahead: Streamlined Ethics Review Beyond Child Health Research

We are pioneering a new, Canada-wide approach to streamlined ethics review for child health research, but that may just be the beginning – a ‘pilot’. Throughout the CHEER initiative, the CHEER Team and our many partners across Canada will assess our successes and challenges and identify future opportunities to consider the feasibility of implementing a streamlined research ethics process beyond child health research.

To learn more download a summary of the project activities.