Human Ethics Principles & Guidelines

red checkbox Please Note

As of Monday November 23, 2020, all face-to-face (in-person) research involving human participants, that is not COVID-19-related, must stop, until further notice. This includes all in-person recruitment of human participants; in-person data collection involving human participants for on-going research; as well as studies involving human participants that have recently received REB approval. Online and virtual research may continue as usual.

The REBs will no longer approve new protocols or amendments that involve face-to-face in-person human-participant research that is non-COVID-19 research until further notice. Amendments to pivot to online or virtual methodologies will be reviewed. Renewals and protocol completion reports will continue to be reviewed to ensure that protocols remain in good standing.

Who is this for?

  • Professors, Faculty Members
  • Research Team Members
  • Students

What do I need before I can begin?

Human Ethics Principles

Human research ethics at the University of Toronto (U of T) is founded on the following core principles.

  • Respect for persons: recognizing the intrinsic value of human beings and the respect and consideration they are due
  • Concern for welfare: caring about the quality of all people’s experience of life in all of its aspects
  • Justice: the obligation to treat people fairly and equitably

These core principles are the foundation of the University’s secondary research ethics principles listed below. Research ethics principles are the considerations discussed and deliberated on through the review of human ethics protocols.

  • Free and informed consent
  • Fairness and equity in research participation
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Risks and benefits
  • Compensation
  • Dissemination of research results

U of T Ethics Guidelines

U of T has developed the following Ethics Guidelines to help researchers understand and navigate ethics principles while writing their protocols.

Please reach out to the corresponding contact within the Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) for more information on the Ethics Guidelines. Full contact information can be found in the VPRI Contact section below.


  • Advise and consult on the principles of human research ethics as they apply to developing a research project and writing an ethics protocol

VPRI Contact


Daniel Gyewu

Research Ethics Manager, Health Sciences
Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 978-3165


Dean Sharpe

Research Ethics Manager, Social Sciences, Humanities & Education
Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 978-5585


Rachel Zand

Director, Human Research Ethics
Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 946-3389
Radio Options- Did you find this useful?
Did you find this useful?
Let us know if you found this page useful. Did you find the information you were looking for?