NH Research Review Committee
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NH Research Review Committee

Research at Northern Health requires two approvals to proceed:

  • Research Ethics Approval
  • Northern Health Operational Approval

Research ethics and operational approvals can be pursued simultaneously. Once the conditions for research ethics and operational approval are met, a letter of approval from the Research Review Committee will be emailed to the Principal Investigator and the Northern Health managers who provided operational approval for the research.

About the Research Review Committee

All research conducted within or for Northern Health (NH) must be reviewed and approved by the Northern Health Research Review Committee (RRC). The RRC is mandated by NH policy to approve, reject, propose modifications to or terminate any proposed or ongoing research involving humans that is conducted: in NH facilities/programs; by NH staff or physicians; or with NH staff, physicians and/or patients.

The RRC’s function is to ensure that ethical principles and standards respecting the personal welfare and rights of research participants have been recognized and accommodated. The RRC is also directed to consider the impact of the research on the NH organization.

The Committee follows NH Research Policy and Principles, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the (TCPS-2)Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.

Applications to the Research Review Committee

Please refer to the Application Guidelines for important information regarding the completion of your application. The guidelines contain instructions for submitting your application. This application covers both research ethics and operational approval requirements.

Refer to the Research Risk Assessment Guidelines to complete Section A of your application. Information to help you obtain operational approval for your research project can be found here.

Applications from UNBC Researchers

If your research is affiliated with the University of Northern British Columbia, you can submit your completed UNBC Research Ethics Board New Application Form together with the Northern Health Operational Approval form. You are required to submit your application to both UNBC and Northern Health).

Visit the UNBC Office of Research at www.unbc.ca/research for information about their research services and Research Ethics Board.

Applications Requiring Health Records

UBC Family Practice Resident, Pharmacy Resident, Dietetic Intern and Summer Medical Student Research Projects

UBC and the Health Authorities have developed a process for ethical review of these resident, intern and summer medical student research projects.

Refer to the UBC Guidance Note (posted under both the UBC BREB and CREB) for the initial application review process involving studies in Northern Health. The process involves an initial application to the UBC RISe system that will be reviewed by both UBC and Northern Health, and the completion of the Northern Health Application for Operational Approval form to be submitted to researchcommittee@northernhealth.ca.

You can pursue research ethics approval and operational approval simultaneously.

BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (Collaborative or Multi-Institutional Studies)

If your research requires ethics approval from multiple organizations (Universities and Health Authorities) in BC, you may be able to proceed with a Harmonized ethics review process.

The process begins with a conversation with your home Institution’s Research Ethics Office and the completion of the Cover Sheet for Harmonized Ethics Review. A flowchart of the process for review of minimal risk and above minimal risk studies can be found on the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative Resources Page.

If you obtain research ethics approval through a Harmonized Ethics Review, your study will still require operational approval before it can proceed in Northern Health.

For operational approval, complete the Application for Operational Approval form and submit it to researchcommittee@northernhealth.ca. You can pursue research ethics approval and operational approval simultaneously.

Learn more about the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative.

Operational Approval

All studies must have approval to conduct research at Northern Health from the Manager/Director of each department who has appropriate authority to assess the impact and to support the dedication of resources (e.g., human or financial resources, space in the facility) to the research (if applicable).

In addition to assessing the impact and dedication of resources, the Manager/Director will consider the benefits of the research and how the results can be used in Northern Health. Projects may require approval from more than one Manager or Director.

To obtain operational approval, complete the Application for Operational Approval for Research form and submit it to researchcommittee@northernhealth.ca

Refer to the Northern Health Operational Approval for Research Projects Information Sheet for information on the process for obtaining operational approval, who can grant operational approval, and the roles and responsibilities of the Researcher and the Northern Health Approval Manager.

Northern Health Staff Information Sheets

Committee Members:

  • Tamara Checkley, Research and Evaluation Coordinator, NH (Chair)
  • Kirsten Thomson, Regional Director, Risk and Compliance, NH
  • Linda Axen, Regional Manager, Policies and Clinical Practice Standards, NH
  • Dr. Sandra Allison, Chief Medical Health Officer, NH
  • Sam Milligan, Carrier Sekani Family Services
  • Damen DeLeenheer, Clinical Educator, NH
  • Robert Pammett, Research and Development Pharmacist – Primary Care , NH
  • Kerensa Medhurst, BC Cancer Agency
  • Jim Campbell, Executive Lead Mental Health & Addictions
  • Dr. Andrew Gray, Medical Health Officer, NH

Associate Members:

  • Ann Syme, Regional Director, HR Planning Design and Education, NH
  • Tysen LeBlond, Occupational Therapist , NH
  • Scott Christie, Environmental Health Officer, NH
  • Joanna Paterson, Project Lead, Chronic Pain Prevention, NH

For more information on the Research Review Committee and its process, contact Jaclyn Sawtell (250) 649-7598 or email researchcommittee@northernhealth.ca



2016 Research Review Committee​​​​​​

Appls. Deadline Meeting Date
Jan 13, 2017 Jan 26, 2017
Feb 10, 2017 Feb 23, 2017
Mar 7, 2017 Mar 23, 2017
Apr 10, 2017 Apr 27, 2017
May 8, 2017 May 25, 2017
Jun 9, 2017 Jun 22, 2017

*Applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed within 2 weeks.