BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative

The BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative (BCEHI) aims to create efficient, coordinated, and high-quality processes that support and encourage multi-jurisdictional human health research. The goal is to make BC a more attractive environment for research activity.

The initiative is a collaborative effort between eight partner organizations representing BC’s provincial health authorities and major research universities. MSFHR is facilitating the process by providing funding and project management support.

BCEHI is funded by MSFHR through March 31, 2016.

Current status

June 2015

  • A pilot model for the review of above minimal risk studies launched June 1. This model provides a mechanism for streamlined approval of studies that span multiple BC jurisdictions and require full-board ethics review. The model will be piloted through the end of 2015.
  • The Minimal Risk pilot, which was scheduled to end May 31, has been extended to the end of July 2015. Results of the evaluation of this pilot will be reported back to the research community in the fall.
  • MSFHR is pleased to announce that funding for the BC Ethics Harmonization Initiative has been extended through March 31, 2016.
  • The University of Victoria and Island Health have adopted the research ethics harmonization model rather than continue with a separate joint sub-committee review process for dyad studies.

Read more:


Cindy Soules

Manager, Research Programs (Provincial Initiatives)
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research


Findings from an environmental scan of Research Ethics Boards (REBs) in BC.

A report that identifies a wide array of models for ethics review from Canada, the US, Europe and Australia.

A report on proceedings from the workshop held November 19, 2007.

Findings from a survey of researchers on their experiences with the research ethics review process in BC.