Relations to other Committees

Researchers may wonder when should they submit their study protocols to other committees in relation to the submission to the Research Ethics Committee. An appropriate answer would depend on the specific study as applied to the considerations below:

Internationally, the standard requirement is that research be conducted according to the research plan, contained in the particular version of a protocol approved by an independent ethics committee. This requirement has practical bearing where

i)             protocols also serve at one of the scientific committees (and consequently may be amended);

ii)            research projects are related to or are subsets of other research  projects. 


  • Where research is for degree purposes, the protocol will usually serve at one of the scientific committees first. It would ordinarily be best to have that committee consider the protocol first, unless the researcher is required to clarify particular ethical issues first.
  • Where a researcher wants to do a pilot study first, before submitting the protocol to the scientific committee, he/she should submit a protocol to the Ethics Committee for the pilot study, and later, following the consideration by the scientific committee, submit to the Ethics Committee an amendment that will cover the full study.


Research project that is subset of another: 

  • Since a unique research protocol is required for each Master's and Doctoral student, the Ethics Committee needs to consider that protocol even if the study is a subset of another study that has already been approved by the Ethics Committee.
  • The latter submission needs to refer to the study already approved and may consequently be less comprehensive (for example, the previously-approved Participant Information and Consent Documents may suffice).



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