Human Subjects, Policy on Research Involving [June 29, 2000]

University of Toronto Governing Council

Policy on Research Involving Human Subjects

June 29, 2000

To request an official copy of this policy, contact:

The Office of the Governing Council
Room 106, Simcoe Hall 27 King’s College Circle University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A1

Phone: 416-978-6576
Fax: 416-978-8182

Policy on Research Involving Human Subjects


It is the policy of the University of Toronto that all research involving human subjects should be carried out by its faculty, students and other members of the University community in a manner consistent with certain fundamental principles:

  • protection of academic freedom and respect for the norms of academic responsibility, as set forth in University policy and Article 5 of the Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Toronto Faculty Association;
  • respect for persons, who, having been adequately informed, should have the right to choose voluntarily what shall happen to them;
  • human subjects should be selected and treated in a fair and appropriate manner;
  • the risks of research should be reasonable in the light of the expected benefits, and every reasonable effort be made to minimize the potential risks of research;
  • the investigators should be competent, to both conduct the research and safeguard the welfare of the research subjects.

Therefore, all research projects involving human subjects, prior to their initiation, must be reviewed in light of these principles. This Policy shall apply to all research projects undertaken at or under the auspices of the University, whether or not the project is funded and, in the case of funded research, whether or not the funding, in whole or in part, is administered by the University.


Advised by a Research Ethics Board, the President (or his/her designate) is authorized to issue Guidelines pursuant to this Policy relating to the ethical review and conduct of research projects involving human subjects and, from time to time, to amend those Guidelines.

The President (or his/her designate) shall present the Guidelines to the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs upon their issuance and, promptly thereafter, any amendments to those Guidelines.

Until such time as the President (or his/her designate) shall issue these Guidelines, the review and conduct of research projects involving human subjects shall continue according to the administrative regulations in place at the date of the adoption of this Policy and shall be considered to be in compliance with this Policy.

April 19, 2000