FAQ for Post-Secondary Institutions

Until the new electronic system is launched, which we anticipate will be in Spring 2022, we will be asking all researchers to use the University of Manitoba Research Ethics Boards and the Health Information Privacy Committee’s application forms for the RITHIM committees’ privacy and ethics reviews.

You can find these forms here

We understand that institutions who currently use their own methods of ethics review may have additional questions regarding the new process.

Please note, that we are not asking any research ethics board that currently exists in the province to close. While some research applications must now flow through RITHIM’s committees, there are still many other applications that must be reviewed by your institution’s current ethics boards, including all post-approval ethics review processes (amendments, closures, annual renewals, adverse events, etc.).

Below are answers to commonly asked questions for the January 1, 2022 launch.

Still have questions?

Please email rithim@researchmb.ca.All inquiries are replied to within one business day.

  • What do the acronyms mean?

    • RITHIM - Research Improvements Through Harmonization In Manitoba - RITHIM is a new provincial system for harmonizing health research ethics, privacy, and impact reviews in Manitoba. Part of this process consists of supervising committees which will review health research applications, and implementing new software solutions.
      RITHIM’s role covers more than ethics, privacy, and impact review processes; RITHIM will work to identify any barriers in research approvals, and evolve to meet the growing needs of the research community in Manitoba.

    • PRAS - Provincial Research Administration System - PRAS is RITHIM's electronic application that will replace all health research ethics, privacy, and impact applications and reviews. It is currently in production, and we expect it to be ready in Spring 2022, AFTER RITHIM's launch in January 2022.

    • RAS - Research Administration System - RAS is the University of Manitoba's electronic application that is based on the same framework as PRAS. It is currently active, and more information can be found here: https://umanitoba.ca/research/opportunities-support/research-administration-system-ras

    • CHIPER - Committee for Health Impact, Privacy, and Ethics Review - CHIPER is the new health research ethics board that replaces the University Biomedical Research Ethics Board (BREB) and Health Research Ethics Board (HREB). It operates under RITHIM. It will sit concurrently with PHRPC (see below).

    • PHRPC - Provincial Health Research Privacy Committee - PHRPC is the new Privacy Review Board that replaces the Health Information Privacy Committee (HIPC). PHRPC is made up of members appointed by the Health Minister, and assesses health research privacy applications. At the monthly CHIPER meeting, PHRPC sits with CHIPER members to assess privacy concerns in ethics applications.

    • PI - Principal Investigator - The researcher who is responsible for:

      • conducting research and research-related activities ethically;

      • the results of any actions of any member of the research team at a local site, in compliance with policies, terms and conditions; and

      • authorizing activity and expenses on a funded research project.

  • What changes for non University of Manitoba REBs and PIs after January 1, 2022?

    • All Research Ethics Boards will continue processing applications as they normally do, except for applications that fall under RITHIM's scope. This can be determined by becoming familiar with RITHIM's routing questions

      Examples of studies that do NOT need to be sent to RITHIM committees for review, after January 1, 2022:

      • any animal health study[GU5] [HN6] ;

      • any studies that take place fully outside of Manitoba and use no Manitoba-based personal health information or data from Manitoba institutions; or

      • any studies that have already been reviewed and approved by HIPC and the institution's REB.

    • Applicants and REB staff must review the RITHIM routing questions to determine if research should be reviewed by CHIPER and PHRPC . These questions can be found here: https://www.rithim.ca/do-i-apply-through-chiper

  • What forms will CHIPER and PHRPC use until the electronic application system launches?

  • What if a project was conditionally approved by a REB or HIPC prior to January 1, 2022?

    • If a project was conditionally approved by HIPC:

      • Please submit final documents or changes to HIPC, using the forms on the HIPC website. HIPC will retain their chair for one full year to manage any conditionally approved projects.

    • If a project was conditionally approved by BREB/HREB:

      • Please submit final documents and additional information using the existing forms and processes on the University of Manitoba website for subsequent review by CHIPER.

    • If a project was conditionally approved by a different REB:

      • Please submit final documents and additional information to initial approving REB. If you have questions or are uncertain, please contact RITHIM staff at rithim@researchmb.ca to discuss your case.

  • How are post-approval processes such as amendments/annual renewals/study closures handled after January 1, 2022?

    • If a study was approved by the University of Manitoba BREB, HREB, or CHIPER, all post-approval forms must be submitted to CHIPER.

    • If a study was approved by a different institution, these post-approval forms must be submitted to the original approving institution.

  • Do I need to submit PHRPC and CHIPER applications at the same time?

    • Yes. This helps us harmonize the review process and will save applicants’ time! Eventually, the electronic system will do this for you, but in the time between January 1, 2022 and when the electronic system launches, we ask that researchers submit applications for PHRPC and CHIPER approval at the same time if both are required.

  • Does CHIPER have experts familiar with non-University of Manitoba procedures?

    • Yes, CHIPER has several committee members from different institutions, including post-secondary institutions in Manitoba.

  • Have institutions outside of the University of Manitoba been involved in the development of RITHIM?

    • Yes, RITHIM has had consultants and steering committees that have a variety of members from various Manitoba institutions.

  • Will researchers doing non-health related research accessing personal health data from trustees such as Manitoba Centre for Health Policy be required to submit through CHIPER?

    • Yes, any research that requires access to data at MCHP will require CHIPER and PHRPC approval.

  • How is Indigenous related health research affected by RITHIM's launch?

    • Existing processes continue for January 1st, except that CHIPER takes place of HREB and BREB, and PHRPC takes place of HIPC.

    • When the electronic system launches, applicants conducting research with Indigenous populations or communities must submit an appropriate approval or letter of support from the appropriate representative organization (Manitoba Metis Federation, Health Information Research Governance Committee, or the Manitoba Inuit Association) before CHIPER will approve their application. Several Indigenous groups have been engaged in the creation of questions on our electronic application form.

  • What are the timelines for CHIPER Review?

    • CHIPER and PHRPC will meet to review applications once a month.
      Two weeks prior to the monthly CHIPER meeting, PHRPC and CHIPER will independently review the appropriate applications. Any applications not submitted by this point will be reviewed at the next month's meeting. 
      At the monthly meeting, PHRPC and CHIPER members will meet to discuss any concerns or details about the submitted applications.
      Feedback and decisions will be communicated to the applicants within ten days from this meeting.

  • When are the first application deadlines and reviews?