Department of Psychology Ethics Review Committee

Chairs: Jason Plaks and Daphna Buchsbaum
Coordinator: TBA 


The DPERC will not consider incomplete applications. You must have your faculty sponsor's signature on the electronic form and you should submit the final version of your application with your faculty sponsor's changes already incorporated (please do not submit Word documents with your sponsor's changes still tracked, for example). The committee expects the submitted application to be fully complete and correct at the first submission and will not engage in iterative exchanges to help you prepare your application into an acceptable form. Questions about DPERC, about preparing your application, or about the ethics review process in general, should be coordinated with your faculty sponsor and NOT directed to the committee. Communications with the DPERC are expected to be respectful in tone. The DPERC is a courtesy, not a right. Aggressive, impatient, or impolite emails will not be tolerated. Failure to adequately prepare your application materials or to communicate with the committee in a respectful manner may result in refusal to process your application by DPERC.

IMPORTANT: Please also note that applications will not be eligible for review unless all required documents have been received. In a single email, attach two separate documents: cover sheet & signed application.

Role of the Department of Psychology Ethics Review Committee (DPERC)

  1. Review and approve all ethics protocols submitted by undergraduate students in the department who require ethics approval for course credit (PSY299Y, PSY405/406H, PSY400Y).
  2. Approve undergraduate students’ use of all Department of Psychology subject pools other than the PSY100 pool.
  3. Review ethics protocols for undergraduate course instructors who include experimental assignments in their course content that require ethics approval.
  4. Review adverse/unanticipated incidents for protocols approved by DPERC, to examine if changes to the study are needed.

Undergraduate Research Without Existing University of Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB) Approval

If the research being done by an undergraduate student does not have prior approval from the REB, the proposal must be submitted to the DPERC for ethics approval. Include the following in your request:

  1. The PDF iconDPERC Cover Sheet (PDF) completed except for the signature portion. (Please note that this form is now a fillable pdf and should be sent electronically along with the rest of the documents.)
  2. The Research Ethics Student Protocol Form (MS Word), completed according to the format from REB. The protocol should include both the consent form (on letterhead) that will be used and information on debriefing. For more information, see the U of T Research Ethics Board website. If you are a course instructor requiring ethics approval for a course project, you must complete the Research Ethics Course Protocol Form (MS Word)

Please email the completed undergraduate ethics protocol form and the cover sheet as two pdf documents to . The committee will answer you by email.

Note: If you plan to use the PSY100 pool for subject recruitment, you must include a debriefing form that contains the required information about your experiment. See Appendix B of the PDF iconPrinciples and Procedures For Using the PSY100 Participant Pool (PDF) for details.

Undergraduate Research with Existing Research Ethics Board (REB) Approval  

  1. If the project has been approved by the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB) and if you would like to use PSY100 students as subjects, submit your request directly to the PSY100 subject pool. View information on using the PSY100 pool and how to submit your request.
  2. If the project has been approved by the REB and if you want to use student subject pools in any psychology course other than PSY100 or use any Department of Psychology subject pool, you must submit your request to the Departmental Review Committee (DPERC). Include in your request the PDF iconDPERC Cover Sheet (PDF)completed and signed, and a copy of your Research Ethics Board approval (including the Protocol). Submit all documents as one PDF by email to


  • The DPERC can consider only proposals that the Research Ethics Board would consider to be minimal risk and suitable for expedited review (see information on the protocol form) and that are for undergraduate course credit.
  • You must submit a request to the REB if a project has been approved by a research ethics board other than the REB and you want to do any of the following: use psychology students as subjects, post a sign on a psychology bulletin board to recruit subjects, use a Department of Psychology subject pool, or use any departmental space or facilities. Submit the request to the U of T Research Ethics Board.