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FAQs - General Portal

Frequently Asked Questions about the Research Services Portal

How do I obtain a login and password for the Portal?

The process depends on whether you have applied for research ethics review at Island Health before, or if this is your first application.

    • If you have applied to our research ethics office in the past, it is likely that your email and contact information is already in our database. Please contact us at researchethics@viha.ca, and request that we send you an emailed Registration Confirmation. You will be sent an email prompting you to set a password.
    • If you have not applied to our research ethics office before, you can simply press the register button on the log-in page. You will be asked to provide contact and institutional affiliation information. You will be sent the same emailed Registration Confirmation prompting you to set up your password.

What is the difference between REO (Certification) and RCB (Awards)?

There are two modules in the Research Services Portal – Awards, and Certification. The Certification module pertains to research ethics and operational review, while the Awards module pertains to all grants, competitions, and contracts. Certain research studies may have both an Awards file and a Certification file. If you are attempting to submit revisions or a Post-Approval Event (e.g. Local SAE, Annual Renewal, Protocol Deviation, Amendment, etc.) please be sure to access the application in the correct module.

Who can use the Portal?

The Portal is used in two ways: 

1) researchers can submit applications for Research Ethics and Research Grant forms; and

2) REB members and Island Health Directors/Managers can use the portal to review applications requiring their approval.

Why can I not submit or re-submit a new application on behalf of my Principal Investigator (PI)?

The “submit” or “re-submit” button acts as a form of electronic signature for the PI. The research ethics office requires PI sign-off on all applications, and limiting the submit button to the PI acts as an assurance for our office.

Where is the Operational Review application form?

Operational review is still required and is incorporated into the Research Ethics application.  Once you have completed the information, our office will ensure the correct directors and/or managers are contacted for review and approval of the application. This will occur at the same time as the ethics review – you do not need to receive operational approval before submitting to research ethics.

Does the Portal auto-save my work?

The program does not auto-save and will time out after two hours if you have not pressed save. Please press the save button as frequently as possible. If you are timed-out and have not pressed save, there is no way for our team to recover your lost work, so please save your work often.

I need to add someone to my study team, but they are not listed in the Investigator Registry. What do I do?

Please email researchethics@viha.ca with the name and contact information of the person you wish to have added. We will be able to set them up with an account for the Portal. If you are filling out a research ethics application and if the team member does not need to access the Portal or wish to receive any email notifications regarding the application, please just list their name and affiliation in the application form on question 1.5.

Why can’t I edit my file after I press ‘submit’? If I need to make changes, what do I do?

You will not be able to make any changes to your application while it is under review. If you pressed submit in error or need to make a change, please call 250-370-8620 or email researchethics@viha.ca, and we will be able to assist you.

How do I know when my application has been reviewed?

When your project has been reviewed, you will receive an emailed Notice of Review and a separate automatic email notification from the Portal instructing you to log in to the Portal. When you have logged in, you can find the application under Application (Requiring my Attention). Please submit all revisions to the application and attached documents through the Portal.

I have changed my email. How do I change my log-in to my new email address?

Email researchethics@viha.ca with your name and new email address. We can update the system and send you a new Registration Confirmation prompting you to update your password. You will not be able to update your email address without our assistance, as your email acts as your log-in.

What if my original file was the old paper form?  Do I need to continue to submit forms in paper, or can I access my file in the new system?

The research ethics office has been using the Portal for record-keeping purposes for years. If you have an approved or pending file with our office, it will already be in the Portal. You will be able to submit all Post Approval Events and responses to Notices of Review for all approved and pending files through the Portal. If you have any difficulty locating your application, please contact our office.

If you have a question that is not covered here, please contact researchethics@viha.ca, or 250-519-6726 (internal 36726)