Review Process


STEP 1: Submission of Documents to the REO


To begin the ethics review process, proponents are requested to submit soft copies of the following:

  • Proposal
  • Accomplished General Checklist
  • Accomplished Specific Checklist (human participants, animal subjects, wildlife, infections agents, toxic substances, community research, internet research, or action research)
  • Other pertinent attachments listed on the specific checklists (informed consent/assent forms, data-gathering instruments, procedures for chemical waste disposal, safety procedures, etc.)
  • Accomplished Application form for Research Ethics Review (Only for proponents whose studies will be submitted to external grant-giving agencies, for proponents using personal funds for their research, and for student proposals endorsed by the student’s academic department).

Please e-mail these documents to REO@dlsu.edu.ph.


Step 2: Initial Review


In the initial review, the REO will go over the documents submitted to ensure completeness of the research protocol. The REO may request for modifications before the protocol can be submitted to the Research Ethics Review Committee. When the proponent has submitted a complete research protocol, the REO forwards the documents to the RERC.

There are three types of research ethics reviews:


  • Exempted (Step 3A)
  • Expedited Review (Step 3B)
  • Full Review (Step 3C)

Step 3A: Exempted from Review


Projects which involve the collection data from public available databases or public documents are exempted from review.

The results will be communicated to the proponent.


Step 3B: Expedited Review


Projects posing minimal risk to research subjects go through expedited reviews. Risk is minimal when “the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical examinations or tests" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994, p.6, as cited by Hadjistavropoulos, & Smythe, 2001).


There are four possible outcomes of an expedited review:

  • Approved
  • Minor modifications required
  • Major modifications required
  • Disapproved

If the proposal is approved, it will be granted clearance from the RERC and the results will be communicated to the proponent.

The results of an expedited review will be communicated to the proponent(s) within 2 weeks.

Proponents are asked to resubmit their proposal and protocol documents if substantial revisions are required. The RERC will provide a rationale for this decision and comments/suggestions to help the proponent revise his/her proposal.

Step 3C: Full Review


Research projects which pose a more than “minimal risk” to research participants or subjects are subjected to a full review by the Research Ethics Review Committee (RERC) at the end-of-term meeting.

A full review entails a formal face-to-face meeting among RERC members to discuss the ethical issues and to arrive at decisions regarding the ethics of a research project. The RERC may request for the proponent/s to attend the RERC Full Review meeting.

Once the RERC has convened for a meeting, there are four possible outcomes from a Full Review:


  • Approved
  • Minor modifications required
  • Major modifications required
  • Disapproved

If the proposal is approved, it will be granted clearance from the RERC and the results will be communicated to the proponent within a week’s time.

If the proposal requires modifications, the RERC sends comments/suggestions/questions to the REO and the REO will send it to the proponent. The proponent will be asked to address the comments of the RERC by submitting revised or additional documents to the REO. The RERC will then review the proponent’s submission and, if he/she adequately addresses the concerns of the reviewer, the proposal will be approved and granted clearance by the RERC. The results will be communicated to the proponent.

Proposals are disapproved when there are aspects of the study that are deemed unethical or when the ethical issues cannot be resolved. The RERC will provide a rationale for this decision. The decision will be communicated to the proponent. The proponent has the option of (1) revising and resubmitting his/her proposal and (2) appeal the RERC’s decision.


Please contact the Research Ethics Office for any questions regarding the review process.

Email: REO@dlsu.edu.ph
Tel. Number:524-4611 local 513


last updated: 08/23/2017