Toronto Public Health (TPH) supports research that is:

  • Relevant to its mandate and activities,
  • Feasible,
  • Meets appropriate scientific and ethical standards, and;
  • Safeguards the rights, safety and well-being of human participants and their data.

TPH may undertake its own research and/or partner with another organization (like a hospital or university) on a research topic.

Before participating in any research project, TPH assesses and reviews the project to determine its relevance, feasibility and ensure it upholds high ethical standards.

When submitting research proposals to TPH for review, researcher(s) must indicate in their proposal how the project will support TPH priorities, including:

  • Continuing COVID-19 response and incorporating lessons learned to support TPH’s readiness for other emerging public health issues;
  • Responding to the drug poisoning epidemic;
  • Promoting mental health; and/or
  • Rebuilding public health functions.

Proposals should indicate the ways a project will support benefits to the health status of Toronto’s population, and/or reduce inequities in health status, and/or help prepare for and respond to outbreaks of disease and public health emergencies.

Proposals must include the following:

  • The affiliation, contact details, and position titles of each member of research team,
  • The nature and objectives of the research,
  • Any conflicts of interests,
  • The anticipated public or scientific benefit of the research,
  • All other relevant details and plans for the research project.

TPH will base its reviews on the requirements of each proposal, e.g. a proposal that is more complex or introduces more potential risk will require more scrutiny before approval.

Research proposals that involve personal health information (PHI) or personal information (PI) must describe thoroughly and accurately:

  • Why PHI/PI is necessary and for what purposes,
  • Why no alternative to PHI/PI can be reasonably used,
  • The safeguards that will be in place to protect privacy of individuals involved and the confidentiality of their PHI/PI,
  • The public interest in conducting the research, and in protecting the privacy of the individuals whose PHI/PI is being disclosed,
  • The benefits of including PHI/PI that justify the added resources and oversight,
  • Plans to obtain consent of individuals whose PHI/PI would be collected, used, or disclosed in the project activities and/or whether obtaining this consent would be impractical.

Review Outcome Notification

  • Approvals for TPH participation in research projects are valid for 1 year after issuance, unless otherwise indicated in the approval communication.

Project Monitoring and Completion

  • When the approval is expired and a project needs to continue, a TPH renewal approval based on updated information provided by researchers is required.

Applications, amendments, unanticipated issues or events, renewals, and submissions will be through online forms linked on this page, or other documents as provided by TPH’s Research Coordinator.

Submitting proposals using the TPH form(s) will prompt applicants to provide required information. Proposals that are submitted with all of the required details can be reviewed more quickly than proposals that are missing information.