Find information on insurance, training and ethics approval.

Accident Insurance

Are you working on a research project this summer? or during the school year? In the unlikely event that an accident was to occur do you have the proper UBC insurance coverage?

All student researchers should ensure they possess the appropriate type of student accident insurance. Students participating in the SSRP will have insurance purchased for them by the program. Students hired through other programs or as volunteers should confirm that their supervisor has purchased the appropriate insurance on their behalf.


Students who are engaged in research activities as a part of their coursework or those who are employees of UBC (i.e. receiving a paycheque from UBC payroll) are already covered by UBC accident insurance. Note that being paid a stipend or scholarship does not automatically make you a UBC employee; you must be paid via a student appointment form. Students who are volunteering in a lab or engaged in research activities unrelated to their coursework (e.g. the FoM Summer Student Research Program - SSRP) are not automatically covered by UBC’s insurance.

*Note that the insurance coverage discussed here is only for accidents, it is completely separate from the liability insurance required when interacting with patients. If you are a UBC MD student and you have questions regarding liability insurance please contact the FoM Office of Student Affairs.

Your research supervisor is responsible for ensuring that (if required) s/he purchases the appropriate UBC insurance on your behalf. However, not all supervisors are aware of this requirement. It is up to you to educate yourself and talk to your supervisor to ensure you are properly covered.

There are two types of insurance: Student Accident Insurance and Volunteer Accident Insurance. Students are eligible for Student Accident Insurance if they are participating in coursework or performing approved activities under the direction of UBC (i.e. as part of an official program, such as the SSRP). Students who start their summer projects prior to receiving confirmation of SSRP funding are not technically in a UBC approved program and would be considered volunteers, as would any other non-paid students assisting in the lab. The supervisor should arrange to have student volunteers covered under Volunteer Accident Insurance. The cost to the supervisor is minimal, only $7 for the year. *Note that the SSRP automatically purchases student accident insurance for all SSRP participants.

Student insurance is handled by UBC Risk Management Services, please start by visiting their website. You will find up to date information on the different types of insurance available as well as the actual insurance policies. You will also find contact information should your supervisor wish to purchase insurance on your behalf. FoM Faculty, staff and students are also welcome to contact the FoM Student Research Coordinator with inquiries of a general nature.

Lab Safety Training (Chemical, Biological, Laser, Radionuclide etc.)

Complete the training courses required for your specific project. (UBC training is offered free to UBC faculty, staff and students). In addition, ensure you complete any additional unit/facility required safety training or orientations.

Ethics Training

Complete the appropriate Animal User or Human Ethics training if required by your specific project (UBC training is offered free to UBC faculty, staff and students).

Ethics Approval

Any research involving human participants that is conducted at UBC facilities (including UBC-affiliated hospitals) or by persons connected to the University must be reviewed and approved by one of UBC’s six sanctioned Research Ethics Boards (REBs). Similarly, research or teaching conducted at UBC or by persons affiliated with UBC that involves the use of animals must have the approval of the UBC Committee on Animal Care. Furthermore, research projects conducted in conjunction with other agencies (health authorities, universities etc.) may also require approval from additional REBs:

  • UBC-AFFILIATED REB – required for all projects (that necessitate ethical review) conducted under the auspices of UBC (includes SSRP). There are six UBC-affiliated REBs; researchers affiliated with one of these six REBs need only submit ethics applications to their local REB for approval. Approvals from one UBC-affiliated REB are recognized by the other affiliated REBs (BREB, CREB, UBC-O REB, BCCA REB, CW REB, PHC REB). See
  • There are no universal* coordinated review agreements with the following REBs and thus ethics applications must be submitted to multiple REBs for approval:
    • FHA REB* – required if the research involves the Fraser Health Authority. However, if your project is minimal risk and involves FHA REB and UBC REB please refer to the following link.
    • IHA REB* – required if the research involves the Interior Health Authority.
    • NHA REB – required if the research involves the Northern Health Authority.
    • UNBC REB – required if the faulty supervisor holds an appointment at the University of Northern BC (UNBC) and the project will be conducted under the auspices of UNBC.
    • UVic REB – required if the faculty supervisor holds an appointment at the University of Victoria (UVic) and the project will be conducted under the auspices of UVic.
    • VIHA REB* – required if the research involves the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).

*Note that there is a special coordinated review process in place for SSRP projects being conducted at FHA, IHA or VIHA. See the guidance note for additional information.

  • For UBC Clinical Application Guidance Notes refer to the following link
  • For UBC Behavioural Application Guidance Notes refer to the following link

Questions and clarifications should be directed to the appropriate REB (see