Find information on insurance, approvals, training, and study design.

Liability Insurance

As per Faculty of Medicine Policy 028 Liability Coverage for Extracurricular Activities, UBC MD students must have liability insurance to undertake all extracurricular activities. Maintaining appropriate insurance is a professional responsibility and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC will not extend registration and licensure coverage to individuals without liability coverage. MD students, please visit the Extracurricular Activity Registration page in Entrada for details on obtaining liability insurance coverage for your extracurricular activities: Home > Policy and Forms > Extracurricular Activity Reg.

Accident Insurance

UBC has various coverages for student groups – some of these are automatic as part of the student program, while others are optional. Students 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 covered by existing insurance during activities in scope for their position (i.e. employees are only covered while engaged in employment activities). Students who are volunteering in a lab or engaged in research activities unrelated to their coursework are not automatically covered by UBC’s insurance and should confirm their insurance status/needs with their supervisor.

  • Students participating in the FoM SSRP will have insurance purchased for them by the program. Students receiving awards from other programs or as volunteers should confirm that their supervisor has purchased the appropriate insurance on their behalf.
  • Being paid a stipend or scholarship does not automatically make you a UBC employee; you must be paid via a student appointment form.

*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 review the information on liability insurance provided above.

Student accident insurance is handled by UBC Safety and Risk 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 (minimal cost of >$10/year). FoM Faculty, staff, and students are also welcome to contact the FoM Student Research & Education Coordinator with inquiries of a general nature.

Research Safety Training

In addition to the mandatory safety training for all UBC workers, ensure that you complete the research safety training courses required for your specific project. UBC training is offered free to UBC faculty, staff and students.

In addition, ensure you complete any required unit/facility safety training or orientations.

If you will be supervising other students, or acting in a supervisory capacity for any aspects of your project, you must also complete the mandatory course Safety Supervision at UBC.

Ethics Approval & 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).

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 FoM 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, BCCH REB, PHC REB). See
  • There are currently 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 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 Interior Health Authority.
    • NHA REB – required if the research involves 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.
    • Island Health REB* – required if the research involves Island Health Authority.

*Note that there is a special coordinated review process in place for SSRP projects being conducted at FHA, IHA or Island Health. 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

Medical Education Research Requests – MD Students as Research Subjects

All research requests that involve MD student participation (as a study subject) must be approved by the UBC MD Undergraduate Program Learner Access Advisory Council (LAAC, formerly the Research Access Committee). The LAAC is the forum for discussion and decision-making for studies wishing to recruit medical students as study subjects. The LAAC reviews, approves and monitors all studies before they are presented to medical students, and will also liaise with the MD Program to distribute information to students once the study has been approved. For information on the approval process please visit the website.

Operational Approval (aka Institutional Approval)

All studies that make use of an agency’s resources (e.g. space, people, mailing lists, etc.), or occur at its facilities, require operational approval from that agency. For example, FoM studies occurring at a Health Authority site, or contacting patients, will require an operational approval from the appropriate Health Authority. Many external agencies and community groups will have similar internal approval requirements. Each agency or Health Authority has its own processes and requirements.

It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure they understand and have received all necessary approvals for their project. If you have any questions please contact the agency directly.

Reminder, this list is not exhaustive and you should confirm the need for operational approval with all internal and external agencies relevant to your specific project.

Planning your Project

Contact an MD Undergraduate Program librarian

  • UBC MD students can contact an MD program librarian for assistance with various aspects of study design including framing their research question, literature searching, understanding different article methodologies (i.e. scoping & systematic reviews), etc.

Information on study design, methodology, etc.

Additional resources

To suggest additional resources contact the FoM Student Research Coordinator.