About Us

The Community Research Ethics Board (CREB): The Board of Directors consists of community members, community-based researchers, academics, representatives of the not-for-profit sector, government, and others with experience on research ethics boards.

The CREB is multidisciplinary in nature, displays gender and cultural diversity and includes members with:

  • expertise in the methodology and ethical considerations salient to community based research,
  • expertise in ethics and law,
  • experience on a research ethics board within academia, and,
  • community research experience, as either a researcher or participant/researcher with lived experience.

Collectively, the Board of Directors brings a breadth of knowledge and experience to CREO. Aside from their interest in community-based research and research ethics, the Board of Directors has experience working with a variety of communities, including:

  • consumer survivors;
  • immigrant populations;
  • indigenous populations;
  • people with disabilities;
  • children, youth, and families; and,
  • seniors.


Who We Are

The Community Research Ethics Board (CREB) has 11 members:

Kearney Coupland (Chair), Ryan Huckle, Daniela Seskar-Hencic, Leah Levac, Sarah Schindler, Christinia Landry, Garrett Schliewinsky, Janet Jones, Laurie Clune, Nicola Dove, and Megan Allore.

Please see the Who We Are page for CREB profiles.


Our Journey

The development of the Community Research Ethics Office was based on a need for ethics review and protocols in Community Based Research. Implemented in 2011 and initially funded by the Centre for Community Based Research, CREO responds to the needs of community researchers to easily access an ethical support and review process.The development of CREO took place in four distinct phases between 2008 and 2011.

Initial Community Meeting (2008)

In January 2008, the Centre For Community Based Research hosted an open community meeting to discuss the need and vision for ethical reviews of community based research in Waterloo Region. The meeting was attended by over 45 representatives from local community organizations, social institutions, government, non-governmental funders, and academics. The purpose of this meeting was to determine if there is a local need for ethics review and protocols in CBR and if so, how this can be accomplished in Waterloo Region. A main finding from the meeting was a strong need for a collective response in the near term!

Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study (2008-2009)

In the fall of 2008, a steering committee was struck and their first action was to develop a needs assessment and feasibility study to better understand the challenges associated with community based research and possible future actions that could be taken. By September 2009, data collection was complete. In total, knowledge and ideas were shared by 74 people including academics, members of community organizations and peer researchers. Between September 2009 and January 2010, the information was analyzed and summarized with the purpose to share the findings and explore action strategies for action at another community forum.

Community Forum (2010)

On February 5th 2010, a community forum was held to share the findings from the needs assessment and feasibility study.The overarching purpose of the community forum was to use what we had learned to develop a feasible approach for improving ethical review of/support for research being conducted in the community that could be implemented in Waterloo Region. Community forum participants emphasized four suggestions that they would like to see implemented in Waterloo Region.

  • An accessible consultation service for support and education pertaining to research being conducted in the community
  • A formal review process for research projects and proposals in the community
  • Ongoing training and workshops related to community research and ethics
  • An online resource to provide updated resources and to showcase what is happening in the community pertaining to community research and ethics

Implementation of CREO (2011)

Since the 2010 community forum, the steering committee had grown in size and had been working hard to combine the feedback from the community forum into one actionable approach to providing ethical support for community research in Waterloo Region. When this process was complete, the steering committee in collaboration with Waterloo Region had developed CREO! At this time, the steering committee submitted a grant application to the Trillium Foundation to support the implementation of CREO. This application was successful and we were ready to support and strengthen community research in Waterloo Region!
Demand beyond Waterloo Region (2012 – )

It soon became clear that demand for research ethics reviews was not limited to a local community as CREO became known, first throughout Ontario and then across Canada. Our reviews were received very positively for their professional, detailed and helpful suggestions. One researcher declared: “It was like having another researcher sitting beside me.” In 2015 CREO formalized its existence by becoming incorporated federally as the Community Research Ethics Office (Canada) Corp.  We now respond to requests from not-for-profits, foundations, governments, private sector and other institutions and individual researchers who do not have access to institutionally based Research Ethics Boards. We adhere to the principals of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans TCPS 2 (2014) follow all of its precepts in our work.