Procedures for Submitting Stem Cell Research Applications to the Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC)

SCOC reviews applications for human pluripotent stem cell research for conformity to the Guidelines for Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research.

SCOC will normally meet face-to-face in spring and fall. Teleconferences will be held monthly, as necessary, except in months that SCOC meets face-to-face (please see the Frequently Asked Questions for a description of the types of SCOC review carried out at each type of meeting).

SCOC has been delegated the authority to approve research using existing SCOC-approved human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines and/or human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, unless the research involves the engraftment of those cells into humans. Governing Council’s approval is required on all other types of research proposals (e.g., research involving the derivation of hESC from human embryos, the use of hESC lines not yet approved by SCOC, and/or the engraftment of human pluripotent stem cells into human beings).

Researchers will generally be informed of the results of the SCOC review within thirty business days of submission of a complete application to SCOC for applications where approval has been delegated to SCOC. A longer period will generally be required if the application requires Governing Council’s endorsement.

All applications to be reviewed by SCOC require a completed Application Form for SCOC Review (version 2010-06). This includes applications for new research projects, salary and stipend awards, revisions to grants that did not previously include human pluripotent stem cell research, and amendments to applications previously approved by SCOC.

All required documentation should be sent to:
Stem Cell Oversight Committee
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Room 97, 160 Elgin Street
Address locator: 4809A (mail only, do not list on courier weighbills)
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0W9

New applications

Applications for SCOC review should only be submitted for research projects that have assured funding.

Applications may be submitted for SCOC review by the investigator or the funding organization at any time following approval for funding.

Amendments to applications that have already been given approval to use specific human pluripotent stem cell lines

Projects that have been given approval to use specific human pluripotent stem cell lines must resubmit their research for review should major changes in the direction of the research plan be planned. This would include the use of additional human pluripotent stem cell lines that have not previously been approved by SCOC. An amended application must include a description of any changes in the research plan.

Researchers who wish to use additional SCOC-approved stem cell lines not described in the original application, without major changes in the research plan only need to notify SCOC in writing. This notification should include details of the original application and provide the names of the additional stem cell lines to be used.

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act

The Access to Information Act (ATI) gives Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada a limited right of access to information in federal government records. The Privacy Act gives Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada access to information about themselves and specifies the uses to which personal information can be put. The Privacy Act sets out the rules and conditions governing the collection, retention and disposal of personal information. It also provides a use and disclosure code for the protection of this information. This code stipulates the criteria under which information can be disclosed, including for what purposes and to whom it may be disclosed. All information collected by CIHR is subject to these laws.

Consent forms for research to derive new human embryonic stem cell lines

For your information, SCOC has developed Consent Templates to assist researchers as they craft their own Consent Forms for the donation of human embryos to research intended to derive new human embryonic stem cell lines.

The Stem Cell Oversight Committee would like to thank Dr. Mickie Bhatia for his assistance. Dr. Bhatia's consent package for the derivation of human embryonic stem cell lines is exceptionally well thought out and was used to develop this sample consent information.