Per University of Alberta policy, researchers must obtain appropriate ethics approval and certifications – human, animal, biohazards and stem cells – before they start their research AND RSO must verify that these certifications and approvals are in place before allowing access to research funds. Researchers are also responsible for maintaining the relevant certifications and approvals for the duration of their human and/or animal research and for closing their ethics file when ongoing approval is no longer needed.
Sometimes the first months or years of a grant do not involve human participant research or animal use. Preparing (and reviewing) a complete ethics application during this phase of the project may be impossible. The release of funds process enables researchers to access the funds budgeted for up to one year of the project, pending approval of a fully developed ethics application. You may request access to up to one year of your funding via a request for a Release of Funds.
Approval of the release of funds application will result in the generation of a “Release of Funds Agreement” in which the researcher explicitly agrees she/he will not conduct any reviewable research until ACUC/ REB approval has been obtained.
THE MAXIMUM DURATION OF A RELEASE OF FUNDS AGREEMENT IS ONE YEAR. It is the responsibility of the researcher to either renew the agreement or obtain ethics approval prior to the expiry date.