If your research involves human participants at any point, a valid REB number must be provided to RSS prior to an account set-up or release of funds (see the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions). In some cases, it may not be feasible to obtain Research Ethics Board (REB) clearance if you are not yet able to submit a complete application (e.g. questionnaires not yet developed, or the portion of the research involving human participants does not occur until subsequent years of the project). The REB is unable to review and approve submissions that are not complete and will not provide approvals ‘in principle’. If you must access funds before you are ready to submit an ethics application, please submit the Statement of Intent for Release of Funds Prior to Ethics Approval to email@example.com.
This document, requiring an original signature, outlines that no work will begin involving human participants until ethics approval is obtained, and lists a date by which the researcher estimates an ethics application is possible. The Ethics Office will track this date and ensure that an ethics application is received and approved in a timely manner. Statements of Intent can only extend the deadline for submission of ethics protocols by six months. There will be no renewals. After six months, researchers must make a written submission to the Office of Research and the Agency involved explaining the reason for the delay.
Please note, for grants funded by NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR, and other selected agencies, if REB approval is not obtained within six months of award date, the agency may consider that the condition of the award has not been fulfilled, cancel the grant, and relocate the funds.
(For more information on this policy, contact Katie Meyer-Beck, Director, Research Support Services, X54059.)