Release of Funds Prior to the Approval of Western's Research Ethics Board/Animal Care Committee

If my project is not yet ready to be reviewed by the board or committee – how can I get my funding released?

A Release of Funds Agreement allows researchers to access their research funds for expenses unrelated to (and in advance of) human and/or animal research. In cases where:

  • projects are insufficiently advanced for review of the study protocol (for example, questionnaires not yet developed), or
  • where the portion of the research involving humans or animals does not occur until subsequent years of the project, PI may apply to have their research funding conditionally released.

The Tri-Agency Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards requires the University to withhold access to funding for human research (including data and biological materials) and research involving animals until ethics approval has been granted.

Upon review, the form will be signed and returned to the PI via email, and a copy will be held at ORS. If there are questions, ORS will contact the investigator to discuss any concerns.

Before the expiration date of the ROF the PI must contact to update the award with their ethics approval certificate number. * In certain circumstances ROF extensions can be granted.

Examples of expenses that may be covered through a Release of Funds Agreement

  • Computer/laptop, printers, computer programs or apps
  • Research salaries that will not require access to human data, humans, or animals
  • Printing/photocopying for administrative purposes and lab set-up
  • Travel expenses to attend conferences related to the research study
  • Specialized safety equipment

Examples of research related expenses NOT ALLOWED with a Release of Funds Agreement

  • Animal purchases
  • Research salaries directly related to data gathering (for the purpose of the grant)
  • Participant travel fees (e.g., parking, taxi)
  • Participant food costs (e.g., meals, beverages, snacks)
  • Participant fees (e.g., gift card, cash)
  • Consulting services related to research study
  • Fees for chart access
  • Fees for diagnostics (e.g., laboratory, imaging)
  • Fees for interventions (e.g., pharmacy, nutrition services, practitioner fees)
  • Purchase of radioactive materials

Please note that one Release of Funds Agreement can only be matched with one award; it is not possible to use one Release of Funds Agreement for multiple awards.

How to fill out the form:

  • Principal Investigator - This is the account holder for the research account.
  • Award Recipient - This is the award recipient who may be a Post Doctoral Fellow or a graduate student, or another person who is not eligible to hold an account at Western.
  • Email Address - This is the PI's email that is used and checked most often.
  • Award ID - This is the award ID (R####A##) that was generated when this research grant was awarded by the sponsor.
  • Please indicate which approval is required - Are these funds going to be supporting research including animals or humans? Please note that if these funds are supporting research involving animals and humans, two Release of Funds Agreements will need to be used.
  • Brief description of proposed work - What research does this sponsor expect these funds to be used for?
  • What do you plan to do with the funding before you begin the funded research involving humans or animals - What are these funds supporting in the meantime, prior to obtaining the appropriate approvals? What is the reason for the delay in obtaining the appropriate approval to conduct research involving animals or humans?
  • Anticipated date of submission to the review board or committee - When do you expect to submit your protocol for board or committee review and approval?
  • Anticipated or desired date study approval - When do you hope to begin your research involving either animals or humans?  This will also be a guide for determining the end date of this Release of Funds agreement.
  • Signature of the Principal Investigator - This must be signed by the account holder; this can either be an ink signature or an electronic signature.