VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

Release of Funds

As a signatory to the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the federal granting agencies, namely the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Vancouver Island University is required to withhold access to funding for research until ethics approval has been granted by the appropriate review committee.

As per VIU policy, researchers must obtain appropriate ethics approval and certifications - human, animal, or biohazards - before they start their research. The Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity Office 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 Request for the 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 they will not conduct any reviewable research until approval has been obtained by the relevant review committee.

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.