Research Compliance

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Simon Fraser University supports and encourages the maintenance of the highest ethical standards in research and scholarship. Primary responsibility for high standards of conduct in research and scholarship rests with the individuals carrying out these activities. All research conducted under the auspices of SFU is subject to the guidelines for research integrity under the SFU Integrity in Research Policy R 60.01. Research involving human participants, animals or bio-hazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Research Ethics Board (REB) or Committee, or by more than one, depending on the nature of the research.

For research involving compliance and certification to carry on certain activities (e.g., working with human participants, animals or bio-hazardous materials, or having a real or perceived conflict of interest scenario), SFU principal investigators must:

  • obtain and submit appropriate approvals and certificates to Research Services ( before Research Services can approve to release funding, and
  • be responsible for maintaining the relevant certifications and approvals for the duration of your sponsored research where appropriate. Ongoing compliance needs to be demonstrated by sending Research Services all applicable renewal documentations. If Research Services does not receive updates on renewals before the expiry of the original certificate, you may lose access to the funds until ongoing compliance is verified.

Types of Certificates

Research Ethics: Human Participants

Researchers who intend to work with human participants must comply with Research Policy R 20.01.  Any research involving human participants, including secondary data and human biological materials, must be reviewed and approved by the SFU Research Ethics Board (REB) before the research can begin and before Research Services can release funding.  For further information and application guidelines, check the website of or contact Research Ethics.

In some cases, a PI requires a portion of their grant in order to undertake non-human research required to develop a detailed research protocol that can be submitted to the REB for review. Early release of a portion of one’s grant funding may be required to begin such protocol development.  Please go to the Protocol Development page for details.

Animal Care

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) requires all personnel who work with animals in teaching or research at SFU, must be knowledgeable about the principals of humane experimental science and ethical issues associated with the use of those animals.

Researchers who intend to carry out research with animals should consult Research Policy R 20.03 and submit an application to the Animal Care Committee. For further information, see SFU Animal Care Services.


The SFU Biosafety Policy R 20.02 defines biohazards, outlines responsibilities of users and administrators, and provides procedures regarding permits for biohazardous work. Researchers whose work falls under the policy are required to apply for a Biosafety Permit following the process described on the Biosafety Program website.

Radiation Safety

The SFU Radiation Safety Policies R 20-04 and R 20-05 and govern the use of radiological non-iodizing radiation safety at SFU. For further information, see the Radiation Safety Office

Conflict of Interest

Please note that any potential, perceived, and real conflicts of interest should be disclosed before starting one's research. Please go to the Conflict of Interest page or the Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) - US Fund page for details.

Certificate Renewal and Update

Based on the policies and guidlines of research agencies , all certificates must be updated with each funding source that is being used for that project or protocol.  If you are still working on an existing project or protocol, please ensure you contact the appropriate department and request an amendment to add the Funding Source and Funding Title.

Please ensure your Funding Source matches your Award Letter, and the Funding Title matches your application. If the Funding Source and Funding Title do not match, Research Services will contact you and request that you have the certificates updated.