Compliance Requirements

Before you can access your funding you must demonstrate that your research meets all legal, regulatory and ethical requirements.

These are important administrative steps to demonstrate that your research – and by extension, UBC – is compliant with the requirements of the funding agency and the law, and they apply to all research conducted at UBC and its affiliated sites. If your research does not comply with regulations, it will not be funded and may put future funding at risk.

Animal Care

UBC recognizes that involving animals in teaching and research is a privilege, not a right. A series of procedures and policies are strictly enforced, internally and externally, to ensure that animal care is a primary consideration in meeting the goals of teaching and research.

Any research or teaching conducted at UBC or by persons affiliated with UBC that involves the use of animals (including fish) must have the approval of the UBC Committee on Animal Care.

Visit the UBC Animal Care and Use Program Website

Human Research Ethics

Research ethics review is a process of initial and ongoing review and monitoring of research involving human participants.

The process requires the independent evaluation of all proposed research by an independent committee of experts who examine the research study from the perspective of prospective participants. Their assessment of a proposed study's ethical acceptability is guided by the core principles of research ethics (i.e., respect for persons, concern for welfare, and justice).

The underlying value of research ethics review is respect for human dignity. The review process ensures that research involving humans is sensitive to the inherent worth of all human beings and the respect and consideration they are due. 

There are two categories of research ethics, each with different application processes:

  • Behavioural studies are not clinical in nature and do not involve any invasive procedures. Studies may involve interviews, observations, or the administration of questionnaires or tests.
  • Clinical studies include surgery, clinical interventions, the testing of drugs, medical devices and rehabilitation exercise programs, and/or the analysis of clinical data obtained from medical records or studies of a clinical nature involving the linkage of data from existing databases.

Visit the UBC Research Ethics Website


Any activities conducted at UBC facilities or affiliated institutions that involve biohazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the UBC Biosafety Committee prior to the start of the research project.

This includes research and teaching with: cultured animal cells, cell lines, recombinant DNA, plasmids, parasites, toxins, microorganisms (including viruses and bacteria), and primate body fluids (including blood), and PRIONS.

All research activities are subject to this review regardless of funding source. Applications for review and certification by the Biosafety Committee must be submitted electronically on RISe.

The Office of Research Services provides administrative support in applying for a Biosafety Certificate. UBC Safety & Risk Services provides technical expertise to researchers working with biohazardous materials, provides biosafety training, and reviews all procedures and facilities involving biohazardous materials.

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Chemical Safety

The Chemical Safety Program incorporates the entire lifecycle of the chemical beginning with purchasing and ending with disposal. The aim is to ensure chemicals are used and handled properly to prevent injury, illness, disease, fire, explosions or property damage.

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Environmental Compliance

Environmental Protection supports university departments seeking to meet their environmental obligations as prescribed by UBC Policy SC4 – Environmental Protection Compliance.

Radiation Safety

The primary objective of the UBC Radiation Safety Program is to facilitate and ensure the safe and knowledgeable use of radiation sources and devices in research, teaching and the environment.

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Conflict of Interest

All faculty members, Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators are required to file a COI/COC declaration within 30 days of joining UBC and at least annually thereafter, or whenever there is a significant change to your appointment or circumstances.

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Financial Conflict of Interest

The PHS FCOI Regulations establish Investigator reporting and training requirements and apply to all PHS funded research including NIH funded research.

These Regulations have also been adopted by other organizations as well. These requirements must be met before ORS can provide the institutional signature on an application or subaward agreement. Visit the Office of Research Ethics FCOI page or contact the UBC FCOI Administrator at

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Student Safety Abroad

When students are involved in a university activity such as research or conference attendance requiring travel outside of Canada, they have obligations under UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Policy (SC12). Students are required to have adequate travel medical insurance, to register their travel on the Safety Abroad Registry, and to use the resources provided by UBC to support safe travel planning.

Staff and faculty supporting student travel have a responsibility to inform students of their obligations pursuant to the Policy.  

For more information see the Safety Abroad Website or contact