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Institutional Approvals

Institutional approval is required for any research that proposes to use resources, data, programs and/or services of PHSA, or its patients, clients, residents or staff.

You must obtain institutional approval before you start your research project. Approval is required from the departments and/or managers where you will be: 

  • Utilizing PHSA property, resources and/or facilities (including research conducted in clinics, use of radiation, pharmacy, laboratory and pathology services, and use of health records)
  • Involving patients and staff 
The approval process and forms vary across PHSA, so make sure in advance that you’ve considered all the resources needed at all sites. 

Principal investigators applying to conduct research at any program on the Children’s and Women’s campus, or utilizing C&W resources, are responsible for completing the relevant program and resource utilization forms and getting them signed by the appropriate individuals. Check the signing authorities registers below for the most updated list of signatories. For BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, please see the BCWH Program Utilization Form Guidance Notes for more information on the institutional approval process.

Once completed and signed by the appropriate program or resource areas, scanned forms should be emailed to (be sure to include your H number in the subject line). Please note: for all programs that fall under BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, as per BC Women's policy, signatures from program leadership and the executive director, Women's Health Research Institute are required.

After all forms have been received by the Research Ethics Board, an institutional certificate can be issued. No study can be initiated until both an institutional certificate and Research Ethics Board approval have been obtained.

For those forms being submitted via the Electronic Program Utilization Portal (ePUP), completed forms are automatically emailed to the C&W REB through ePUP.  For additional information, please refer to the user guide

NOTE REGARDING 3TMRI at the BCCH Research Facility (CMRF): 

Please note that the CMRF is a UBC asset and is NOT part of the hospital.  As a result, you do not need institutional approval to use this facility.  Please visit the CMRF page  ( )  for more information about their review and approval process.

Program & resource utilization forms

‎At BC Cancer, the institutional approval is part of the grant application package. When submitting a grant, a standard signature package is required, including:

  • BC Cancer Cover Sheet Form
  • Summary of the research proposal
  • Budget summary and justification
  • Funder signature pages
  • University cover sheet (if applicable)  
The Cover Sheet Form includes a resource impact statement, and must be signed off by both the BC Cancer department head and VP Research (or delegate). 

Please note that clinical trials research (system and radiation therapy) at BC Cancer follows a separate process for institutional approvals and is under the purview of the BC Cancer Clinical Trials Unit and Radiation Oncology Research department. Clinical trials undergo a departmental approval process prior to undertaking the Research Ethics Board process and then proceed to institutional approvals. Contact these departments directly for additional information.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)) does not require a formal institutional approval. When their research studies are initiated, researchers should advise all affected departments.   


BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) has a formal application process for all research requiring use of BCEHS resources, including human resources, privacy, information management, technology, equipment, operations, etc. Researchers should complete a Research Partnership Application and submit it to the Director of Research. This office is able to approve smaller studies; larger scale studies are escalated to the Provincial Medical Leadership Committee for approval.


Any research activity that takes place at BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) that involves recruiting BCMHSUS patients, staff members, and/or accessing BCMHSUS data requires submission of an application for operational approval to conduct research to the BCMHSUS Research Committee. The Research Committee provides institutional approval to conduct research within its three clinical program areas and any related sites:


  1. Forensic Psychiatric Services
  2. Correctional Health Services, and
  3. Adult Complex Mental Health and Substance Use Services

If you wish to conduct research within our clinical program areas, please complete the BCMHSUS Research Access Request ApplicationYou and your co-applicants must obtain a certificate of ethical approval from the applicable affiliated university research ethics board prior to submission to the Research Committee.


If your study has already been approved by the BCMHSUS Research Committee and you are seeking approval for amendment(s), an annual renewal, or termination of a study, please email


For more information, please review our newly updated BCMHSUS Operational Approval to Conduct Research Guidelines or contact our office at

SOURCE: Institutional Approvals ( )
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