Normally, research accounts are issued by the Office of Research to the principal investigator (PI) when all appropriate documentation is complete.
However, sometimes circumstances may arise where the PI requests access to an account before this stage. Where the situation is warranted, an IRA may be set up.
Prior to requesting an IRA, the PI should discuss their requirements with the appropriate pre-award contact to ensure that is is appropriate to incur costs in advance of full documentation.
This discussion will cover the risks and benefits, adherence to sponsor guidelines, and whether certifications (human, animal, biohazards, or early release) are required etc.
In no circumstances, will an IRA be issued until all certifications have been secured.
To request an IRA, an IRA Authorization Form (PDF) must be completed. Once all signatures have been obtained at the departmental & faculty level, forward to OR for final review and setup.
Signing authority on an IRA rests with the PI and cannot be delegated until such time as full documentation has been secured.
At that time, the IRA becomes a regular research account and is administered like any other; delegated signing authorities can be set up in accordance with sponsor and university guidelines.
If the project is not funded, all expenses incurred will be resolved through the deficit resolution procedure.