COVID-19 Response: Guidance for Researchers

This page contains information about research operations during the University of Calgary's COVID-19 response.

Visit the Emergency Management website for general campus information.

This page is for: faculty, postdocs, students, and staff engaged in research

Last updated: October 1, 2021

 

22 September 2021 Update: 

September provincial changes

On September 15, 2021, the Government of Alberta declared a state of public health emergency. The University of Calgary has adjusted its COVIDSafe Campus program to reflect the changing scenario. 

These changes also impact visitors to campus - please see the Visitors to Campus page for details.

Research participants are considered visitors to campus and will be required to adhere to visitor requirements. 

However, we recognize there are scenarios in which participants are attending campus only for the purpose of accessing medical services in University of Calgary spaces. Faculty and staff can find more information on this topic here and here (CAS login required). 

Note that the University of Calgary’s Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board and Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board will not require modifications to existing approved research protocols to account for any questioning or data collection from participants to meet the proof of vaccination requirement. Read more about Human Ethics

Please watch the main COVID-19 Return to Campus page for general campus guidance.  

Impact of Alberta's Stage 3 reopening on research

As you know, Alberta is proceeding with Stage 3 reopening on July 1. This marks a significant shift in how we will manage COVID-19 restrictions for research at UCalgary.

Beginning July 1:

  • Workspace Safety Plans are no longer required for research spaces on campus. 

  • All Principal Investigators are expected to follow the most current provincial and municipal guidance as appropriate for their space:
    • Principal Investigators whose research involves human participants in an AHS facility or a non-AHS clinical research facility such as the Heritage Medical Research Clinic should follow AHS guidance.
    • Principal Investigators in other settings should follow the latest General Operational Guidance (expected to be updated for Stage 3) as appropriate for their research space.

Please watch the main COVID-19 Return to Campus page for general campus guidance.  

Impact of Alberta's Stage 2 reopening on research

As you know, Alberta is proceeding with Stage 2 reopening (June 10, 2021). While there are some changes to restrictions for the general community, such as restaurants and outdoor gatherings, these changes do not affect the way we are currently conducting research.

Therefore, no further changes for research will be introduced at this time. During Stage 2, we will maintain the current state of operations.

The expectation is still for all faculty, staff, and students to work from home wherever possible at this time. Anyone spending time on campus must be included on an approved Workspace Safety Plan AND meet one of the following conditions:

  • Access is required to use tools and equipment
  • Work involves secure data and confidential information
  • On-site preparation and attendance are required to deliver critical services to the campus community

All members of the campus community must continue to adhere to safety protocols including masking and distancing.

As stated in our May 27 update, the following research activities can proceed on campus with appropriate safety protocols: 

  • In-person human participant research 
  • In-person undergraduate student research training/onboarding
  • In-person Animal Care orientation. If you have been affected you will be contacted directly with more information
  • Field researchers should avoid travel to regions with restrictions, and adhere to requirements for Field Research

Impact of Alberta's Stage 1 re-opening on research

On May 26, 2021, the provincial government shared their ambitious Open for Summer Plan, which includes three stages, each contingent upon meeting certain criteria. Recognizing that Stage 1 is a modest re-opening step, there are a few key changes to the guidance from early May.

What is not changing for Stage 1:

The expectation is still for all faculty, staff, and students to work from home wherever possible. Anyone spending time on campus must be included on an approved Workspace Safety Plan AND meet one of the following conditions:

  • Access is required to use tools and equipment
  • Work involves secure data and confidential information
  • On-site preparation and attendance are required to deliver critical services to the campus community

Buildings on campus will continue to be secured. All members of the campus community must continue to adhere to safety protocols including masking and distancing.

What is changing:

As stated in our May 27 message, during the province's Stage 1 (which began on June 1) the following research activities can resume on campus:

  • In-person human participant research may resume with appropriate safety protocols
  • In-person undergraduate student research training/onboarding may resume with appropriate safety protocols
  • In-person Animal Care orientation may resume with appropriate safety protocols. If you have been affected by changes to orientation you will be contacted directly with more information
  • Field researchers should avoid travel to regions with restrictions, and adhere to safety protocols and requirements for Field Research

Stage 2 is expected to be in place mid-June. We will evaluate and share any further changes at that time.

Impact of new government COVID-19 restrictions on campus

On May 4, 2021, the Government of Alberta enacted a series of new mandatory COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to stop the spike of COVID-19 cases. This included moving all post-secondary institutions to online learning for at least the next three weeks.

The University of Calgary is working with the Ministry of Advanced Education to better understand the impact of these decisions. The situation is rapidly evolving, but here is what we can tell you about how the latest guidelines could impact your studies or your work. Read the May 5 message from the Provost.

For the latest updates, you can also visit www.ucalgary.ca/covid-19.

Effective May 5, all UCalgary faculty, staff, and students must work from home, except under specified conditions:

  • Access is required to use tools and equipment
  • Work involves secure data and confidential information
  • On-site preparation and attendance are required to deliver critical services to the campus community

Anyone spending time on campus must meet one of the above conditions, AND be included on an approved Workspace Safety Plan.

All existing Workspace Safety Plans should be updated to ensure that the correct staff are listed on the plan. Please be sure that staff understand the safety protocols and acknowledge the Workspace Safety Plan. 

Opt-in to receive COVID-19 Research Updates 

Communications archive

Email communications sent by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) will be listed here.

Note that restrictions/requirements stated in previous communications were relevant at the time of distribution; all UCalgary members are expected to follow current provincial restrictions.

Research Guidance FAQ

A of July 1, 2021, an approved Workspace Safety Plan is no longer required. 

Please see the main Return to Campus website for the latest updates. 

High school research programs will proceed with remote delivery for 2021. High school students participating in summer research programs will not be permitted in labs or on campus for Summer 2021.

You must follow AHS site-specific guidance. See Updates for Researchers and Information for Health Professionals

Also consider whether there is any cross-over with university spaces/resources. Contact EHS at ucsafety@ucalgary.ca or Marcello Tonelli, AVPR at cello@ucalgary.ca to discuss if you are unsure.  

Guidance on specific topics:

**Note that many of these sections are outdated, and do not reflect the most current updates.

Please pay attention to the date on each page. This information will remain for a period of time before being archived


Undergraduate Student Research

Read more

Graduate Students

Read more

Field Research

Read more

Human Ethics

Read more

Clinical research settings

Read more

Lab and community research settings

Read more

Animal care

Read more

Grants and contracts FAQ

Read more

Updates from funders

Read more

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund

Read more

Important

If any individual is feeling inappropriately pressured to work on campus, they should contact one of:

  • Office of the Vice-President (Research) at vpr@ucalgary.ca,
  • Dean of Graduate Studies at deangrad@ucalgary.ca,
  • Or, if they prefer to report the concern confidentially, they can do so through the Protected Disclosure and Research Integrity Office (PDRIO):

The teams in the VPR Office and Research Services are available to assist you in navigating the impact of changing guidance on your planned research activities. 

 

Contact

Questions or inquiries should be directed to avpr@ucalgary.ca

Please monitor this website for current information