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: September 29, 2020, 9:14 a.m.


Discontinuation of Expanded Research Designation process

We are pleased to share that we are concluding the Expanded Research Designation (ERD) process, effective September 1, 2020.

The ERD process was designed to enable researchers to continue their work while campus was secured. Now that campus buildings are opened and there are robust safety protocols in place, we are able to conclude the requirement for research exemptions.  

Going forward, researchers planning to return to campus must:

  1. follow the guidance available in the Resources for Return to Campus located on the main UCalgary COVID-19 Response page, and
  2. complete (or ensure you are included in an existing) Workspace Safety Plan.

Please visit the main UCalgary COVID-19 Response page for details on Return to Campus processes.

If you have already been approved to return to campus, no action is required.

Any outstanding ERD applications will be resolved shortly. If you have questions about research exemptions, please contact


General guidance

  • We ask our campus community to continue working from home where possible. Only those that are performing functions that require them to be on site should work on campus. 

Communications archive

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

Opt-in to receive the COVID-19 Research digest, which summarizes research related information every other week.

Re-entry for the research community


Please review these steps carefully before returning to campus: 


See Resources for Return to Campus

Familiarize yourself with the Resources for Return to Campus section on the main UCalgary COVID-19 Response page. 

Resources for Return to Campus

Understand the re-entry protocols

Familiarize yourself with the latest version of the UCalgary Re-Entry Protocols.

Read the re-entry protocols

Submit your Workspace Safety Plan

Faculty members who receive a research exemption must submit a Workspace Safety Plan. Be sure to review the instructions prior to submitting this plan.

CAS login required. 

Create Workspace Safety Plan

Guidance on specific topics:

Summer research students

Read more

Graduate students

Read more

Clinical research settings

Read more

Human Ethics

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

Research Guidance FAQ

Please see Resources for Return to Campus located on the main UCalgary COVID-19 Response page, and ensure you complete (or are included in an existing) Workspace Safety Plan.

No. High school students participating in summer research programs will not be permitted in labs / on campus for Summer 2020. 

Contact to set up a time to pick up cleaning supplies.

We would not endorse asking staff or students to take steps beyond what is identified in provincial or university guidance. Visit the Alberta website and the University of Calgary website for the latest guidance.  

Please visit the Clinical Research Settings page for full details. Ensure you follow AHS site-specific guidance. Also consider whether there is any cross-over with university spaces/resources. Contact EHS at or Marcello Tonelli, AVPR at to discuss if you are unsure.  

Guidance for all researchers

Please stay up to date with rules and guidance from the Government of Alberta and AHS.

If you are working on Main or Foothills Campus, you can contact Staff Wellness at to schedule a time to pick up disinfectant wipes.

  • Be aware of current guidelines from AHS on how to protect others and yourself.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of core facilities and other fee-for-service resources becoming unavailable. 
  • Be prepared for delays in supply chain, including shortage of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Be prepared for delays in services provided by vendors.
  • If you returned from travel abroad after March 12, be aware that a 14-day self-isolation period is required upon your return. Check Alberta’s current isolation requirements.
  • Please continue to work from home whenever possible and limit your presence in research facilities and in the workspaces on campus.  
  • Maintain a 2-meter separation between active work areas.
  • Any in-person group activities including thesis defenses, mentorship committee meetings, seminars, journal clubs, laboratory meetings and hiring interviews should be canceled or held as virtual meetings by telephone, Skype, Zoom or similar. UCalgary now has an institutional license for Zoom.
  • Although there are currently no plans to close the university, this could change in the future with very little or no notice.  Further, individual COVID-19 cases could lead to closure of University buildings with no notice at all. Therefore, please take measures to ensure that your unit is prepared for the possibility of a closure at the end of each day.
  • Visit the ‘Working and Learning from Home’ website for information about ensuring you are set up to be productive from home.
  • Think carefully before initiating new experiments: consider the time required to complete them as well as the cost and inconvenience if they were interrupted before completion.
  • Unit leaders should consider communicating with each other about opportunities to mitigate the impact of illness or self-isolation, such as by sharing staff between units.


We know that determination of urgency vs. non-urgency of your potential research activities may not be straightforward. Furthermore, we recognize that you may have concerns relating to funding agency timelines.

The teams in the VPR Office and Research Services are available to assist you in considering the time-sensitivity of your planned research activities. 



Questions or inquiries should be directed to

Please monitor this website for current information