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: Dec 10, 2020, 6:02 p.m.


Impact of new government COVID-19 restrictions on campus
On Dec. 8, 2020, the Government of Alberta enacted a series of new mandatory COVID-19 restrictions. These province-wide restrictions include a stricter requirement for all Alberta employees to work from home, as well as the closure of some facilities and activities on campus. Read the complete update from the Provost.

Effective December 13, all UCalgary faculty, staff, and students must work from home, except under specified conditions. Please see the Provost’s message for those conditions.

  • Members of the research community are encouraged to be particularly mindful, and only conduct work on campus that CANNOT be completed from home. That means you should only be on campus for the portions of your work that require campus infrastructure, and then return home to do writing, analysis, administrative tasks, etc.
  • In ALL cases where work is occurring on campus, an approved Workspace Safety Plan is required.

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

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

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.

Working on 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

An approved Workspace Safety Plan is required for all individuals working on campus.

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

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

Disinfectant wipes for cleaning your work area on the main campus are available through the Supply Chain Covid Supplies Request Form. The total supply of wipes will be tracked and distributed evenly to faculties and departments based on the number of personnel.

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.

  • 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