Expanded Research Designation

For selected research, scholarship or creative work to continue on-campus or in the field or community, the activities must be registered and approved by the Office of the Vice-President (Research). 

Please review Guidance for All Researchers at research.ucalgary.ca/covid-19.

** NOTICE August 31, 2020 ** 

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.  

Visit the Guidance for Researchers page for more information.

Expanded Criteria for Research On Campus, in the Field, or in the Community

All researchers are asked to continue as much of their work as is feasible in a virtual or work-from-home setting. 

If your work does not meet the criteria for Critical Research Designation but you have research, scholarship or creative activities that must take place on campus, in the field, or in the community, you may request approval to return to these activities while the university operates in a modified state.  

Submissions are open for Expanded Research Designation, but you must wait for approval from the VPR office before returning to campus.

 We expect approvals will be issued no sooner than June 1.

We recognize that many of you are eager to return to your workspaces, but we ask that you prioritize only those activities which require access to on-campus or field research facilities or resources.

Those who return to campus must take all necessary precautions, including observing social distancing, paying close attention to hygiene, avoiding common areas, and limited time on campus.

Please stay up-to-date on workplace guidance from the province for best practices in your workspace. 

Detailed guidelines for workplace/lab safety, including physical distancing and cleaning requirements, will be shared prior to returning to campus.

At this time, we will consider research, scholarship, or creative work that satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

  • Students or postdoctoral scholars who must conduct time-sensitive activities required to advance their program or appointment.
  • On-campus activities with time-sensitive components, where a research program might be negatively compromised if the program is further suspended.
  • Activities where data are collected in the field or in the community with time-sensitive components, where a research program might be negatively compromised if the program is further suspended.

In the event that restrictions are re-introduced by authorities, those with Expanded Research Designation will be asked to shut down their activities and return to working remotely.

Postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are included on accepted Expanded Research Designation requests will be asked to confirm their consent before returning to in-person activities. See the Working Outside of your Home section, and ensure that all members of your team are supported.

Please read more about requirements for these groups if they will be included in your application: 

The principal investigator or supervisor completes the Expanded Research Designation form.

You must include UCIDs and justification for each faculty member, graduate student, postdoc, or staff member.

Upon submission, you will receive an email copy of your submission, and copies will be sent to your ADR and/or Department Head.

Associate Dean (Research) and/or Department Head will review your submission.

ADR and Dept Head coordinate their review; one will forward the email to avpr@ucalgary.ca, with a clear statement to either endorse or decline to endorse your Expanded Research Designation. 

The VPR, Faculty of Graduate Studies, and/or Postdoctoral Office will review as appropriate.

If your submission is approved, you will receive a notification from the VPR Office.

You must wait to receive this approval before returning to campus. 

Expanded Research Designation Form

  • You must submit a new or revised form if the details of your work changes.
  • Critical or Expanded Research Designation is required if you wish to continue working on campus or collecting data in the field/community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • You may include multiple students, postdocs, and staff in a single form, but you must include UCIDs and justification for each individual.
  • Only those students and postdocs who are comfortable with an early return to the campus environment shall be included in the application. Undue pressure must not be placed on graduate students/postdocs to return. Read important details about working outside of your home.
  • Lab-naive trainees are eligible for consideration under the Expanded Research Designation, but you must describe in your application how you will enable safe training in the context of COVID-19. 
  • Research studies that occur solely in AHS facilities (i.e. have no physical presence in a University of Calgary facility) do not require a Critical Research Designation or Essential Research Designation from the University. However, they must receive approval from AHS to resume or commence operations. Please read Guidance for Clinical Settings
  • The University of Calgary may withdraw either designation if conditions change. Note that a campus shut-down may occur abruptly, particularly if an order comes from government.

Contact avpr@ucalgary.ca with questions.