Research Exemptions

COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers: Research Exemptions

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.

Last updated: June 29, 2020

Apply for a Research Exemption: Critical and Expanded Research Designation

Faculty members may apply to receive an exemption to work on campus, in the field, or in the community. 

Applications must be submitted by a faculty member. Applications from students or postdocs are NOT eligible for consideration.

If you need to:

  • Conduct COVID-19 related research
  • Conduct clinical research where participant health may be at risk
  • Avoid significant data loss
  • Carry out contract work in which deliverables must be met

If you need to:

  • Enable students or postdocs to complete work on campus required to advance their program or appointment
  • Conduct time-sensitive research or activities on campus
  • Conduct time-sensitive data collection activities in the field or in the community

Important:

  • You must submit a new or revised form if the details of your work change.
  • Critical or Expanded Research Designation is required if you wish to continue working on campus or in the field/community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 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 about the Critical or Expanded Research Designation processes.

 

Working outside of your home

As of March 21, 2020, all members of the university community have been asked to work from home. No one is obligated to work on campus or in the field, even in cases where there is a Critical or Expanded Research Designation. Be sure that you communicate this point to your team, and support those who do not feel comfortable to work on campus.

 If any individual is feeling inappropriately pressured to conduct research, scholarship, or creative work outside of their home, 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 Office of Equity, Diversity and Protected Disclosure:

 

Postdoctoral scholars and graduate students

Postdocs and graduate students who are included on accepted Expanded Research Designation requests are required to provide proof of consent before returning to in-person activities. Please read more about the consent process for Postdocs and Graduate Students

 

Undergraduate Student Research

Undergraduate students are NOT permitted to participate in research activities on campus unless they have received sufficient training under your supervision prior to March 2020. Please read more about Summer studentships and undergraduate student work.

 

Field and Community Work

Research where data are collected in the field or in the community MUST receive Critical or Expanded Research Designation to continue. This decision aligns with several institutional, provincial, and federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Suspension of research and teaching activities at the Biogeoscience Institute until June 30, 2020;
  • Suspension of activities and visitors at the Kluane Lake Research Station until June 30, 2020
  • Suspension of vehicle access to Alberta’s provincial parks and recreations areas;
  • Closure of national parks;
  • Various travel restrictions and advisories;
  • Various Indigenous communities taking steps to limit access to their communities.

Additionally, when health care supports are strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must carefully consider the risk of injury or illness in remote locations. We must ensure the safety of members of our university and members of our communities.