Summer Research Students

COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers: Summer Research Students

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 3, 2020

The University of Calgary recognizes the value of the student research, scholarship, and training experiences that typically takes place over the summer, including:

  • University of Calgary research programs such as PURE
  • Externally funded programs through agencies such as NSERC, CIHR, and Alberta Innovates
  • Principal Investigators who hire students with grant funds
  • University units who hire students with operating funds

In keeping with ongoing steps to re-entry, the University of Calgary is taking steps to enable undergraduate researchers to work in laboratory settings during Summer 2020. 

As of July 3, 2020 the university will review applications for Expanded Research Designation in which undergraduate summer research students will be eligible for consideration. Recognizing that many undergraduate summer research students will be doing work in laboratory settings for the first time, we ask that supervisors consider carefully whether and how appropriate training may be provided safely in the context of COVID-19.  

Please review the eligibility requirements below. If supervisors are not confident that these requirements can be met, we encourage you to explore opportunities for virtual experiences for summer studentships (for example: literature reviews, data analysis, interviews, group work).  

Supervisors and co-ordinators are welcome to contact either the Office of the Provost or the Office of the Vice-President (Research) for guidance an appropriate course of action for your program. 

Eligibility for new students 

  • Students who require extended periods of up-close training (i.e. within 2m distance) should not be considered at this time.  

  • Students will be considered in cases where they can develop skills and competencies to safely perform research without requiring continual up-close/direct guidance. 

  • Ongoing supervision that satisfies physical distancing (2m) is appropriate.  

Safety requirements 

In their Workspace Safety Plan, supervisors must describe safety precautions, including the use of masks in cases where up-close guidance is required. Note that the university has not made masks mandatory, nor should your Workspace Safety Plan make masks mandatory. Please follow the provincial guidance, and read the statement from the Cumming School of Medicine on the topic. 

Training requirements 

  • Regular classroom training from EHS (i.e. laboratory and biosafety) will be offered in an online format before end of July; please watch for updates on this. Note that this training does not need to be completed prior to the start of work.  

The Office of the Provost will be in contact with undergraduate students name on an Expanded Research Designation to ensure they consent to being on campus in this fashion.