COVID-19 Research Impacts

COVID-19 impacts to student research

Our goal is to allow flexibility for students to continue their research projects. Please note that UREAP and USRA recipients should reevaluate their research projects in light of the COVID-19 pandemic response and work with their supervisor to develop a project-specific plan that:

  1. adheres to changes in access to campus facilities,
  2. maintains “social distancing” (keeping a distance of at least two meters apart), and
  3. respects approved protocols for slowing of the spread of COVID-19.

At this point, and until further notice, all student researchers are asked to only engage in research activities that meet these guidelines. Please familiarize yourself with Research Continuity Planning process to develop an individual revised research plan for your research project.

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies continues to make adjustments to its operations as we monitor the evolution and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We will continue to support students and faculty during this time.

COVID-19 impacts to research ethics (for students)

As long as Canada has measures in place for physical/social distancing; all forms of data gathering for research and projects that involve physical/social interaction such as focus groups and face-to-face interviews, should not proceed. You must work with your supervisor to adjust the terms of your research project, and this includes:

  • If you have an approved ethical review request already in place that involves in-person research with research participants, you must not proceed with those data gathering methods. Contact your supervisor, discuss an alternative method such as on-line surveys, emails, or telephone.
  • If you are currently preparing an ethical review request for submission and you originally planned in-person research/project data gathering methods, adjust this to an alternative method such as telephone, email, on-line surveys. Once Canada lifts these measures, researchers who have not started their data gathering can, with the approval of their supervisor, propose in-person methods.
  • If you have already started your research/project and have been using in-person methods, do not continue. Discuss continuing with an alternative method such as on-line surveys, emails, or telephone.
  • If you do not need to start your data gathering right away and want to do in-person methods, consider delaying your ethical review request until a time the measures are lifted and then proceed as usual.

In all of these circumstances, work with your supervisor to develop a plan that abides by the new guidelines. Your supervisor will then send the agreed upon change to the research office. You will not be redoing a new ethical review.

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