COVID-19 Response Information for Researchers and Research Groups

Latest Updates

UPDATED June 9, 2021

Effective June 10, the U of A has lifted its temporary enhanced safety measures for on-campus research and is returning to the level of restrictions in place at the start of May 2021. See the Current Status of U of A Research during COVID-19 below.

Instructions for researchers are available on how to ready your campus research spaces and work environments to meet current public health requirements. Researchers do not need to apply for approval to come back to campus if their research project has previously received approval to be on campus during COVID-19; however, returning researchers must ensure their COVID-19 Return to Campus Plans are reviewed and updated if needed. Researchers that have not been back to campus since March 2020, and cannot conduct their research remotely, must apply to conduct research on campus.  

See all U of A COVID-19 information updates for researchers »

Current Status of U of A Research during COVID-19 (Updated June 9, 2021)

All research activities must always meet current, local public health and travel requirements set by public health and travel authorities and the university's current safety measures.

All faculty, staff and students are required to limit their on-campus presence/activity to help ensure maximum physical distancing, minimize demand on in-demand resources and supplies, and safely manage our workspaces and building spaces.

Resources for Researchers

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: January 20, 2021

Resuming Research on Campus

What do I need to do to resume my research on campus?

Instructions for researchers are available on how to ready your campus research spaces and work environments to meet current public health requirements. Returning researchers must review and refresh as needed any existing COVID-19 Return to Campus Plan, and ensure that all personnel are familiar with its contents. Researchers who have not been on campus since March 2020 must apply to resume their research on campus.

How are projects, programs, or buildings being prioritised for on-campus work?

Currently, it is not a matter of priority. Research projects and programs will be approved for on-campus work if (1) it is not possible for the research to be conducted remotely and (2) the project or program can meet all public health requirements. Every effort should be made to continue your research remotely as possible. Discuss your options with your dean, associate/vice dean or principal investigator.

Note: If you have been previously approved for on-campus research during COVID-19 you do not need to re-apply; however, if you are returning after a significant time away from campus you must ensure your COVID-19 Return to Campus Plans are reviewed and updated if needed.

I need to adjust my return to campus application to add a lab space or another team member. What should I do?

Complete these three steps to make an adjustment to your on campus research registration:

  1. Adjust your registration directly in the EHS Module of the ARISE database.
  2. Make a request to your assistant/vice dean of research via email, copying EHS (
  3. EHS will notify you via email after verifying the adjustment can be safely made for your space.
Is field research resuming?

Please refer to Field Research Activities during COVID-19: Phase II for the latest information.

Health and Safety

Is my workspace, building, or lab ready and safe?
If you have been approved to come back to campus to work, then your workspace has met all the public health requirements for a safe work environment. Meeting public health requirements will be the key consideration in approving additional work to operate or re-commence on campus throughout all relaunch stages.
Do I need to provide my own mask, or other personal protective equipment (PPE)?

If it is required for your work or workspace, faculty and departments will be responsible for providing PPE for employees and graduate students. Employees should discuss PPE needs with their supervisor.

Students, public or campus visitors and external service providers/vendors will be responsible for procuring their personal PPE, including masks.

Face masks are required on all U of A campuses. Learn more »

Support and Services

How can I stay up-to-date on funder COVID-19 accommodations?

Funder websites are the best source for the latest information on COVID-19 related accommodations, and most have a dedicated COVID-19 section. Funders are reviewing information program by program, and posting information as it becomes available. Please check these sites regularly, and information can change. ​We have provided links to some of our key funders​​ below:

How does our group dispose of hazardous waste right now?

Health, Safety and Environment continues to operate a hazardous waste pickup service. To schedule a pickup, submit a request through CHEMATIX.

Do we have enough PPE, supplies or gases to maintain research activities?

Currently, our supply of PPE, cryogens and compressed gases are stable, and Supply Management Services (SMS) is able to deliver these products. As this situation is very fluid, access to supplies may not be guaranteed. In the event of shortages, priority will be given to COVID-19 research and maintenance of animal facilities. Please register your maintenance activities, such as periodic inspection of compressed gas inventories with EHS. This may allow EHS to notify you if there is a pending shortage of materials.

Where will staff and faculty be able to eat lunch?

Space to take a break or eat lunch may be limited. Please be flexible as faculties and departments adjust and may offer non-traditional but available spaces for your downtime. Available spaces and lunch breaks may need to be scheduled to ensure occupancy limits and physical distancing requirements are able to be maintained. If space is not available within your department or faculty area, please contact the applicable Facility Services Manager for assistance. Food services on campus during the pandemic are limited. See what's open on campus.

More Information

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