COVID-19 Response Guide for Researchers and Research Groups

Latest Updates

  • Update to face mask requirements on campus

    October 22, 2020

    To best ensure the health and safety of our community and provide additional clarity on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) on our campuses, the university has updated its on-campus face mask policy.

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Resources for Researchers


Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: June 5, 1:45 p.m.

Resuming Research on Campus

How and when is research gradually resuming?
Starting May 25, the university began a gradual, phased resumption of on-campus research activities that were paused or moved off campus as part of public health measures. Information on the current and next anticipated phases of on-campus research resumption is available here.
What do I need to do to resume my research on campus?

Guidance for researchers is now available on how to ready their campus research spaces and work environments to meet current public health requirements. Researchers must complete the five-step procedure to request a return to campus. Once ready, researchers can then apply to resume their research on campus. If all steps are complete, Environment, Health & Safety will confirm an approval.

How are projects, programs, or buildings being prioritised?
Currently, it is not a matter of priority. Research projects and programs will be approved 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 primary investigator.
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 (ehs.info@ualberta.ca).
  3. EHS will notify you via email after verifying the adjustment can be safely made for your space.
Is field research resuming?

See the May 1 field research update for project approval criteria and guidance on which projects are likely to be approved. Also see field research frequently asked questions for more information and guidance.

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.

The Government of Alberta encourages Albertans to wear non-medical masks anytime in public when it's difficult to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres at all times. The Government of Alberta is providing free, single-use non-medical masks (4 per person) at all A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons drive-thru locations in Alberta, while supplies last. No purchase necessary. See alberta.ca/masks for more information.

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?

Environment, Health & Safety 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?

When resuming your work on campus, consider that space to take a break or eat lunch may be limited. Please be flexible as faculties and departments adjust and 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 during spring and summer terms will continue to be extremely limited.

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