Research FAQ, COVID-19

Last updated June 24, 2020

Is my research at UPEI able to continue?
Does research require any special considerations while on campus or in the field?
Can my research proceed outside UPEI’s Operational Ease-Back Plan scheduled hours?
Is UPEI Research Services still operating as usual?
Has research funding been impacted?
I’m a graduate or undergraduate honours student at UPEI. What do I need to know?


Is my research at UPEI able to continue?

Yes. Stage Two of UPEI's Operational Ease-Back Plan began on June 15, 2020 and allows further opportunities for research to continue. The Plan allows research that can be conducted remotely to proceed as previously had been determined, and allows research that must be performed on-site or in the field to resume without any additional research plans being submitted.

However, before laboratory work can resume, laboratory supervisors must submit a Return to Laboratory Work Plan to their Dean that outlines procedures that will be undertaken to ensure the maximum occupancy of research spaces and physical distancing guidelines are met. The Dean will obtain the necessary approvals for this plan before lab work can resume.

Supervisors must also have individuals performing research in their area confirm, by email or in writing, that they have read and understand all aspects of UPEI's Operational Ease-Back Plan.

Does research require any special considerations while on campus or in the field?

Yes. Researchers are instructed to do the following:

  • Maintain physical distancing of 2 m/6ft
  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently; use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Ensure that high touch surfaces in your shared workspace are wiped down to prevent the spread of germs
  • Cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue
  • If anyone has symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • If researchers develop symptoms of COVID-19 on-campus, they must immediately perform hand hygiene, communicate with their supervisor, avoid physical proximity to anyone else, and leave campus as soon as it is safe to do so
  • Field work involving travel to the site must comply with physical distancing, i.e. do not carpool

Can my research proceed outside UPEI’s Operational Ease-Back Plan scheduled hours?

No. Researchers should maintain the schedule for the building as set by the Dean of their faculty. If, for exceptional reasons, research must occur before 8:00 am or after 5:00 pm, approval from their supervisor and notification to Security Services is required.

Is UPEI Research Services still operating as usual?

Research Services staff are continuing to work as usual with some individuals working from home, while others began a rotating 'return to on-campus work' schedule on May 25, 2020. They are available during regular business hours and can provide services and supports as outlined online at UPEI Research Services.

Synapse staff are also working remotely, with a staged return, to ensure the continuity of service for UPEI researchers.

Has research funding been impacted?

UPEI automatically extended any internal research account that expired before April 30, 2020 by three months. Research accounting will now resume as per normal.

If you have contract-based work with deadlines or pending deliverables that may be interrupted, please contact Research Services or the funder directly to request an extension.

Tri-Agency funding changes relating to COVID-19 can be viewed on the NSERC website, or you can contact Research Services for more information. Some announcements of extensions (e.g. NSERC Discovery Grants) were made and others are expected.

All UPEI travel has been suspended, including research-related travel. Therefore, any pending travel grant awards are postponed until further notice.

I’m a graduate or undergraduate honours student at UPEI. What do I need to know?

UPEI is committed to ensuring all our students progress in the most timely manner possible. All graduate and undergraduate honours students should continue to regularly discuss their research activities and progression of their work with their supervisor.

On campus laboratory and field research may resume for graduate and undergraduate honours students provided they work with their supervisors to comply with UPEI Health, Safety, and Environment policies and protocols, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when required.

Whenever possible, all graduate and undergraduate honours students should work remotely (i.e., from home) to enable physical distancing. Student desk work may be limited on campus due to restrictions when planning for physical distancing. Therefore, such activities as statistical analyses, computer simulations, and writing, should be conducted remotely. If these types of activities must take place on-campus, they can only proceed when absolutely necessary and when this activity has been included in your laboratory supervisor’s "Return to Laboratory Work Plan".

Supports for graduate and undergraduate honours students are available through UPEI Health and Wellness Centre, UPEI Student Affairs and UPEI International Students Office, as well as the student’s home Faculty Dean’s Office, and the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

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