Research FAQs Relating to COVID-19

Internal Updates

July 10, 2020 - Addendum for COVID-19 Grants Extension (IDG only)
Dear SSHRC-Eligible Faculty Member:
 

SSHRC recently indicated that some Insight Development Grant (IDG) recipients were unintentionally excluded from the COVID-19 Grant Extensions Process. As you may know, Lakehead and other institutions were authorized to approve extension requests of up to 12 months to SSHRC grants with an end date between February 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusively. As the end date for the majority of IDG recipients in this same cohort will be May 31, 2021, they would not be eligible for the extension. SSHRC has recognized that this gap unnecessarily impacts IDG recipients and is therefore amending the process in order to address this issue.

As a result, effective immediately, the eligibility window for the unfunded COVID-19 grant extension has been expanded to also include grants ending up to May 31, 2021 (including the one-year automatic extension where applicable) for IDG only. Lakehead IDG-holders who fall into this category should contact Sue Wright (swright@lakeheadu.ca) to request an extension. 

Information on this addendum to the process and other COVID-19 updates can be found on the SSHRC website: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx

 
Anne Klymenko, Director
Office of Research Services
Lakehead University
June 29, 2020

Please be advised that 1294 Balmoral will be open as of Thursday, July 2 and the Braun Building will be open as of Monday, July 6 to researchers who have received approval to Access on-Campus Research Laboratories and Facilities for Continuing Essential Research. 

 

The Braun Building RO water unit is not currently operational. Please advise vpresearch@lakeheadu.ca if you require access to the unit.

 

Physical Distancing signage can be found at https://www.lakeheadu.ca/about/branding/templates/physical-distancing-signage

 

Printing orders may be placed through the Print Shop. 

June 24, 2020 - Advisory of Building Openings
In keeping in line with a phased approach to building openings, please be advised that for those who have submitted Applications for Access to On-Campus Research Laboratories and Facilities for Continuing Essential Research, the following buildings are now open: CASES, Centennial Building, Medical Sciences, and Research Institute laboratories. Additional announcements on Phase 2 buildings reopenings will be made on Friday, June 26
June 17, 2020 - COVID-19 Research Transition Committee Recommendations and Phase 2 of Onsite Research Operations

Dear Lakehead University Research Community,

Lakehead University has now moved into Phase 2 of onsite research operations.

Over the past 12 weeks, access to research facilities on campus has been granted through an application for critical research continuity. Following government directives and recommendations from local health authorities, the University is allowing researchers to have increased access to onsite research facilities in order to perform essential research that cannot be done in a remote fashion. Essential research should be defined as research that is time-dependent, milestone-driven, or research activity that would significantly impact upon student academic progression if not performed at this time. The COVID-19 Research Transition Committee has completed their recommendations to allow for a phased-in approach to onsite research activity. Researchers wishing to access a research laboratory or facility must complete an Application for Access to On-Campus Research Laboratories and Facilities for Continuing Essential Research.

Please note that if you have already been granted an exemption for critical research, you are still required to complete the above form.

Applications must be sent to your Faculty Dean for approval prior to submission to the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. For faculty with research facilities at other locations, including NOSM (West campus) and TBRHRI laboratories, additional approvals will be required from the appropriate managers of these facilities.

If your application is approved, you must then complete the following:

Research Resumption Plan Template

Research Resumption Checklists

  • Start-up Lab Safety Checklist, which includes a new Job Specific Training Checklist for Laboratory Trainees

  • Laboratory Physical Distancing Checklist

These documents must be made available by the Supervisor(s) to the Joint Health and Safety Committee and other internal approval groups if requested. Supervisors must keep a copy of these documents.

In order to allow for a safe and orderly return to onsite research, occupancy of buildings will progress in a phased manner. This week (June 15-19), the laboratories in CASES, NOSM (West campus wet laboratories), and TBRHRI research laboratories will be available. During the week of June 22, laboratories in the Centennial Building will be available. From June 29 onwards, opening of buildings will be dependent upon application demand and Physical Plant. An update on openings will be given by the end of next week. 

The recommendations of the COVID-19 Research Transition Committee and the application form are relatively detailed. I encourage you to read them closely before submission. The Domestic Researcher Travel form will continue to be used to authorize essential fieldwork. Please refer to the COVID-19 Research Transition Committee’s recommendations regarding fieldwork before submission. If your Domestic Researcher Travel request has already been approved, you do not need to submit a new form, but you need to abide by the regulations for safe fieldwork in the COVID-19 Research Transition Committee’s recommendations.

Note: All personnel conducting onsite research or fieldwork must abide by the self-screening regulations in the recommendations.

Additional updates will be posted on Lakehead University’s COVID-19 Research and Innovation Updates and FAQs webpage.

Thank you,

Dr. Andrew P. Dean

Vice-President, Research and Innovation

COVID-19 Research Restart Transition Committee Recommendations

Application for Access to On-Campus Research Laboratories and Facilities for Continuing Essential Research

Research Resumption Plan template

Research Resumption Checklists

June 4, 2020 -  COVID-19 Research Transition Committee DRAFT Recommendations
To the Lakehead University Research Community:

The  COVID-19 Research Transition Committee is pleased to share its DRAFT recommendations with Lakehead University’s research community as part of its consultation process. The committee welcomes written feedback from the university research community until June 9, 2020. All feedback should be directed by email to admin.research@lakeheadu.ca.

As part of the committee's consultation process, there will be a virtual Information Session on Monday, June 8, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:00. Committee members will be present to address questions and talk about the DRAFT recommendations. You must register to attend the Information Session by Monday, June 8, 2020 at 10:00 am. To register, please email admin.research@lakeheadu.ca.  Registered attendees will receive a zoom link on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Please note the DRAFT recommendations for restarting research is an operational plan, and as such may not be able to incorporate all suggestions. However, the COVID-19 Research Transition Committee welcomes and will review all feedback received by June 9, 2020.

Building reopening schedules are still under discussion with the intent to be proposed by next week.

COVID-19 Research Transition Committee DRAFT Recommendations

--

Dr. Batia Stolar
Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies

 
May 27, 2020 - Research Spending Approvals

Research Spending Approvals

Further to the May 19 budget memo from the Executive Budget Team, spending approvals for externally funded research accounts, including Senate Research Committee and Regional Research Fund accounts, do not require approval by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Normal approval processes for eligible research related expenses shall continue as previously required.

Please note, however, that due to COVID-19, travel restrictions across both campuses remain in place. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at vpresearch@lakeheadu.ca.

Sincerely,

Andrew P. Dean, Ph.D.
Vice-President, Research and Innovation

May 22, 2020 -Research Roundtable - (Friday, May 29, 2:00 – 3:30pm)

To our Lakehead University researchers,

As you are certainly aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed some significant challenges on the research community and on our ability to conduct research with a sense of normalcy. During this time, research has not stopped, and I commend each of you on your resilience and adaptability to continue working across various formats.

On Friday, May 29, the Vice-President, Research & Innovation will be hosting a Research Roundtable with panelists from our Research & Innovation senior management team and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Research Roundtable

Friday, May 29 (2:00 – 3:30pm)

RSVP your attendance to ea.vpri@lakeheadu.ca.

The roundtable will be hosted through Zoom in a webinar format. Following brief updates from the panelists, there will be a Question & Answer period. This event will provide a valuable opportunity for us to hear from you.

Participants are required to register by Thursday, May 28 at 4:30 pm in order to attend. RSVP your attendance to ea.vpri@lakeheadu.ca. Please include any questions you would like the panelists to address.

I look forward to this gathering of our research community, and hope you are able to participate.

Sincerely,

Dr. Andrew P. Dean

Vice-President, Research and Innovation

April 20, 2020 - COVID19 Research Call for Proposals

COVID19 Research Call for Proposals - Strategic Research Development Fund, Senate Research Committee - Deadline May 1

This targeted funding is for short-term projects. Successful applicants are expected to begin their projects within one month from the awarding of funding and complete them within 9 months. Proposals from all disciplines are encouraged. It is anticipated that this call will fund a maximum of 5 projects with a maximum budget of $10,000 each. Proposals which have received, or have been submitted for COVID-19 related funding from other sources are eligible.

Eligibility: Faculty members with tenure-track, tenured and 3-year limited term appointments are eligible to apply; Faculty with limited term appointments must provide evidence to demonstrate that they can complete the project prior to the end date of their appointment. Eligible faculty members can apply once to this special competition as principal investigator. There are no restrictions on how many times an eligible faculty member can apply as co-investigator on a research team.

Application Process:


Requests for funds must be made using the on-line Romeo Research Portal via MyInfo (myinfo.lakeheadu.ca)
As part of the Romeo application, the following should be included:
  •     A research plan (maximum 3 pages);
  •     Detailed budget and budget justification (maximum 2 pages);
  •     Curriculum Vitae—CCV (preferred)—for all faculty members; and
  •     Letters of support from research partners (if applicable)

 

Selection Process and Criteria:

The Senate Research Committee will review all eligible applications based on their degree of innovation, feasibility, training of HQP and impact.

Compliance with Lakehead University’s COVID19 Directives

All projects must adhere to the Lakehead University’s COVID19 directives and relevant research guidelines which can be found at the following link: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/about/coronavirus. For example, projects involving human subjects must adhere to the directives for research involving human participants during the publicly declared emergency by the Research Ethics Board.

Required Reporting and Deliverables:

A final report must be submitted to the Senate Research Committee through the Romeo Research Portal within 30 days of completing the project.

Applicants should be aware that the Senate Research Committee operates under Senate approved guidelines. All funding for internal research competitions is limited and designated for specific uses. Due to the competitive nature of the internal competition for most funding opportunities, the Senate Research Committee does not provide applicants with feedback or justification for its decisions. All decisions are made internally through a peer review process and all decisions are final.

For additional information regarding the application process, please contact ea.vpri@lakeheadu.ca

Senate Research Committee

Special One-time Call for COVID19—Strategic Research Development Fund Proposals

Romeo Application Form Questions:

9 Month Research Plan: Briefly state the objectives to be achieved within the project’s time frame (9 months)

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following:

  1. Criteria: Innovation - Situate the proposal in the existing literature, context, and clearly explain how the research proposed is original, innovative and of high quality.
  2. Criteria: Feasibility - Please describe the key milestones, including methodology you propose to use and the project’s feasibility to produce impactful results in a short-time frame. NOTE: All proposed research activities must firmly adhere to the government’s and the University’s directives to observe social distancing and safety protocols.
  3. Criteria: Training of HQP - Please describe how the proposed research has the potential to develop research capacity among HQP.
  4. Criteria: Impact on COVID19 - Please describe how the proposed project addresses COVID19 research questions. Please describe the anticipated impacts and deliverables.

Overlap with Other Funding

Please explain how this proposal builds upon current research grants or proposals (if applicable) or how it is unique.

Detailed Budget and Budget Justification

Please provide a detailed budget itemizing all eligible expenditures and a budget justification.
Research Track-Record
Attach a copy of a CCV for all faculty members involved in the proposed research.

Partnerships

Please attach letters of support from partners (if applicable)

 April 9, 2020 - Domestic Travel and Fieldwork
 
 March 26, 2020 - Continuity of Essential Research on Campus

March 26, 2020

Dear Lakehead University Research Community,

I am writing to provide further clarity to the University’s COVID-19 Operational Update of March 24, 2020 (https:lakeheadu.ca/about/coronavirus) as it relates to continuity of access to critical on-site research laboratories and facilities, as well as critical research supplies for essential research operations.

Most importantly, I would like to take this opportunity to commend all researchers who have made extraordinary efforts to protect our community and to find creative ways to continue your research through remote techniques.  I appreciate your willingness to cooperate and work together, so we can all be safe and do our part to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Thank you!

As a required on-site services model is in place on both our campuses, Lakehead University will be temporarily restricting all on-campus research activity as of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 30, 2020, until further notice. This includes on-campus research activities performed by all faculty, students, post docs, staff and visiting scientists. We are taking this action in response to the provincial emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic and the Provincial Government’s COVID-19 Order in Council https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r20082, and the advice from public health authorities.  We will only be allowing continuity of the most essential research operations on our campuses.

Our communications so far have also directed the research community to move towards a remote operations model. Therefore, Principal Investigators should suspend all research activities operating in on-campus research laboratories and facilities, and implement plans to operate remotely by the end of day on Monday, March 30, 2020. This period before implementation is to allow for preparations needed to arrange remote working, safe shutdown of equipment, etc. If you need assistance with laboratory shut-down protocols described in Appendix A, please contact Tiffany Moore in Human Resources at trmoore@lakeheadu.ca.

Recognizing that there may be critical research activities that must continue in on-campus research laboratories and facilities, individual researchers may apply for an exemption using the Request to Continue Essential Research in on-campus research laboratories and facilities Form and provide it to their Dean and the Vice-President, Research and Innovation for final approval.  Please submit the form once approved by the Dean to vpresearch@lakeheadu.ca. If your request is approved, please keep a copy.

Exempted research approved in on-campus research laboratories and facilities must implement social distancing advisories and recommendations, as well as enhanced hygiene practices. If you have any questions, please contact vpresearch@lakeheadu.ca.

Sincerely,

Andrew P. Dean, PhD

Vice-President, Research and Innovation

Appendix A:  Safe Closure of Laboratories/Studio Spaces

Tiffany Moore, Lakehead University’s Laboratory Safety Officer has provided research laboratory supervisors and technicians with the following measures to ensure each laboratory is safely closed:

  1. Ensure your emergency contact information is updated with Security Services.  You can contact security@lakeheadu.ca.  Please be clear with room numbers for spaces you are responsible for and give a secondary emergency contact if possible.
  2. Laboratory equipment is shut down wherever possible.  If equipment must be left running, please let security know what to expect when they patrol your area.
  3. Water must not be left running to equipment at this time, unless it is required to keep the equipment operational.  If water cannot be turned off, please let Security Services and Physical Plant (work order) know so these spaces can be patrolled more often to ensure we do not have a flood.
  4. Chemicals, hazardous wastes, biohazardous materials are secured, labeled and stored appropriately.
  5. Laboratory users should refrain from working on-site as directed by Senior Admin, but supervisors should stay in touch with their research teams.  This is a great opportunity to write those articles you keep meaning to!
  6. Should anyone need to access the lab, please check in with security first.  As there will be limited personnel on campus, it is imperative that Security personnel know what areas of buildings are occupied in case of emergency.
  7. Work with hazardous materials or processes must not be conducted at this time, due to the limited on-campus response should there be an emergency.
  8. Supervisors should check on their labs periodically, at minimum once a week.  Remember to check on those freezers too!
  9. Should your personnel need to access the lab, they are required to notify their Supervisor each time and must have their Supervisor’s permission before proceeding.  Before accessing the lab, they must check in with Security.
  10. Security/Physical Plant will not be issuing new keys at this time.  Additional access will only be possible by checking in with Security.  Access will only be granted to those on access lists for the space.

Just a reminder that due to the changing situation and the nature of the pandemic, we must all do everything we can to reduce the number of areas to be patrolled by security.  This will help prevent overburdening our officers and reduce the risk of physical damage to our facilities that would require us to be away from our work longer than necessary.

Request to Continue Essential Research in on-campus research laboratories and facilities Form

 March 20, 2020 - Message from the Office of the Vice-President (Research and Innovation)
 

Dear Lakehead Research Community,

I’m sure many faculty and graduate students are wondering how Lakehead University’s latest updates on the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and institutional response to COVID-19 may affect research on campus and elsewhere. 

Lakehead University continues to respond to the rapidly-changing COVID-19 pandemic, guided by federal, provincial, and municipal advisories.  I want to assure you that our priority is the health of our University community while providing you with the support to continue research activities with, to the extent possible, minimal interruptions.  We are committed to delivering the administrative and technical support necessary for research operations, however we will be continually assessing the COVID-19 situation and provide updates to the research community regarding potential impacts on our research operations. 

Researchers need to understand that they may need to delay, scale back, or stop research activities in the interest of public health. 

Lakehead University is implementing measures to help disrupt the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in an effort to protect individuals at risk and to reduce the pressures on our health care system. Lakehead researchers should continue to review the information from Lakehead University’s COVID-19 webpage which will continue to be updated as necessary. 

The Office of Research Services has also provided responses to Researcher’s Frequently Asked Questions that can be accessed from Lakehead University’s COVID-19 webpage.

I would like to take this opportunity to address potential questions related to research activities. While Lakehead University is working to protect the integrity of our research activities, our first priority is your health and well-being. With that in mind, we provide the following recommendations for guidance.

I’ll start with noting that the Canadian Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) has recently released a message to provide updates to the research community in Canada, as they themselves implement appropriate social distancing measures and other modifications to their business operations.

I encourage research supervisors to be flexible with members of their research group, particularly students, as well as those who may be at higher risk or have special concerns. Please accommodate graduate student researchers, or research associates / support staff to work remotely from home whenever possible.  All students have been informed that they are able to continue their courses and examinations remotely and many have already left to travel home.

RESEARCH ON CAMPUS

While the university remains open to support required on-site operations such as the Instrumentation Laboratory, there may be future government directives that prevent people from coming to campus as we have seen in other provinces. If you haven’t already done so, please consider what steps would be required to suspend your research activities should that necessity arise. Please take advantage of online communication tools as much as possible so that your research students and any others doing research with you can work remotely; consider tools such as Zoom to run group meetings so people need not be in the same room. Support is available for such tools from the Technology Services Centre.

Masters and PhD defences that have been scheduled during the months of March and April will need to be set up to make use of remote communication tools. If you have not already done so, please be in touch with Trish Sokoloski in the Faculty of Graduate Studies office if you have an upcoming student defence.

If a researcher needs to be on campus to sustain their research, it is the researcher’s responsibility to follow all provincial and federal guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Good practice includes the principle of social distancing, frequent hand washing, reducing the number of people in labs or offices at the same time, etc. The Public Health Agency of Canada has guidelines around prevention strategies about mitigating COVID-19 spread which are helpful to review in planning: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html

RESEARCH TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Please adhere to the University’s March 18 statement regarding all work-related domestic and international travel:  https://www.lakeheadu.ca/about/coronavirus

For all other questions, please refer to the Research FAQs.  If you have additional questions, please contact me (vpresearch@lakeheadu.ca) or Anne Klymenko, Director, Research Services (anne.klymenko@lakeheadu.ca).

Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times.

Andrew. P. Dean
Vice-President, Research and Innovation

Research FAQs for COVID-19

 May 19th, 2020 - Research Finance and COVID-19
 

Research Accounting is transitioning to the on-site services model. My team and I will be available via email and zoom if you require assistance.

To facilitate the on-site service model, changes in processes will be:

  1. All documentation and request for services are to be submitted electronically by email.
  2. All paperwork would be submitted electronically which includes:
    1. Departmental charges and transfers between LU accounts
    2. Requests for external invoices
    3. Supplier invoices
    4.  Travel expense claims (non-employees)
    5. Employee travel as usual through Concur.
  3. All forms can be found on the LU Website in the forms database.
  4. All paperwork should be accompanied by the appropriate supporting documentation in electronic form.  The original documents should be retained for audit purposes.
  5. Approved Cheque Requisition packages with the appropriate supporting documentation can be emailed directly to acctspayable@lakeheadu.ca
  6. Approval authority – OFS will accept electronic approvals using either:
    1. Secure approval in a pdf format ie. Adobe Digital Signature or signed with a blue pen and sent from a personal LU email account- not a generic one ie. admin@lakeheadu.ca.
    2. Written approval from the approver’s LU email account.

If you cancelled travel and:

  1. You received a cash reimbursement or a travel voucher, please contact us and we will work with you on the process to record it.
  2. You have costs related to the cancellation – You can submit these costs for reimbursement through Concur with the appropriate supporting documentation.

To facilitate your research activity, we encourage researchers to use their purchasing card for eligible expenditures.  If you need an increase in your monthly limit, please contact Dianne at admin.finance@lakeheadu.ca

At this time, we encourage you to work towards the posted research year-end deadlines.

Our office will communicate if sponsors extend their reporting deadlines.

See https://www.lakeheadu.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/403/Yearend_Research_deadlines2020.pdf

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Margot Ross at mross@lakeheadu.ca.

Margot Ross
Manager - Research & Trust  Accounting

External Updates

July 8, 2020

SSHRC:  For Insight Development Grants:  As the end date for Insight Development Grants (IDG) is May 31, effective immediately, the eligibility window for this grant extension has been expanded to include IDG grants ending on May 31, 2021 (including the one-year automatic extension, where applicable). This additional extension is for IDG recipients only.

SSHRC:  Grant Extensions:  SSHRC recognizes that agency-funded research activities may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic institutions can immediately approve extension requests of up to 12 months to agency grants with an end date between February 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, inclusively. Researchers should contact their institutions to request an extension. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they previously extended for any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). It will have no impact for applications awarded in the fall 2020 competitions.This provision will allow grantees to continue spending grant funds, and institutions to delay the processing of residual grant funds (as per the Guidelines for the General Research Fund). Institutions are to keep complete and accurate records on the grants being extended. Information will soon be available on how institutions can notify SSHRC of the details of these extensions.

June 30, 2020

Update on increased support for students, trainees and research support personnel funded through NSERC research grants

Increased support for students, trainees and research support personnel funded through NSERC research grants

June 17, 2020
NSERC program information in relation to COVID-19 (updated June 17, 2020)
June 15, 2020

Updated statement from the National Research Council of Canada – continued support for clients and collaborators during COVID‑19

June 10, 2020

June 4, 2020

Increased support for students, trainees and research support personnel funded through CIHR research grants

Increased support for students, trainees and research support personnel funded through NSERC research grants

June 3, 2020
CIHR’s COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Knowledge Synthesis Results and Looking Ahead
May 29, 2020
May 28, 2020
Message from the President: Update on the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition
May 26, 2020 - Exceptional Opportunities Fund

CFI: Exceptional Opportunities Fund – COVID-19

May 12, 2020 - Update to PromoScience Program

NSERC program information in relation to COVID-19 (updated May 12, 2020) - Update to PromoScience Program.

May 7, 2020 - CCS research update in response to COVID-19

CCS research update in response to COVID-19

May 6, 2020 - NSERC and SSHRC News
May 5, 2020 - NSERC program information

NSERC program information in relation to COVID-19 (updated May 5, 2020)

May 4, 2020 - Updates
May 1, 2020 - NSERC FAQ

Updated:  NSERC - Frequently Asked Questions - Discovery Grants one-year extension with funds due to COVID-19

April 24, 2020 - CIHR/Mitacs Information
April 23, 2020
Mitacs update on COVID-19 — Accelerate and Elevate
April 22, 2020
April 21, 2020
April 17, 2020

FAQ: Changes due to COVID-19Information about applying to and managing CFI awards during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 16, 2020

NSERC program information in relation to COVID‑19 (updated April 16, 2020)

April 15, 2020

 CIHR:  Impact of COVID-19 on strategic funding competitions

 April 9, 2020
 
 April 8, 2020
 
 March 31, 2020

NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants update

 March 26, 2020

Message from the CEO of the Ontario Centres of Excellence:  COVID-19 - Program Updates

 March 24, 2020

 NSERC program information in relation to COVID‑19

 March 20, 2020
 
 March 19, 2020
 March 16, 2020

Tri-Agency message on COVID-19