Phase 3 COVID-19 Update from the VPRI and REB Chair

Dear Lakehead University Research Community,

Now that the Government of Ontario has progressed to Phase 2, Stage 3 of reopening, we are pleased to announce Phase 3 of research resumption operations at Lakehead University. We would like to thank the members of the COVID-19 Research Transition Committee for reconvening to assess, consult, and recommend to the University a phased resumption of on-campus and field research, subject to public health guidance.

Phase 1 of research resumption, announced on March 26, allowed for critical research activities that were time-sensitive or related to COVID-19 to continue in on-campus research laboratories and facilities.

On June 17, Phase 2 of research resumption was announced, which allowed for essential research that was time-dependent, milestone-driven, or research activity that would significantly impact upon student academic progression to continue on-campus. In both phases, limited fieldwork was also permitted in compliance with the University’s non-essential travel restrictions. The successful implementation of Phase 2, coupled with the Government of Ontario further easing restrictions, has enabled Lakehead University to move to Phase 3 (which is aligned with Phase 2, Stage 3 of the Ontario Government's Reopening Framework.) 

In Phase 3, the approval processes previously in place have now been expanded to include some face-to-face research or service activities with human participants on campus and in communities where remote or online options are not available or appropriate. It is important to note that any research involving human participants requires approval from the Research Ethics Board and an amendment prior to the resumption of in-person research to ensure that appropriate safety protocols are in place. Phase 3 also allows for consideration of service and/or education activities under the jurisdiction of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation to continue. Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to, delivery of workshops and/or speaker series to community members, outreach activities within communities, or meetings on or off campus with community members. The COVID-19 Advisory Review Committee (C19ARC) has been established to review and make recommendations on such requests to the Faculty Deans and the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Any off-site activities that will be considered in Phase 3 also require written permission from community partners or agencies.

In addition, Phase 3 includes some revisions to the guidelines for fieldwork-related travel. Please note that an approved Travel, Field Work, and Off-Campus Research/Activity - Request for Approval form must accompany all related travel reimbursement claims to Financial Services. Researchers are required to abide by the regulations for safe fieldwork as per the COVID-19 Research Transition Committee’s recommendations.

Please note that approvals granted in Phase 2 remain valid and do not need to be resubmitted.

To review the COVID-19 Research Transition Committee’s Phase 3 Restart Guidelines for Researchers, as well as to access the Phase 3 Restart Application Portal, please visit the Research & Innovation COVID-19 website. Here, you will also find an outline of the necessary approval processes and links to forms for the resumption of research activities. Additional links to COVID-19 Resources and updated FAQs can also be found on the Research & Innovation COVID-19 website.


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


Dr. Kristin Burnett, Chair, Research Ethics Board


Archived Information

Previous Messages from the Vice-President, Research and Innovation

 COVID-19 Research Restart Transition Committee Recommendations