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Research Office


Am I allowed to start any new research at this time?

Faculty are encouraged to continue planning for research resumption and a return to campus as outlined below and by consulting the University’s COVID-19 Site (https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/covid-19/) for the latest information.

All faculty are required to follow the requirements within the latest research memo on research resumption for current research projects and in initiating new research projects, and to check for updates regularly.

Research FAQ’s

I'd like to review the research guidelines, where can I find past memos?

Important updates regarding research activities are outlined in the following memos:

Am I able to continue research on-campus and/or in the city of Winnipeg?

Effective October 1, 2020, faculty members will have office access from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Monday to Friday). Access to offices does not require formal authorization. Faculty are asked to:

  • send an email, at least 24 hours in advance, indicating their office location and intended schedule to returntocampus@uwinnipeg.ca — so we can appropriately prepare in accordance with health and safety protocols.

For Research activities on campus or in the field, please continue to complete the Resumption of Research Form. This form will be used to review requests for both on campus research and work done in the field.

The University has established a process to safely allow for resumption of research on-campus and in Winnipeg. However, the number of people and activities will remain limited to comply with public health guidance and reduce the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19. The campus changes will be prioritized, phased in, adapted, and carefully managed as we incrementally increase access.

What do I need to do to plan for research resumption on-campus?

Please develop an individual research plan in preparation for access to campus as well as the need to maintain social distancing and other protocols for slowing the spread of COVID-19 while conducting research activities. A justification is required within the form.

Where possible, researchers remain encouraged to continue working remotely. If possible, activities that are not in keeping with social distancing and cannot ensure the health and safety of research personnel and participants must be restricted.

We must recognize that short term disruptions to research activities both on campus and in the field require mitigation efforts. Faculty should also be aware that a full stop to activities can occur should the situation escalate.

What do I need to do to plan for research off-campus?

Faculty must continue to adhere to public health guidelines while working off campus in Winnipeg, and in other locations. For research off-campus, use the University’s research resumption form that is found here:

For remote work, faculty are asked to use the University’s Field Trip and Experiential Leaning Policies and Guidelines. As such, you are asked to complete the related forms that can be found here:

For questions, please work with your Department Chair, Dean and the Research Office for updated information. Our intention is to support off-campus and remote fieldwork that is safe for all members of your research team.

How can I support my research support staff on current projects?

Faculty are asked to communicate with research staff (undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and research technicians in labs, etc.) of any changes to workload, both short and long term. Communicate with research staff about work that can be done remotely, and set up a plan to support this. Advise the Research Office if there are any potential financial implications of changes to work with respect to grants, contracts and  payroll.

Please note that there are increasing supports for research that has been interrupted. The Research Office will communicate information as it is received. An example of this support includes the Federal Government’s program

How do I access research support services?

Research support is available by email, phone, and video conferencing. Please reach out as needed. We are here to help with questions and to provide ongoing support. All research office staff are working remotely to ensure that faculty have resources to assist with current projects and for applying for new grants.

Please also connect with Technology Services for support for tools to enhance research activities:

We will be using the Research website to provide faculty with updates. We also ask that you frequently visit the Tri-Council website pages relevant to your research. All faculty are required to comply with the requirements in the research updates and need to check regularly for updates.

What changes should I consider in my labs, facilities, and experiments?

With changing guidelines faculty should develop a plan for resumption of activities while also considering what can remain shut down (see above for return to campus procedures). 

Review protocols for disinfecting surfaces to reduce the risk of surface transmission; this would include, but is not limited to, lab benches, fume hoods, instrumentation panels, taps, etc.

For remote fieldwork or attending to work at off site research facilities, special considerations may be needed. Please connect with your Chair, Dean and the Research Office to assist with any arrangements/support for off-site activities (see above for links to field work supports). Work with host institutions on procedures they may have in place.

What changes should I consider regarding research involving human subjects?

Guidelines are changing frequently. If possible, continue to postpone in-person interviews, focus groups or gatherings. For example, Manitoba Guidelines are shifting to limit groups both indoor and outdoor to a maximum of 10 effective September 28, 2020. Please also consult the Province’s main dashboard for key information:

Interviews to be conducted online or over the phone can proceed or be postponed depending on the circumstances and the requirements of the project and funder. You will need to file an amendment with UHREB noting the changes to the research protocol with a consideration for how such changes might impact participants in access and participation. Any research resumption that requires some minimal in-person contact with participants needs an amendment to the ethics protocol, as well as the resumption plan or remote research plan that was developed and approved, as an attachment. UHREB will not review new research or amendments to research that involves any in-person contact without an approved plan attached. Research that has been amended from an approved protocol cannot proceed without UHREB approval of that amendment.

Faculty should connect with the Research Office if they expect delays, especially for non-Tri-Council research.

Faculty should also consult the Tri-Council for ongoing updates to grants and funding. 

The Tri-Council Secretariat has published guidelines on human ethics review during the COVID-19 crisis.

For human ethics related questions, please contact Vanessa Bayaraa.  

What changes should I consider regarding research involving animals?

Applications for the use of animals in research will be reviewed but most research activity will be delayed until the University deems it safe to return to work on campus. (Please note, the UACC does not meet during July and August.)

Please Refer to CCAC for updates. Please also connect with your Dean and Chair to determine plans.

For any offsite or fieldwork outside of Winnipeg, again please ensure that your Dean and Chair are aware if fieldwork cannot be interrupted.

The Director of the Vivarium, Dr. Jens Franck, Department of Biology, should also be contacted for work related to this facility.

For animal ethics-related questions, please contact Vanessa Bayaraa

Will I still have access to research materials and supplies?

Shipping and receiving functions will remain open. Please ensure you connect with suppliers or others if there is to be interruptions.

Please also notify shipping/receiving if there are any special circumstances with respect to shipments and delivery locations.

If any purchases or orders can be delayed that should be explored should campus functions close.

What do I need to consider when using equipment?

Where the research involves physical assessments and use of equipment (e.g., metabolic carts, facemasks, mouthpieces, nose clips, straps, turbines, valves, tubing, cannula, treadmills, etc.), disinfection according to manufacturer’s standards where applicable is paramount and use of single use accessories is advisable. In the absence of manufacturer standards, thorough cleaning between participants is advised.

What do I need to know about funding sources, deadlines, and deliverables?

If you are undertaking contract based work and have deadlines or pending deliverables that may be interrupted, please connect with the Research Office or the funder directly to request an extension.

It is important to note that some changes may require Contract Amendments, so notify the Research Office as soon as possible.

Based on type of funding, what and needs to be done or moved forward, faculty are encouraged to work with external funders.

What do I need to know about internal grants and travel awards?

There has been a disruption to our normal timelines for processing applications for internal open-call grants. This affects Discretionary Grants, Partnership Development Grants, Research Workshop and Conference Grants, and Internal HSS USRAs. For more information contact: Lara Arnason.

All funded travel has been suspended, including for research purposes.  All travel grant awards are also postponed until further notice. 

Any internal grant or travel funding awarded for an interrupted conference can be held if the event is rescheduled.

Use of TPDA funds for travel canceled within this fiscal year can be deferred if the event is being rescheduled. If you need to defer travel, please discuss with Dr. Jan Stewart, Interim Vice-President, Academic.

What funding opportunties are available?

If you are interested in any of the following opportunities, please submit your application to the research office two weeks before the external deadline.

Research Manitoba

Manitoba Covid-19 Rapid Response Grant – Submissions from April 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020 

SSHRC

Partnership Engage Grants Covid 19 Special Initiative - June 15 and Sept 15 

Mitacs

Research Training Award – Summer student intern support Expression of Interest due to Jill Condra by May 15, 2020 (j.condra@uwinnipeg.ca)

Special Covid-19 funding and application fast-tracking

CIHR

Operating Grant: Knowledge Synthesis: COVID-19 in Mental Health and Substance Use – May 7, 2020

Operating Grant: COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity – May 11, 2020

NSERC

Discovery Grant (DG) – NOI due August 4, 2020

Subatomic Physics Discovery (SAP-DG) – NOI due August 4, 202

Category 2 or 3 Research Tools and Instruments (SAP-RTI) – NOI due August 4, 2020

NSERC Alliance Grants – Open deadline

I may need to cancel tri-council funded travel related to my research, what should I do?

If you decide to cancel your trip as a result of cancelled conferences, travel advisories (including those from Health Canada and Global Affairs Canada), or personal choice due to health or other concerns, the tri-council agencies have released a statement confirming that “the reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees from agency funds is acceptable considering the impacts of COVID-19. This applies to the travel of both principal investigators and research personnel.”

If you are travelling for agency-funded research, you should consider purchasing either cancellation insurance, or tickets that are at least partially refundable. In this specific situation, some additional cost could still be viewed as economical if it allows for partial or full reimbursement/credit in the event of cancellation.

Please refer to the Tri-agency message on COVID-19 for more information.

I may need to cancel non-tri-council funded travel related to my research, what should I do?

There may be internal funds available to offset non-refundable travel fees. This will be looked at on a case by case basis. Please contact the Research Office for more information or questions related to non-tri-council funding.

Where do I go for more information?

For general research inquiries, please contact Bea Spearing.

Please connect with your dean, chair, and the Research Office for questions during this time. We will work to provide as much information as we can by email and online.