Since March 2020, the King’s community has demonstrated resilience, courage, and ingenuity in our efforts to protect each other from the harmful effects of the coronavirus. The pandemic has required all of us to adapt our behaviors, habits, and practices in all aspects of our lives, including how we conduct academic research.
In order to support our continued efforts in the months ahead, King's is publishing some new resources to help clarify 1) how public health directives related to COVID-19 may affect how you do your research and 2) what plans need to be in place if you need to conduce non-virtual (i.e., in-person) research activities with research participants or members of your research team.
While all researchers at King's should familiarize themselves with these guidelines in order to best support each other in our individual and collective scholarly pursuits, these guidelines will be most directly relevant to you if your research activities do (or could) involve any of the following:
- Non-virtual (i.e., in-person) interactions with research participants;
- Non-virtual (i.e., in-person) interactions with other members of your research team (ex. other faculty members, staff, or students involved in the research activities);
- Use of shared or public spaces (at King’s or off-campus);
- Travel by means of shared or public modes of transport (including air travel); or,
- Travel outside of the Province of Ontario.
To meet Provincial requirements, if the research project has any potential in-person contact with 1) human participants and/or 2) research team members (RAs, etc.) the lead researcher should work with their team to prepare their project-specific "COVID-19 Research Safety Plan" (template is provided). Research projects that can be conducted in a completely virtual manner do not need to complete these forms).
King's COVID-19 guidance and resources closely align with guidance provided by Western Research at Western University (here and here). Given that King’s has a different governance structure than Western, and given that there can be important differences in the types of research activities supported by each institution, it seemed prudent to provide King’s-specific guidance for the remainder of the pandemic. King’s will continue to work closely with Western for the remainder of the pandemic to ensure both institutions continue to operate as safely as possible and comply with all pandemic directives.
Once again, we appreciate everyone's efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 since Spring of 2020. We recognize that interpreting public health guidelines and applying them to your particular research project can be difficult - especially now that increasing vaccination rates are becoming a major factor in an already complex and dynamic policy environment. We are here to support you however we can, so please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help navigating how to do your research safely under current municipal, provincial, or federal restrictions.