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COVID-19: SRC-Related Updates

The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation will be sharing information relating to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus / 2019-nCov) that may impact the Ryerson scholarly, research and creative community.

Last Updated: August 5, 2020, 8:00am

Recent Updates

Ryerson University to begin phasing in a limited return to on-campus SRC activity with human participants.

Complete details on the criteria and how to apply for on-campus SRC access are available on the Limited Return to SRC Activity section of the website.

Scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activity is a priority for the University. Ryerson University building systems, facilities and services will be maintained to support essential SRC activities. All research-related updates will continue to be added to this page as needed and/or as they become available.

Ryerson University will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of public health agencies.  

OVPRI support is available. Visit our Contact Us page to find a member of our team.

General Information

Recently, the Ontario government provided further guidance on thePDF file reopening of the province,, external link which included reference to allowing, in accordance with public health directives, professional services related to conducting research and experimental development in physical, engineering and life sciences; as well as the provision to resume in-person counselling like psychotherapy and other mental health and support services.

To be clear, critical research at Ryerson University has always been permissible as it was an exemption to the emergency orders and deemed as essential.

As the province moves forward with incrementally easing restrictions, I want to assure you that the reopening of Ryerson’s on-campus SRC activities will follow a coordinated, phased-in process. This process will be first and foremost guided by a commitment to the safety and security of our faculty, students, staff, and research infrastructure and facilities.

Ryerson’s buildings remain locked, and access remains restricted, so please continue to refrain from coming to the Ryerson campus unless you have a previously approved exemption to continue critical SRC activities. If you urgently require an exemption for critical SRC activities, please follow the critical exemption process as outlined on the SRC COVID-19 information webpage.

Phased Reopening of Research Spaces

The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (OVPRI) has been working with Facilities Management and Development (FMD) and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to develop a process, plan and timeline for reopening research spaces. Before research spaces can be reopened, the FMD team needs to undertake inspections of research spaces, a deep cleaning of common areas and inspection/testing of HVAC, water and electrical systems as well as EHS facilities (eye wash/shower stations, etc.).

Part of the reopening process will be the development of detailed plans for how each research space will adhere to public health directives. FMD, EHS and Human Resources are finalizing  guidance documents to aid individual faculty members and research groups in the planning process and development of protocols. Elements of the plans include describing how physical distancing provisions and enhanced cleaning will be maintained. Faculty members are encouraged to think about and begin documenting what would need to be in place to ensure the safety of their research personnel and spaces. As a starting point, current guidelines recommend, in order of priority:

  1. Continuing SRC activities remotely if possible and when there is negligible or little impact on the efficiency or quality of SRC activities and/or outcomes, and no sacrifice or compromise to ethical standards or confidentiality.  
  2. Scheduling research personnel or equipment access to avoid density and respecting principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.
  3. Employing simple engineering solutions to avoid the proximity of personnel and opportunities for virus transmission.
  4. Wearing personal protective equipment.

Town Halls

Recognizing that there are many questions about the impacts that this unprecedented time is having on our SRC community, please join me for a live stream discussion.

I will start each one-hour discussion with a brief overview of the SRC-related COVID-19 response to date followed by responses to your questions.

Have a Question?

If you have a concern, question or issue you would like me to address, please submit your question via the google formQuestions for the VPRI form, external link.

The VPRI form portal is open and we will be accepting questions for consideration until noon on Wednesday, May 20 for the Thursday, May 21 session and until noon on Wednesday, May 27 for the Thursday, May 28 session.

If you are unable to join the live streams, a full video of the town hall will be available online in the days following each session.

Thank you for your patience and collaboration as we work together to ensure the success of our SRC enterprise during these unprecedented times. We will continue to provide you with information as it becomes available.

Support for grant proposals, award submissions, partnership agreements and all other forms of funding applications and reporting will continue.

A list of OVPRI staff can be found on our department directory or you can search Ryerson’s main directory.

Funding questions

OVPRI continues to reach out to SRC funding agencies and sponsors regarding changes to funding and reporting deadlines impacted by COVID-19. We will communicate any new information through this website as it becomes available and connect with researchers individually.  

Should you have questions or concerns regarding a specific funded SRC project, please reach out to your Grants/Contracts Officer or Applied Research & Innovation Advisor.

OVPRI is updating the Funding Opportunities page as updates become available. Please check back frequently as new updates are coming in daily.

A number of funding agencies are releasing statements relating to COVID-19. OVPRI is posting funding agency updates on this page.

If you have any SRC funding-related questions, please contact Richard McCulloch, Executive Director, Research Services at richard.mcculloch@ryerson.ca.

Ryerson has suspended all future university-sanctioned international travel for students and staff until January 1, 2021. Ryerson urges faculty members to carefully consider any upcoming travel plans. When possible, consider cancelling your plans entirely, or postponing to a later date and delaying financial commitments.  

The Research Accounting Team will continue to support the Research Community remotely as Ryerson shifts to essential services only. All information regarding Ryerson Research Accounting can be found on the Financial Services website.

In light of disruptions related to COVID-19, Canada’s federal research grant and funding agencies have extended deadlines for submitting financial reports. Find more on the tri-agency financial reporting extensions.

Policy regarding travel insurance

Information regarding travel cancellations can be found on the Financial Services website under Eligible Research Expenses / Travel Cancellations.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have released a statement on May 1, 2020.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has released a statement on April 21, 2020.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has released a statement on April 9, 2020.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has released a statement on April 9, 2020.

Mitacs has released a statement on March 19, 2020.

The three federal granting agencies (CHIR, NSERC, SSHRC) have released a statement on March 16, 2020.

The Tri-Council has also released a statement regarding travel fees relating to travel disruptions caused by COVID-19 on March 6, 2020. The statement can be found on the Government of Canada website.

Funding Opportunity updates.

Similar to the federal granting agencies advisory of March 6, 2020, regarding COVID-19, Ryerson University will allow eligible reimbursements for cancelled trips in cases such as cancelled conferences, travel advisories, or a personal choice due to health or other concerns.

Non-refundable travel expenses related to research are eligible for reimbursement when purchased through internal research funds or Professional Expense Reimbursement Funds (PERF). Also, academic/pedagogical currency-related travel expenses claimed through (PERF) are also eligible for reimbursement. Travel/conference cancellation insurance is also an eligible expense if paid for through PERF or internal research funds.

To be clear, if someone is not traveling to a conference, the non-refundable expenses are eligible for reimbursement. The individual will not receive any additional funds in their PERF or internal research account. Questions regarding PERF expenses can be directed to vpfa@ryerson.ca.  Questions regarding internal research fund expenses can be directed to Aimee Kozai (akozai@ryerson.ca).