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Research

SFU’s return to campus safety plan includes a number of layers of protection to keep our SFU research community safe. See the latest on-campus research activity updates and resources.

COVID-19 SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL

Use this self-assessment tool to provide up-to-date guidance and recommendations for testing and follow-up for COVID-19.

Recent Provincial Health Officer Orders and Federal Mandates

As per recent Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Orders, mandatory vaccination orders have been issued that cover a range of sectors. Several of these orders may affect activities of some SFU faculty, staff and students. Please read through the following to determine if you—or those who you work with—are affected.

  • The October 21 PHO Order for hospital and community (health care and other services) COVID-19 vaccination status information and preventive measures, requires all staff and contractors working in a hospital or community health care setting to be fully vaccinated (two doses) or be exempt from vaccination. This includes facilities such as SFU’s ImageTech Lab, as well as “a student, faculty member, researcher or staff member of a post-secondary institution who is in a care location for training or research purposes.”  

  • This PHO Order also may apply to faculty under the “employer” definition. If you have a service contract or are otherwise funded by any of the following agencies, mandatory vaccination applies to those entering any health authority facility: any regional health board; the Provincial Health Services Authority; British Columbia Emergency Health Services; the Providence Health Care Society; the Ministry of Health; or the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

  • The Government of Canada has implemented a Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the Core Public Administration. This policy requires mandatory vaccination for federal workplaces. All contractor and subcontractor personnel who access federal government workplaces where they may come into contact with public servants will also be required to be fully vaccinated. This includes research contracts or service contracts with SFU faculty. The Canadian Space Agency has set a deadline of Friday, October 29, and all other federal workplaces have a Monday, November 15 deadline for SFU to certify that all employees who access federal workplaces are compliant with this order.

If these Orders affect you and/or anyone you work with, please contact ors@sfu.ca and provide the names and the details of the location and the Order that pertains to you. Proof of vaccination or exemption must then be provided using the SFU Vaccine Declaration System prior to accessing the site. SFU students can use the system and should not use the method detailed in the Order. While many facilities are spot checking on site, SFU is also subject to audits from the PHO and must maintain these records. The federal agencies have noted that they will cut off funding for those who violate the PHO Orders and Policy.

If you have a contract separate from SFU or are otherwise funded separately, you are the “employer” and must collect this information for anyone reporting to you. Best practices for researchers who are subject to one of the Orders as “employer” would be to: 

  • Use a secure system that is protective of their staff’s privacy to collect proof of vaccination (for example: SFU Vault), and 

  • To organize the information in a way that it is readily available should the researcher (as employer) be required by the Public Health Agency of Canada to disclose that information for audit purposes.  

If you need more information, please email covid19@sfu.ca.  

Guidelines for on-campus research activity

The SFU Recovery Framework outlines several guiding principles for learning and research continuity. These include:

  • The university will protect the health and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff.
  • The university will consider issues of accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion in all decisions.
  • The university will consider the carbon footprint and climate change adaptation implications of all decisions.
  • The university will communicate decisions and guidance as early and as broadly as possible.
  • Research activity will be supported to every extent possible.
  • The university will take advantage of opportunities to innovate and collaborate.

Research status

SFU’s safety plan guides our return to campus and considers factors including rate of community transmission, rate of vaccination and public health orders. For research, the plan provides broad guidelines on staffing density, on-campus research and fieldwork, access to buildings and meeting rooms.

Density1

Minimum staff required to provide critical support

On Campus

By exemption only: research/critical maintenance of equipment/experiments, approved by VPRI

In-Person Human Participants Research (HPR)

Approved exemption for in-person Human Participant Research only

Fieldwork/Off-Campus Sites

Approved exemption; low-contact COVID-19 exposure off-campus research only2; Field Activity Plan (FAP) and COVID-19 Safety Plan required

Building Access

Restricted building access

Research Meetings/Seminar Rooms

No use of space allowed

1 Density on campus is based on space capacity and commensurate with safety physical distancing requirements; however, modifications are permissible upon Safety Plan approval from the Dean

2 Low contact COVID-19 exposure field activity may include local (no overnight accommodation); facilities are close to medical facilities; not near vulnerable communities; local services not required (minimal interaction); personal, individual transportation can be taken to the site (details)

On campus

Institution-wide Communicable Disease Infection Plan in place based on provincial sector guidance.

Density1

10%-40%

On Campus

Approved on-campus research activities with safety and contact mitigation plan; approved by Faculty

In-Person Human Participants Research (HPR)

Minimal intervention HPR only, with safety and contact mitigation plan and updated ethics protocol2

Fieldwork/Off-Campus Sites

Medium contact COVID-19 exposure activity3 may be approved; Field Activity Plan (FAP) and COVID-19 Safety Plan required

Building Access

Restricted building access; research space access available with approved Safety Plan

Research Meetings/Seminar Rooms

No use of space allowed unless approved by exemption by the Dean; approved Safety Plan

1 Density on campus is based on space capacity and commensurate with safety physical distancing requirements; however, modifications are permissible upon Safety Plan approval from the Dean

2 Minimal intervention may include: 1:1 interviews in an appropriate space, or small focus groups that can maintain required distancing. All in-person HPR, on and off campus, requires an HPR safety plan approved through the Office of Research Ethics (ORE) processes. The HPR safety plan details how procedures will be modified to take participant safety into account

3 Medium contact COVID-19 exposure field activity may include travel with multiple stops; overnight accommodation with restrictions (no shared rooms); shared equipment or vehicle possible with approved disinfection and cleaning protocols; strenuous activities

In-person human participants research (HPR)

Researchers must indicate within their research ethics applications that they will follow the prevention measures outlined within SFU's Communicable Disease Plan. Principal Investigators have the right, but not the obligation, to add fully vaccinated status as an inclusion requirement for research participants. Please see the SFU Research website for more details.

Fieldwork/off-campus sites

A Field Safety Plan, which should include required measures under SFU’s Communicable Disease Plan and applicable Provincial Health Officer orders, and community-based health and safety plan (if applicable) are required. For more information, please see the SFU Research website.

Building access

Research space access available as following Communicable Disease Plan, or in some cases, with approved Safety Plan.

Limited building access; research space access available as following Communicable Disease Plan, or in some cases, with approved Safety Plan.

Density1

40%-80%

On Campus

Institution-wide Communicable Disease Infection Plan in place based on provincial sector guidance;

In-Person Human Participants Research (HPR)

High interventionHPR is permitted without having to submit a HPR Safety Plan. Researchers must indicate within their research ethics applications that they will follow the prevention measures outlined within SFU's Communicable Disease Plan 

Fieldwork/Off-Campus Sites

Field Activity3 Plan (FAP), Community-based health and safety plan (if applicable) and, in some Faculties, COVID-19 Safety Plan required

Building Access

Research space access available as following Communicable Disease Plan, or in some cases, with approved Safety Plan

Limited building access; research space access available as following Communicable Disease Plan, or in some cases, with approved Safety Plan

Research Meetings/Seminar Rooms

Limited use of space allowed with approval of Chair/Director; 

  1. Density on campus is based on space capacity and commensurate with safety physical distancing requirements; however, modifications are permissible upon Safety Plan approval from the Dean
  2. High intervention may include sustained physical contact, high intensity, or high contact of aerosol generation (e.g. exercise testing or respiratory function testing)
  3. High contact COVID-19 exposure field activity may include longer distance travel; physical
    distancing difficult

 

Density1

80%-100%

On Campus

In-person research activity without restrictions; approved by Chair/Director if safety plans required

In-Person Human Participants Research (HPR)

Commensurate with local, provincial and national protocols; ethics approval required

Fieldwork/Off-Campus Sites

Commensurate with local, provincial and national protocols; Field Activity Plan (FAP) required

Building Access

Commensurate with local and provincial restrictions

Research Meetings/Seminar Rooms

Commensurate with local and provincial restrictions

1 Density on campus is based on space capacity and commensurate with safety physical distancing requirements; however, modifications are permissible upon Safety Plan approval from the Dean

Research meetings/seminar rooms

Limited use of space allowed with approval of Chair/Director.

Resources

Ethics

Weekly remote research ethics help sessions are offered to SFU researchers with SFU Research Ethics Officers, Monday-Thursday, 1-2 p.m.

Learn more

Funding

Please consult the funding and awards opportunities database for the most current research grant and faculty award opportunities.

Learn more

APPLICATIONS

For application development support through the full lifecycle of a research project contact SFU’s Research Services (ORS) team.

Learn more

Contact

Looking for more information on SFU research activities?

Email: sfu-research@sfu.ca