Continuity of Research Planning

(updated December 17, 2020)

In alignment with Provincial and local Public Health requirements and Queen’s Incident Command phase levels, the following will be used as a guide to support the continuity of research while responding to public health concerns and escalation. The nature of events leading to a change in recommended public health phases will inform the research continuity strategies outlined in the table below. In some instances, information on trends and likely escalation in public health levels may require action in advance of the official level/colour change. To inform planning and undertake central approvals and decision-making, a Research Response Team (RRT) was established at the start of the pandemic and is referred to in the table below.

GREEN

YELLOW

ORANGE

RED

GREY

Requests for on-site research activity require Faculty approval

No change

New requests for on-site activity approved by RRT

Already approved activities can continue

Access to on-site facilities by PIs, graduate students, and other research personnel who have travelled from other Ontario regions (particularly those in red and grey), provinces and countries may be required to be isolated in KFL&A for a period of time and/or tested prior to access on-site facilities

Maintain Orange requirements in addition to the following:

New requests for on-site activity may be suspended; capacity of building/facility will be a key consideration

For already approved on-site activity, if researchers can work remotely (from home) they should do so, only coming on-site as necessary

Maintain Red requirements in addition to the following:

New requests for on-site activity likely to be suspended

Assess need to reduce already approved on-site research activity taking into consideration capacity restraints, etc.

GREEN

YELLOW

ORANGE

RED

GREY

Field research activity requires Faculty approval

No change

New requests for field research activity approved by RRT

Already approved activities can continue

Maintain Orange requirements in addition to the following:

All field research in KFL&A Public Health region is suspended

The continuation, as well as approval of new requests, for field research activities in other regions or countries will be guided by applicable local public health directives and safety measures

Maintain Red requirements in addition to the following:

Researchers in Grey Zone regions (KFL&A or other region) may not travel at this time to other regions or countries to conduct field research activities without a risk assessment and approval by the RRT

GREEN

YELLOW

ORANGE

RED

GREY

In-person human participant research requires Faculty approval

No change

New requests for in-person human participant research activity approved by RRT

Already approved activities can continue

Given the increased levels of community transmission and the risk for human participants, in-person research involving human participants may be suspended with the following exceptions:

  • COVID-19 Research
  • study involves in-person research where the participant is receiving a service that would be delivered/received regardless of the research (e.g., medical treatment)
  • Researchers currently in other regions or countries conducting approved in-person research, may continue, as long as they follow all applicable local public health directives and safety measures

Given the increased levels of community transmission and the risk for human participants, all in-person research involving human participants is suspended until further notice with the same exceptions as listed in Red

GREEN

YELLOW

ORANGE

RED

GREY

Requests to use animal care facilities approved by University Veterinarian via the Faculties

No change

Requests to use animal care facilities approved by University Veterinarian via the RRT

New requests for use of animal care facilities may be suspended

Maintain Orange requirements in addition to the following:

New requests for use of animal care facilities likely to be suspended

Animal care facilities moved to “care and maintenance” with only essential activities/studies being undertaken

Purchasing and breeding suspended

GREEN

YELLOW

ORANGE

RED

GREY

Hospital based research will follow KHSC/Providence Care guidelines and requirements

No change

No change

No change

No change

Structure

To inform planning and decision-making during an incident, a Research Response Team (RRT) has been established. The objectives of RRT are:

  • Serve as the rapid response and decision advising body to the Vice-Principal (Research) in relation to the responsibilities of the Vice-Principal (Research) during an Incident Command Response situation.
  • To develop principles, risk assessment and response protocols to guide a rapid response to research focused issues and incidents.
  • To proactively prepare and practice scenarios that will inform decisions in maintaining the continuity of research during a COVID19 outbreak; identify risks and implement mitigations to support the continuity of research.

Team Lead

Kimberly Woodhouse
Vice-Principal (Research)

Substitute Team Lead Kent Novakowski
Associate Vice-Principal (Research)
Scribe Alina Achim
Administrative Assistant to the VPR
Information Officer Charles Sumbler
Executive Director, Research Operations & Strategy
Research Facilities Liaison Andrew Winterborn
University Veterinarian
Faculty Representatives

Nick Mosey
Associate Dean Research, FAS

Amir Fam
Associate Dean Research, FEAS

Steven Smith
Vice-Dean Research, FHS

Kingston Health Sciences Centre Liaison

Steven Smith

Vice-President Research, KHSC

Additional support will be added as needed. 

Principles

The following principles are informing the planning and execution of RRT activities:

  • That research will continue to be viewed as an essential service as outlined in previous Government of Ontario state of emergency declarations;
  • The continuity of research during the pandemic is an institutional priority;
  • Risk is mitigated by the expertise and knowledge obtained during the restart of research; and
  • The University, in collaboration with Faculties, has the mechanisms and expertise to guide an effective temporary slowing of research activity that makes a complete shutdown an unnecessary first option as part of a response protocol.

Research Continuity Planning Document

Download a PDF version of this document (PDF 204 KB)