Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)
Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

COVID-19 Outbreak and its Impact on Queen's University Research

With this fluid situation please bookmark and visit this site for regular updates on the impacts to Queen’s research. The website aims to provide clarity and direction to support the continuation of the research mission. We appreciate that the fluidity of the current situation makes for significant difficulties in planning research activities. For those of you who have questions or seek assistance, please contact University updates will continue to be posted at

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Important Updates

Featured Updates

Continuity and Slowing of Research Planning (October 14, 2020)

October 14, 2020

A structure and response protocols to guide the controlled slowing of the research enterprise in response to COVID-19 incidents has been developed. Central to the planning, with due consideration to risk and public health guidance, is supporting the continuity of research.

(Read more)

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) - Updated October 21, 2020

Updated October 21, 2020

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on June 23 as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Queen’s University was notionally allocated ~$5.2M for eligible expenses. Recipient universities must adhere to the principles of responsible stewardship and transparency, and equity, diversity, and inclusion will be respected at all stages of the process of managing and distributing funds.

CRCEF Program Stewardship and Transparency

The Vice-Principal (Research), in collaboration with institutional research leadership, will oversee the distribution of Stage 1 and 2 funding, and the process to manage the funding requests and subsequent distribution for Stage 3. Queen’s is dedicated to excellence in research and research training for the benefit of Canadians through an equitable, diverse and inclusive research enterprise, including in the management of the CRCEF program. Key activities include:

  • Leadership by the Vice-Principal (Research) and all Faculty Associate Deans of Research in the decision-making process. The committee reviewing the final CRCEF submission has representation from equity-seeking groups, and Vice-Principal (Research) and University staff will provide expertise on the inclusion of equity, diversity and Indigeneity principles in any decision-making.
  • Decision-makers will have completed specific training requirements, including the review of training modules from the University Equity Office, which focuses on racism in a pandemic, as well as the Canada Research Chairs Unconscious Bias Training Module. Faculty operational leads involved in the collection of data and/or participating in outreach to the research community regarding CRCEF, have also completed the CRC unconscious bias training module.
  • In the final review of the CRCEF submission, the committee will uphold the following EDI principles, ensuring equitable treatment of a diverse research enterprise:

    • Recognition of research that is non-traditional, based on Indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of a discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status.

    • Explicit recognition of Indigenous epistemologies, Indigenous research methodologies as well as the fundamental value of relationship building in research.

    • Alignment with the university statement on flexibility and support for employees with caregiving responsibilities.


The call for Stage 3 applications will be distributed widely, through a variety of channels (email, web-based, and targeted), to ensure that all eligible to apply for the funds are aware of this resource and their eligibility. Applications will not operate on a first-come first-served basis. To further ensure an inclusive communication strategy, all principal investigators have been contacted directly via a survey tool and program information has been distributed broadly and at multiple levels to promote awareness of the program and the importance of equity and inclusion within administration of the program. Outreach sessions have been carried out with various institutional representatives on the need to safeguard the process from the potential for unconscious bias, explicitly seeking input on the process to uphold EDI principles as outlined above.

Preliminary indication is the notional amount allocated to Queen’s is sufficient to meet the demand for reimbursement of all eligible expenses per the program requirements; however, if Queen’s does not have adequate CRCEF funding to fully fund all identified eligible expenses, and are unable to secure additional CRCEF funds to meet the demand of the program, a recommendation will be made to the decision-making committee to prorate available funding to a consistent and equitable percentage for all claimants.   

Contact Information

The following University official has oversight for the CRCEF program and is responsible for ensuring the equity, diversity, and inclusion strategy of the program is upheld:

Kimberly Woodhouse
Vice-Principal (Research)

Distribution of CRCEF funding to affiliated health research institution

The CRCEF program awarded Stage 1 funding to universities and their affiliated health research institutions on the basis of a formula that was applied to each institution’s annual average over three years (2015-16 to 2017-18) of the total of research income from all non-governmental sources as indicated in the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) research income reports.

The Stage 1 funds were awarded to Queen’s University and the affiliated health research institution, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). Funds to KHSC were then allocated in accordance with the proportionate share of the funds awarded to each institution. The share of allocation earned was determined by each institution’s share of the average over three years (2015-16 to 2017-18) of the total of research income from all non-governmental sources outlined in the CAUBO research income report.

Update on Requests for On-site Research Facility Access (Updated August 26)

Updated August 26, 2020

As you are aware, we have had a Research Impact Committee that has been approving various aspects of the research start-up process. When we moved to Priority 2 research requests, approvals were delegated to the Faculties with approvals for field research and research involving human subjects remaining under the purview of the committee. We are now at a point where it is appropriate for field research and research involving human subjects to be approved at the Faculty level.

The Research Impact Committee is now morphing to a Research Response Team which will be preparing various response plans and communications to support the appropriate continuity of research in the event of an outbreak. We will continue to consult with Faculties in the development of these plans.

Please contact your Associate Dean of Research or Department Head if you have any questions or concerns. 

For details on the process for requests, please see the full, updated message online.

Public Health and Building Preparation Guidance FAQ for Research Priority Timeline 1 and 2 have been made available to assist faculty, unit heads, and building managers/officials in preparing for on-site research facility start-up following approval of a research access request.

Additional Guidance to Research Community on Non-medical Face Coverings (July 22, 2020)

July 22, 2020

The university has announced that, effective July 24th, it is implementing measures that call for non-medical face coverings/cloth masks to be worn in public and common spaces inside buildings.

Please see, additional guidance for laboratory spaces when approved research is being conducted.

Face Coverings while Conducting Human Subject Research (June 29, 2020)

Updated June 29, 2020

Dear Queen’s research community:

In follow up to the announcement by the University in response to the current COVID -19 outbreak in Kingston, I would like to encourage faculty members and principal investigators with research personnel on campus to continue their vigilance in active monitoring and please check in daily with researchers who are on site either in Kingston or on field studies.  In addition, in response to the heightened concern by local public health, we feel it is prudent to request that those of you who are conducting human subject research on Queen’s University sites, wear masks even if physical distancing is possible and that you request that your subjects/clients do so as well.  Those undertaking human subject research within local hospitals should ensure that they are following hospital protocols.  Should you have a concern about the ability to undertake the research appropriately if the subjects are masked, please contact my office via and we will review your request to determine if an exception can be made.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these issues and determine the appropriate response level to the evolving situation.  We will continue to update you as the situation evolves.

Please visit the COVID-19 Research Impact site for regular updates.


Sincerely yours,


Kimberly A. Woodhouse, Ph.D., P.Eng., FCAE, FBSE
Vice-Principal (Research)
Professor of Chemical Engineering


Field Research Activities (Updated April 23)

Updated April 23, 2020

Faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students who feel their field research should be deemed “essential,” and that it must be conducted in the spring/summer term, are asked to fill out a Request to Continue Critical Field Research Form.  Principal Invesigators must sign the form, then a) in departmentalized faculties submit to the department head and then the faculty dean, or b) in non-departmentalized faculties, submit directly to the dean. Should the department head and dean agree that the work must continue, the request will then be forwarded to the VP (Research) for review and approval. Investigators will be informed of the decision within a week of submitting the request.

Read the full message online.

Invitation to join CanCOVID

As part of the national effort to address the COVID-19 Crisis, the Federal Office of the Science Advisor is establishing an expert community of Canadian COVID-19 researchers, clinical collaborators, and healthcare stakeholders from across the country. Please see to learn more. The community will be hosted on Slack, a collaboration hub developed to facilitate communication and the sharing of information. The top research intensive universities in Canada, the U15, to which we belong, are encouraged to invite qualified researchers to join the platform and participate in the collaborations. Themes for collaboration include the following:

  1. Diagnostics
  2. Clinical trials
  3. Fundamental Science
  4. Vaccines & Therapeutics
  5. Indigenous research
  6. Social and behavioural sciences
  7. Healthcare
  8. Modelling
  9. Cohort Studies

For those of you who participated in our recent survey on COVID-19-related research conducted at Queen’s, we intend to use those results to initiate the invitation list. If you are currently conducting research on COVID-19 or its impacts, or believe that you have skills that might be valuable to the themes identified above, and did not participate in the survey or wish to re-iterate your interest, please send an email to Please provide a brief biography and ½ page description of your COVID-19 related interests/research (i.e. the theme you might fit into) in your email and we will reply. Please note that the invitations we provide will be vetted by the CanCOVID team to ensure suitability in all cases. The invitation process opened today, so if you are interested, please be in contact as soon as possible.


See new Funding Opportunities and COVID-19 Research Resources below:

Updates from June 2020

Updates from March 2020

Funding Opportunities

Please see the Searchable Funding Database for ALL research funding opportunities. This database is maintained by University Research Services (URS), is updated regularly and includes COVID-19 funding opportunities

COVID-19 Research Resources

  • Primer of COVID-19 Research Resources
    This primer contains a list and brief description of available online research resources relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources listed include curated, free-access COVID-19 literature databases, the WHO Global Research on COVID-19 dashboard for accessing situation reports and the WHO Research and Development Blueprint, and links to COVID-19-related research projects and clinical trials. (Last update: May 20, 2020.)


Updated October 21, 2020