Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

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

Continuity of Research Planning

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.  The approach includes a Phased Reduction Strategy and Research Incident Response Flowcharts (Appendix A).

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 VicePrincipal (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.

Membership of RRT includes roles in alignment with the Incident Command Response protocols:

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 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.

Phase Reduction Strategy

In alignment with Public Health and Queen’s Incident Command phase levels (green, yellow, orange and red), 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. A community or Queen’s status of “Orange”, for examples, does not automatically require the same status for research activity. We have used our learnings from the previous shutdown to inform an independent, but complementary, strategy for the continuation of critical research based on the principles outlined above.

Level Level Description - subject to provincial and public health orders
Level 1
  • No new requests for on-site activity; RRT may approve COVID 19 related research as appropriate
  • Assess need to reduce already approved on-site research activity taking into consideration building capacity, etc.
  • All field research (previously approved and new) must be reviewed/approved by RRT
  • All in-person human participant research suspended
  • Animal care facilities moved to “care and maintenance” with only essential activities undertaken; no new research studies will be accepted
  • Hospital based research will follow KHSC/Providence Care guidelines and requirements
Level 2
  • New requests for on-site activity approved by RRT; already approved activities can continue
  • New requests for filed research activity approved by RRT; already approved activities can continue
  • New requests for in-person human participant research activity approved by RRT; already approved activities can continue
  • Animal care facilities will accept no additional activity and will stop purchasing
  • Hospital based research will follow KHSC/Providence Care guidelines and requirements
Level 3
  • On campus research activity requires Faculty approval
  • Field research activity requires Faculty approval
  • In-person human participant research requires Faculty approval
  • Hospital based research will follow KHSC/Providence Care guidelines and requirements
Level 4
  • Return to full on-site research activity, field research, and in-person human participant research with safety measures in place as required
  • Hospital based research will follow KHSC/Providence Care guidelines and requirements

Appendix A: Research Incident Response Flowcharts

Decision-making flow charts have been developed to guide research incident command structures under two scenarios.

A: General Response

 

General Response Flowchart

 

B: Response Involving Core Research Facility

 

Flowchart: Response Involving Core Research Facility

Download a PDF version of this document.