COVID & Research at VIU

Resuming Research Framework

Vancouver Island University shifted to virtual operations in mid-March 2020. This phase of emergency management of the COVID-19 pandemic was informed by the Province of British Columbia’s declaration of a State of Emergency to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

On March 17th, VIU researchers were notified of a set of research guidelines to guide their research during COVID 19 as well as a directive from the Research Ethics Board.

Since then, access to Vancouver Island University campus was restricted to allow only a very limited number of employees on campus – those associated with essential services to support on-site operations (e.g. Residence Life, Security, some Facilities staff, personnel for animal care facilities support), and critical functions of the university. Restricting access to campus also required the suspension of all on-campus research and scholarly activities in labs, offices, and research spaces. In addition, travel and other public health restrictions associated with the Provincial State of Emergency led to the suspension of all field research; activities involving face-to-face (in-person) interactions (e.g. surveys or focus groups with research participants) were deferred or required to be carried out remotely using tele-/video-conferencing tools.

As BC begins to resume activities, VIU researchers need guidance on how to request and receive approval to resume their research activities. This site provides direction on how on-campus and field research activity can resume in phases, to be implemented when circumstances related to COVID-19 in British Columbia will allow the gradual lifting of activity restrictions. The process outlined here is sufficiently general that it can be followed throughout the coming months with the evolving stages of lifting activity restrictions by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and associated with the provincial four phase plan for re-opening the economy. Activity involving inter-provincial and international travel is not considered essential and must follow the University travel guidelines as well as government guidelines regarding travel restrictions.