COVID-19 Research Recovery Plan

The health and safety of the Nipissing University (NU) research and campus community is the University’s priority. Please find below the stage in model for resuming research activities during COVID-19. The transition from one stage to the next will be guided by public health advice and in accordance with the appropriate Federal and Provincial directives.

The Nipissing University Research Ethics Board (NUREB) continues to accept applications, and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (OGSR) promotes the continuation of research; however, all protocols must follow Health and Safety guidelines, and best practices. Please email research@nipissingu.ca with all questions regarding research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A guiding principle for research recovery is should you be able to continue conducting research from home, please do so to limit the number of access requests and face-to-face interactions.

Field Work:

For requests to resume fieldwork, please complete the “Research Recovery – Field Work” application in ROMEO under Office of Research Services. To create an account use this link.

Library Services:

For requests regarding library research resources please contact Nancy Black using nancyblack@nipissingu.ca.

On Campus Access:

For on campus access, please follow the staged approach below.


This plan has been developed consistent with the principles established by the Ontario Council on University Research working group on research recovery.

Stage 0

  • University staff and faculty members work remotely
  • Access to campus is strictly prohibited

Stage 1:

Temporary ONE TIME access

Researchers may request temporary access to the Nipissing University campus strictly to retrieve data necessary to continue working remotely. Students are not permitted to request access at this time. If temporary entry is approved, researchers must first agree to the access terms set out by Facilities and Health and Safety, as well as complete self-assessment set out by Health and Safety. Researchers are to arrive alone on the designated date and time as set out in the access approval and must adhere to social distancing requirements.


Please follow the steps below for Stage 1 temporary access.

  • If you do not already have a Romeo account, please create one using this link.
  • Complete the “Research Recovery Stage 1 – Temporary Access” application under Office of Research Services
  • Your request will be forwarded to the OGSR, Facilities, and Health and Safety for review.
  • If your request is approved, the OGSR will contact you with your access date a time.
    • Note: Entry is strictly to retrieve data necessary to continue working and analyzing data remotely.
  • Subsequently, Health and Safety will contact you with information on how to complete the mandatory self-assessment before re-entry.
    • Note that Health and Safety will have a list of approved applicants and will only provide training to those on the approved list.

Stage 2:

Limited access to campus and research spaces

Researchers may request limited access to a designated space for themselves and for students/research assistants to analyze data otherwise unable to be analyzed remotely. This includes research laboratories housing software only available on laboratory computers, equipment unable to transport home, data that cannot leave the laboratory, etc. If the analyses can continue remotely, access will be denied. Stage 2 strictly involves the analysis of data collected remotely, or previously collected before working remotely. No face-to-face contact with human participants or non-human animal models for the collection of new data are permitted at this stage. The size of each lab space will dictate the number of individuals allowed in the space. If limited access is approved, all personnel who will be entering the lab will have to complete the employee re-entry training. All approved researchers must strictly abide by social distancing guidelines and ensure their students are entering the lab voluntarily.


Please follow the steps below for Stage 2 limited access.

  • If you do not already have a Romeo account, please create one using this link.
  • Complete the “Research Recovery Stage 2 – Limited Access” application under Office of Research Services
  • Your request will be forwarded to OGSR, Facilities, and Health and Safety for review
    • Priority will be given to researchers with projects involving graduate students who require data for completion of their degrees.
  • If your request is approved, all members included in the application will be contacted by Health and Safety with information on how to complete re-entry training.
    • Note that Health and Safety will have a list of approved applicants and will provide training to those on the approved list.
  • Once all members included on the application have completed the mandatory health and safety training, a confirmation email will be sent to you and Facilities.
  • Facilities will then provide you with a date and time for entry and reentry.
    • Note: A schedule for individuals with limited access will be created through Facilities and will require strict adherence to social distancing guidelines.

Researchers and their students must complete health-screening questions upon each reentry. Students are not to enter the laboratory without their supervisor present.

Before Stage 3

Should you consider requesting stage 3 access (see below); the following steps must be completed prior to your request. Stage 3 involves data collection using human participants, which requires further safety precautions.

  • Plans to modify traffic flow within your laboratory space, signage, barriers, PPE, etc.
  • The above plans must be shared with Facilities and Health and Safety during a walkthrough of your space and be approved using the “Stage 3 – Walk-Through Request” form prior to the walk through. This form is found on ROMEO.
  • Amendments to approved REB protocols to highlight modified data collection procedures to adhere to social distancing practices, Health and Safety guidelines, and recommendations made by Facilities are to be expected. Should any amendments be made (i.e., consent forms) your REB Modification approval notification will need to be attached to your Stage 3 request.

Stage 3: Current state of affairs.

Research Activities - access research spaces and collect data

As social distancing guidelines are adjusted to permit larger gatherings, researchers may apply to work in research spaces and conduct data collection with human participants. Researchers will be required to determine the maximum occupancy of a space through consultations with Facilities, and Health and Safety. The size of each laboratory space will dictate the number of individuals allowed in the space at any time. Individuals working within the lab but not collecting data with human participants are welcome to request an adjustment in the number of personnel allowed in their space. This request can be made by submitting a modification to an approved Stage 2 application within ROMEO. If restricted access is approved, all new personnel who will be entering the space to conduct research will have to complete the employee re-entry training (this does not include human participants).

Face to face data collection is permitted with the following human participants, Nipissing students, staff, faculty and community members. On campus participants are required to complete self-assessments through the Nipissing Safe App as stated in the Nipissing University Vaccination Policy. Researchers conducting face to face data collection off campus must adhere to the policies and procedures as outlined by the organization or community of the participants as well as the Nipissing University Vaccination Policy.

The Nipissing University Vaccination Policy indicates that faculty and students conducting research, on or off campus, are required to provide proof of vaccination. Researchers will be required to provide visual proof of vaccination within the Office of Graduate Studies and Research prior to conducting research.


Please follow the steps below for Stage 3:

  • If you do not already have a Romeo account, please create one using this link.
  • Complete the “Research Recovery Stage 3 – Research Activities” application
    • This application will require:

      • An attached signed “Stage 3 – Walk-Through Request” form
  • Your request will be forwarded to OGSR, Facilities, and Health and Safety for review
  • If your request is approved:
    • all new research team members included in the application will be contacted by Health and Safety with information on how to complete re-entry training.
    • The research team will be required to provide visual proof of vaccination to the OGSR