Research Re-start and Recovery Application Process

(Updated August 25, 2020)

All requests to resume on and off-campus research activities that have been shut-down or prevented from starting as a result of COVID-19 require the approval of the Vice-Dean Research in the Faculty of Arts & Science. 

At this time, we invite applications that fall within the following two parameters of the University of Toronto Approach to Research Recovery & Adaptation

Note, all re-start requests are assessed using the following institutional documents and Principal Investigators (PIs) are required to review them before completing the A&S Research Re-Start and Recovery online application process:

Stage 3 Guidelines for On-Campus Research in Arts & Science

Arts & Science will consider applications that fall within Stage 3 of the On-Campus Research Recovery Plan, provided that plans meet the following criteria:

  • At least two meters physical distancing within all research spaces must always be maintained; and
  • Occupancy in any given research space cannot exceed 50% design capacity at any time.

Please note: 

  • Before proceeding with in-person human participants research planning, PIs must consult and follow the University of Toronto Guidance for the Recovery of Human Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic. New or amended PI plans cannot be submitted for review and approval until PIs and/or trainees have secured the appropriate Research Ethics Board approval (i.e. for amended or new protocols). (This applies to on-and-off campus research).
  • All approvals for new or expanded on-campus research activities must be preceded (or accompanied) by an approved Research or Unit-wide re-opening plan, inclusive of detailed safety and physical distancing plans for all shared Departmentally managed research spaces.  
  • All individuals doing on-campus research must review and follow the university’s COVID-19 General Workplace Guidelines, specifically as outlined within their respective unit’s Research/Unit Re-opening plan.

To accommodate the various approaches to research and the needs of all units in Arts & Science, there are two distinct processes to facilitate accessing on-campus research during Phase 3: 

*A research team/group is herein defined as an inter-dependent group that is led by a PI, who supervises trainees on overlapping projects, usually with shared space and equipment, which they are responsible for managing.

PI Online Application Submission Instructions

A&S Research Re-start and Recovery Application

  • The following types of PI Plans should continue to be submitted vis-à-vis the A&S Research Re-start and Recovery Platform:
    • New or Revised Individual PI-led On-Campus or Off-Campus Research Plans; 
    • New or Revised PI-led On-Campus or Off-Campus Research Teams/Groups, including plans for: 
      • research staff (i.e. Research Associates, appointed-USW staff, and/or employee postdoctoral fellows, graduate students or undergraduate students), and/or
      • research trainees (i.e. Graduate students, non-employee postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate scholarship/fellowship awardees and project course students. 
    • Note, there is a distinct process for Koffler Centre research, outlined below).
  • To submit your A&S Research Re-start and Recovery application, follow the submission instructions on the submission platform.
  • Ensure you select the Department where you hold your primary academic appointment. 
  • Once submitted, your application will advance to your Unit Approver (i.e., Chair or Director) for review and approval, followed by Vice Dean Research review. 

Completed applications include: 

  • Simple form fill application identification details — completed directly on the platform.
  • One single attachment (PDF or Word) upload that includes:

1. Completed application form, as applicable to the request (i.e., On-campus or Off-Campus).

2. Attestations forms for any:

3. Attestation forms for non-employee undergraduate students (i.e. award holders and project course students). 
Access the PDF icon​Undergraduate Student Declaration: Conducting Research On-Campus or at an Off-Campus Research Site​ (PDF).

4.  Additional documents as required i.e., laboratory Standard Operating Procedures and any other supporting documentation.

PI Instructions — Field-work Requests for Koffler Scientific Reserve

Submit your completed FilePrincipal Investigator (PI) Research Re-start Request Form — Off-campus Field & Third-party Site Research​ (Word) directly to John Stinchcombe, Director of KSR (, who will review and make recommendations to the Vice Dean Research.

Completed applications include – one single attachment (PDF or Word), including: 

1. Completed Off-campus application form.

2. Attestations forms for any: 1) Graduate students engaged in research towards degree completion and 2) non-employee postdocs (i.e., those that are funded through external fellowships awarded directly to the postdoc). Access the form COVID -19 Graduate Student/Post- Doctoral Fellow Declaration: Conducting Research On-campus Or At An Off-campus Research Site (PDF) and consult the SGS Guidelines for Research Engagement/Re-Engagement Planning.

3. Attestation forms for non-employee undergraduate students (i.e. award holders and project course students). Access the ​PDF icon​Undergraduate Student Declaration: Conducting Research On-Campus or at an Off-Campus Research Site​ (PDF).

4. Additional supporting documents, as required.

Unit Approver (Chair/Director) Review and Approval Instructions

  • Each time a PI submits an application, you will receive an email notification via Microsoft Flow – Subject “For Chair/Director Review…”.  
  • To review the application, follow the prompts in the message to access the file. 
  • Note: It is important that you not delete these messages until you have either approved or rejected the application via the email message. This is required in order to move the application through the approval workflow. 
  • If you approve the application, it will advance in the workflow to the Vice Dean Research for review and approval. 

    a.    In cases where graduate students or non-employee postdoctoral fellows have either not yet been assigned a supervisor or they undertake research activities independently from their supervisor’s research, these trainees:
    i.    should be included as part of each individual unit’s respective Unit-wide/Research Re-opening Plan;
    ii.    will be considered to work under the direct purview of the unit’s Chair/Director;
    iii.    prior to commencing on-campus research activities, these trainees must submit a signed COVID-19 GRADUATE STUDENT/NON-EMPLOYEE POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: CONDUCTING RESEARCH ON-CAMPUS OR AT AN OFF-CAMPUSRESEARCH SITE to the unit Chair/Director (or delegate) and Supervisor (where one has been assigned).

    Additional Phase 3 On-Campus Research Considerations for PI’s & Units

    • As part of our transition into Phase 3, trainees and PIs who would benefit from performing research activities within their offices or study carrels are welcome to apply for permission to resume on-campus research activities.
    • Likewise, as the University has advised since the research re-start process was initiated in June, we ask that Units and PIs undertake this transition gradually and continue having the majority of individuals continue performing research activities remotely.

    Please contact Lisa Rumiel, Director, Research Services, ( for more information.