Remote Work
Toolkit

Information for Researchers

UPDATED: JUNE 15, 2020 | 8:09 AM EST


Research laboratories at NOSM at Laurentian University and NOSM at Lakehead University are currently closed.
IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY, ALL NOSM RESEARCH ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN TRANSITIONED TO VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS.

Please see Lakehead and Laurentian University links for updated host university research information related to COVID-19:

NOSM Laboratory Coordinators will be checking the labs biweekly for monitoring of fridges, freezers, water systems, and general safety of the space and equipment.

The NOSM Research Office reminds researchers that any new COVID 19 related projects still require a completed Research Approval Form Guidelines for the Approval Form can assist in this process.

If you need any assistance or have any questions, please reach out to the Research Office at research@nosm.ca.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact the research coordinators directly:

Resumption of activities in NOSM Wet Labs – Lakehead University

  1. When will the Wet Lab re-open for research activities?

Tentatively expected June 17th, at 6:30 AM pending the user has the required training and has supplied the required documents. Users are required to:

    • have attended a virtual training provided by the Research Laboratory Coordinator;
    • provided the training acknowledgement form to the Research Laboratory Coordinator;
    • completed the NOSM COVID19 Screening Questionnaire (TBD);
    • and have a copy of the NOSM @ Lakehead Research Resumption and Return to Laboratories Approval Letter (to show Lakehead Security if requested)

The Research Laboratory Coordinator will send the faculty supervisor a final confirmation email when all requirements have been met.

2. Where can I access the most recent versions of the Wet Lab re-opening documents?

The most recent versions can be found on the NOSM Sharepoint, Research page.

The Research Laboratory Coordinator will also circulate the documents to lab users as needed.

3. When my access to the Wet Lab is reactivated, will I have access to the lunchroom?

No. In addition, Dry Lab, conference rooms and the second floor of MSW will not be accessible.

4.  Can Faculty access their office when they regain access to the Wet Lab?

Yes, Faculty can access their office as needed but are expected to work off-site as much as possible.

5. Are face masks required when on-campus and in the NOSM Wet Lab?

Cloth face masks are not required on campus and in the Wet Lab as long as you can maintain a 2 meter distance from the lab users. Quickly crossing someone in the hallway or in the lab does not necessitate a face mask.

Disposable surgical masks (3-ply, not N95) and a face shield are to be worn when you are training another lab user and cannot maintain 2 meter distancing.

If a lab user wishes to wear a cloth mask (provided by NOSM or your own), surgical mask (must provide your own) or face shield (provided by NOSM) regularly, they may do so.

6. Can I schedule time in the Wet Lab on the weekends?

Yes. Always sign up on the occupancy calendar through your faculty supervisor and follow the Lakehead University Keeping in Touch Policy.

7. Will undergraduate students (USRA recipients, 4th-year thesis projects) be able to access the lab this summer?

USRA recipients will be allowed on a case-per-case basis depending on lab scheduling availability.

Students who would like to get a head-start on their 4th-year thesis project this summer will need to follow Lakehead University’s guidelines. If Lakehead University allows these students onsite, NOSM will consider allowing access.

8. If I don’t foresee my schedule spaces being occupied at all times, how do I go about opening them up to other users to schedule themselves?

Contact the Research Laboratory Coordinator and the parameters can be changed to make reservations available to another group or groups.

9. How will sign-ups on the scheduling calendars happen?

In the start, faculty supervisors will have access to create bookings in the calendars.

Sign-ups for a week will begin on Fridays at 8 AM for the following week (Monday to following Sunday), except for the first week back to the lab. Bookings for the first week will begin on Monday, June 15th, at noon. We may move to a block of two weeks for reservations once everyone is familiar with the calendar and has a better handle of the timing of their experiments, but during opening please limit bookings to one week.

Only sign up for the time you have experiments to do on-site. It is understandable that some protocols can have unpredictabilities, and you may want to book a buffer, but be reasonable. Consider set up and clean up when calculating your needed time. If it will take you four hours to run an experiment, consider booking for five.

Ideally, there would be no one in the lab between 2:30 and 3:00 PM to allow the Research Laboratory Coordinator or a senior lab user to sanitize key equipment and areas.

When necessary, you must sign up on the occupancy calendar and the equipment calendar. For example, if you need to use a BSC, you need to book a BSC and a spot on the occupancy calendar.

Make sure to include your name in the event when you are reserving an occupancy spot or equipment. This is required for Health and Safety purposes – we need to know who is on-site and when.

Resumption of activities in NOSM Wet Labs – Laurentian University

  1.  When will the Wet Lab re-open for research activities?

June 15th, at 6:30 AM pending the user has the required training and has supplied the required documents. Users are required to:

  • have attended a virtual training provided by the Research Laboratory Coordinator;
  • provided the training acknowledgement form to the Research Laboratory Coordinator,
  • completed the COVID19 module on D2L (Laurentian students only);
  • completed the NOSM COVID19 Screening Questionnaire (TBD);
  • and have a copy of the NOSM @ Laurentian Research Resumption and Return to Laboratories Approval Letter (to show Laurentian Security if requested).

The Research Laboratory Coordinator will send the faculty supervisor a final confirmation email when all requirements have been met.

2.  Where can I access the most recent versions of the Wet Lab re-opening documents?

The most recent versions can be found on the NOSM Sharepoint, Research page. (https://nosm.sharepoint.com/org/research/research/SitePages/Lab-Reopening-COVID.aspx).

The Research Laboratory Coordinator will also circulate updated documents to lab users as needed.

3.  When my access to the Wet Lab is reactivated, will I have access to the lunchroom?

No. In addition, the Dry Lab, conference rooms and the second floor of MSE will not be accessible.

4.  Can Faculty access their office when they regain access to the Wet Lab?

Yes, Faculty can access their office as needed but are encouraged to work off-site as much as possible.

5. Are face masks required when on-campus and in the NOSM Wet Lab?

Cloth face masks are not required on campus and in the Wet Lab as long as you can maintain a 2 meter distance from others. Quickly crossing someone in the hallway or in the lab does not necessitate a face mask.

Disposable surgical masks (3-ply, not N95) and a face shield are to be worn when you are training another lab user and cannot maintain 2 meter distancing. For training situations, disposable surgical masks are available through the Research Lab Coordinator.

If a lab user wishes to wear a cloth mask (provided by NOSM or your own), surgical mask (must provide your own) or face shield (provided by NOSM) regularly, they may do so.

6.  Can I schedule time in the Wet Lab on the weekends?

Yes. Always sign up on the occupancy calendar and follow the Laurentian University Working Alone Policy.

7.  Will undergraduate students (USRA recipients, 4th-year thesis projects) be able to access the lab this summer?

Possibly. We will consider allowing USRA recipients access to the Wet Lab at the end of June, with a tentative start date of early July.

Students who would like to get a head-start on their 4th-year thesis project this summer will need to follow Laurentian University’s guidelines. If Laurentian University allows these students onsite, NOSM will consider allowing access.

8.  If I don’t foresee my bay being occupied at all times, how do I go about opening it up to other users?

Contact the Research Laboratory Coordinator and the scheduling system can be changed to make your bay available to another group or groups.

9.  How will sign-ups on the scheduling calendars happen?

Sign-ups will begin on Friday at 8 AM for the following week (Monday to following Sunday), except for the first week back to the lab. Bookings will begin on Friday, June 12th, at noon. As of June 18th, users with special circumstances that allow them to be on-site only on particular days or hours, will be given priority and permitted to sign up on Thursday. We may move to a block of two weeks for reservations once everyone is familiar with the calendar and has a better handle of the timing of their experiments.

Only sign up for the time you have experiments to do on-site. It is understandable that some protocols can have unpredictabilities, and you may want to book a buffer, but be reasonable. Consider set up and clean up when calculating your needed time. If it will take you four hours to run an experiment, consider booking for five.

Ideally, there would be no one in the lab between 2:30 and 3:00 PM to allow the Research Laboratory Coordinator or a senior lab user to sanitize key equipment and areas.

When necessary, you must sign up on the occupancy calendar and the equipment calendar. For example, if you need to use a BSC, you need to book a BSC and a spot on the occupancy calendar.

Make sure to include your name in the event when you are reserving an occupancy spot or equipment. This is required for Health and Safety purposes – we need to know who is on-site and when.

Funding Opportunity: PSI COVID-19 Research Stream

PSI Foundation invites all eligible clinician-researchers to apply for this special funding stream. Learn more about this funding opportunity.

How are research students and employees affected?

All researchers in any of NOSM’s laboratories must follow NOSM directives. That includes students and employees of Lakehead and Laurentian, as well as volunteers. Updated directives (i.e. isolation for international travel) are posted to nosm.ca/covid-19 and principal investigators should be communicating with their respective teams.

NOSM Research will be following our host university directives from Lakehead and Laurentian campuses. Additional FAQ related to NOSM labs and research will follow below in this document. Supervisors, please ensure that you are staying up to date with information from Lakehead and Laurentian as it gets relayed.

Information for graduate students

Q. I am a graduate student, can I still do my research?

A. As all graduate students supervised by NOSM faculty are students of Lakehead or Laurentian Universities, connecting with the relevant Graduate Studies Office and your Supervisor to discuss current research is advisable. The respective University FAQs have some information for Graduate Students:

For the NOSM Masters of Medical Studies program, please direct any questions to graduatestudies@nosm.ca

How does working from home affect my research staff?

For NOSM held grants, supervisors are encouraged to modify their employees’ work to enable working from home. If that is not possible, or for any other changes to an employee’s contract, please contact hr@nosm.ca.

For grants held at other institutions, please refer to those FAQs or contact the relevant HR department.

How will deliveries be handled?

  • Do not order any new research materials except those items needed to support minimal critical functions.
  • Cancel orders for non-essential research materials if they have not yet shipped.
  • Lakehead University: Lakehead Shipping and Receiving will email the Lab Coordinator (LC) when deliveries for the third floor Med School building arrive. The LC will arrange for pick-up and delivery of these items to MSW3001, including storage of perishables.
  • Laurentian University: Charlie Armstrong (Facilities) will notify the Lab Coordinator when packages arrive, the Lab Coordinator will then reach out to the individual it is addressed to. If a perishable item is delivered and the individual it is addressed to and no one from their group is available, the Lab Coordinator will go on-site and properly store the contents.

Who will have access to the labs and who to report to if you are going in?

Only those deemed to have essential research will be allowed access, to complete only that research they have been granted access for.

Ensure every time you are on campus that you have notified both your supervisor and campus security services.

What happens if my research involves human participants?

For hospital-based research please see:

If you have questions or need assistance please reach out to Ghislaine Attema at ghislaine.attema@nosm.ca or 807-251-3118.

What should I do if my research involves animals?

Connect with the animal care contacts at Lakehead or Laurentian for specific plans or actions.

What should I do if my research is community-based?

Community-based research must be suspended unless it can be conducted virtually. Please see Lakehead and Laurentian for specific procedures for community-based research.

How is my funding impacted?

Faculty with grants held at NOSM should contact the Research Office if they expect delays in completing milestones, need an extension or for any other anticipated contract change.

The Tri-agencies will continue to provide updates, if you want information for a specific program, please see the following links which will be updated as new information becomes available:

Impact of COVID-19 on strategic funding competitions

CIHR is continuing to closely monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and is taking the necessary actions to support and address impacts on our operations. In response to the three-month moratorium on strategic funding opportunities, all posted deadlines are on hold until further notice. Over the coming weeks/months, updates will be made to each funding opportunity once new timelines are confirmed. Potential applicants are therefore asked to stand by and refrain from applying to posted opportunities. A date of July 2, 2020 has been temporarily inserted and will be revised when more information becomes available.

CIHR continues to monitor the situation closely. For all information related to CIHR’s response to the pandemic, please consult CIHR’s COVID-19 webpage.

For further information, please contact: CIHR Contact Centre support-soutien@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

For other funders, connect directly with those organizations.

How is grant-funded travel impacted?

All NOSM funded travel (including grants held at NOSM) is suspended until further notice.

For grants held at other institutions, please refer to those FAQs.

Have NOSM financial operations changed?

At this time there are no changes to financial processes. Please see the finance SharePoint for specifics on how to process payments. NOSM finance sent out the following memo dated March 24th to all faculty:

Ministry of Health (MOH) | Fiscal Year-End – March 31, 2020
Budget codes commencing with fund(s): Goods and services must be received by: Payment requests and invoices to be received in Finance by:
60, 61 March 31, 2020 May 11, 2020
Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) | Fiscal Year-End – April 30, 2020
Budget codes commencing with fund(s): Goods and services must be received by: Payment requests and invoices to be received in Finance by:
10, 11, 20 April 30, 2020 June 8, 2020
External Grants and Research
30, 31 Please refer to specific funding agreements for year-end guidelines and submission dates.

Who should I contact if I have questions about support for my research?

NOSM at Lakehead University NOSM at Laurentian University
NOSM Laboratories Pam Tallon
807-621-3613
ptallon@nosm.ca
Natalie Lefort
705-521-5610
nlefort@nosm.ca
NOSM Research Offices research@nosm.ca research@nosm.ca
Human Research Ethics Ghislaine Attema
807-251-3118
ghislaine.attema@nosm.ca
Ghislaine Attema
807-251-3118
ghislaine.attema@nosm.ca
Animal Care Please inquire with Animal Care Facility at Lakehead University. Please inquire with Animal Care Facility at Laurentian University.

Where can I find information about how NOSM is responding to COVID-19?