Road to Recovery Update #12 – April 7: Pause on research activities with human participants

Dear faculty, staff and learners,

Further to yesterday's communication from the Office of the Vice-President - Research (April 6, 2021), I am asking the School’s research teams to pause all projects involving face-to-face research activities with human participants for a period of up to four weeks beginning at 6:00 p.m. today (April 7, 2021).

Western has made this difficult decision in an effort to help mitigate further outbreaks at our institution and to keep our research teams and subjects safe. The University also recognizes that in special cases, a research study's suspension at this critical time may imperil the work to date. In such circumstances, Western has recommended a two-tiered approval process to continue any such project.

They include:

  • the resubmission of the study's purpose and approved safety protocols to the Department Chair and Vice Dean Research & Innovation for review and first approval. It is highly recommended that this resubmission also include rationale supporting the need for continuation (eg. risks to the study, timing issues, etc.);
  • the submission of the package by the approving Chair to the Dean, COO and Vice President, Research for final approval.

The Dean's Office recognizes the challenges associated with the timing of this decision and the additional steps required to proceed. However, the health and safety of the community is at stake, and as stewards in provision of care, we collectively need to lead our institution by example.

Your thoughtful cooperation with this directive is most appreciated. Please feel free to reach out to your Chair, Paul Paolatto or David Litchfield with any questions or concerns.

Take care and stay safe.

John Yoo, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University