Road To Recovery #2 – May 26

Step 1: Return To Research

Further to last week’s opening communique from the Dean, the Department Chairs, working in partnership with the Dean’s Office and team leaders from Robarts Research Institute, have been diligently drafting a framework to facilitate the safe return of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s entire on-campus research community to their respective labs and research projects in a timely and equitable manner.

The Chairs and team leads recognize the complexity of School’s research enterprise. They also recognize that principal investigators know their respective labs best, and thus play a key role in the successful re-entry and re-engagement of our research community.

As such, the Chairs and team leads have developed a framework for our return to research that is more tool-based than rule-based.

The framework consists of five tools including:

As outlined in the recovery schedule released last week, our return to research is dependent upon the timely receipt and departmental/unit approval of each researcher’s individual lab plans. These plans should be sent to their respective department Chair by May 29. For those researchers with labs located at Robarts, plans should be sent to your respective Group Director for review and approval. For those researchers with hospital-based labs, guidelines and approval processes will be provided by Lawson Health Research Institute.

To this end, Department Chairs and Group Directors are asking each faculty research team lead and core facility manager to review the re-entry guidelines and submit an individual lab research plan at your earliest possible convenience to your respective Department Chair, with a copy to your department manager.

Robarts-based researchers are asked to submit their plans to their Group Director or Dean’s Office designate with copy to Kristina Fornelos, Administrator.

These plans will be reviewed by Department Chairs and Robarts’ Group Directors/designates for approval to ensure individual plans are compatible with the safe and equitable recovery of research programs at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. Please be sure to include each team member’s employee or student number so that they can gain access through their designated entry point.

We also recognize that shared research facilities create additional challenges for PIs seeking to balance access with safety. To address this, managers of core facilities are also asked to prepare and submit an individual lab plan for approval through their Department Chair or Group Director/designate. For collaborative laboratory spaces shared by multiple PIs, faculty members are asked to work together to create a specific shared plan that meets all of the required guidelines.

The remaining tools within the framework will be outlined in greater detail in subsequent communiques throughout the course of the next week leading up to our target date of June 3, and the reopening of our labs to the 20 per cent maximum occupancy level prescribed by the University.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to direct them to your Department Chair or Group Director/designate who can then direct the question to the appropriate resource.

The Chairs, Group Directors and Dean’s Office wish to thank everyone engaging in this process. As subject-matter experts in the health care field, our role is not just to facilitate our return to research, but to help our entire community rebound safely and responsibly from this crisis. Your leadership at the lab level will serve not only as a means of restoring our research agenda, it will set an example for everyone seeking a means back from this shutdown.

Your work matters and it is sincerely appreciated.