COVID-19 Update #11 - April 3 - New webpage for residency info, student relief fund, graduate studies update, rapid response internal funding opportunity, mail delivery

This is the 11th update to the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry community.

This update includes information about:

  1. Webpage dedicated to residency information

  2. Western University’s student relief fund and access for students

  3. Update for graduate students

  4. OSAP information

  5. Rapid response internal funding

  6. CIHR Spring 2020 Project Grant competition cancelled

  7. Campus mail delivery

  8. Webcast featuring Eric Arts, PhD and Greta Bauer, PhD

You can now access all these updates online. You can also continue to access the Travel, Education and Visitor Policy , the COVID-19 Travel Reimbursement Policy and the status of our education and research programs online.

Residency information during COVID-19

  • COVID-19 information related to the School’s residency programs have been moved to an individual web page.
  • Please visit the page Info for Residency Programs to review all the information, which is being updated weekly.

Western University’s Student Relief Fund – information for students

  • On April 2, Western launched a Student Relief Fund. The University will be working with students who identify their need for support through an online form and have set up a working group of leaders who will oversee quick and efficient distribution of the funds to those who need it most.
  • If you are a student who is experiencing unforeseen financial challenges related to family members who are out-of-work, health and wellness expenses, cancelled or delayed internships, a lack of available summer jobs and other unbudgeted needs, please review the form.

Update regarding winter term 2020 grading for graduate courses

  • Overall, graduate course grades will be determined in the usual manner, following the grading scheme described in course outlines. Accommodations and the use of designations such as "Incomplete" (INC) and "In Progress" (IPR) will also follow usual practice.
  • However, there are two exceptional circumstances in which changing from a numeric grading scheme to Pass/Fail grading may be appropriate.
  • In cases where the instructor of a graduate course considers that, due to the changes in the delivery mode of the course content and/or the revised evaluation format, it is not possible to determine final grades that accurately reflect the learning and performance of students in the course, the instructor may request approval from the Associate Dean – Graduate to implement a Pass/Fail grading scheme for the course. If approved by the Associate Dean – Graduate, all students in the course will receive a grade based on the Pass/Fail grading scheme.
  • If a graduate student in a graduate course with a numeric grading scheme as described in the course outline is experiencing personal circumstances which are affecting their performance, they may make a request to the Graduate Program Chair, or Associate Dean – Graduate in Faculties that do not have Graduate Program Chairs, for relief. Such relief may include the option of receiving a Pass/Fail grade rather than a numeric grade, or allowing an incomplete standing in one or more courses; an incomplete standing defers completion of the course into the next term. Such requests should be made via an email to the Graduate Program Chair, explaining, in brief, the reason for the request; such requests should be made as soon as possible, but no later than April 9, 2020.
  • Students who opt to take Pass/Fail grades should be aware that a passing grade for a graduate course is 60%; in programs that require a minimum course or term grade for progression in the program, a numeric grade will be used to determine progression eligibility.
  • Read updates from SGPS online.

Six-month interest free moratorium on loan repayments

The Government of Ontario announced on March 31 that it is easing the financial burden on students and making sure they can complete their studies during the COVID-19 outbreak by temporarily deferring payments for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans and making online learning supports, including year-end exams, available to postsecondary institutions.
Read the full release.

Rapid Response Internal Funding - Western Research Catalyst Grant 2020

  • Research Western and Lawson Health Research Institute are coordinating activities to support rapid response research that explores and seeks solutions with respect to the general theme of “Surviving Pandemics: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Resilience and Recovery.” Projects may address any aspect of the problem. This funding opportunity is particularly interested in proposals that employ a multi-disciplinary approach. In this regard, we wish to engage our entire research community in a city-wide program of research development that will have meaningful and lasting impact. We aim to contribute a broad range of knowledge regarding how we as a society, including our Indigenous communities, are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic by providing evidence, tools, theories and guidelines that will positively impact how we and future generations will face subsequent pandemics. To support this initiative, Research Western is providing up to $1 million for two funding cycles that will advance the following objectives:
    • Nurture the development of multidisciplinary team-based grant models that address complex issues related to the broad theme of surviving pandemics;
    • Explore sustainable and resilient social, economic, technological and health-related approaches that foster recovery from pandemics;
    • Develop preliminary results for larger research initiatives under this theme;
    • Increase research productivity and external funding activity;
    • Assist researchers with applying their strengths to pandemic-related issues;
    • Provide a mentoring mechanism for early career researchers; and
    • Support the mentoring of trainees.

CIHR Spring 2020 Project Grant competition cancelled

CIHR has cancelled the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition.
The decision was made to cancel the spring competition following consultations with Governing Council, Science Council, partners at the U-15, Universities Canada, HealthCareCAN, and the University Delegates Network, among others.
Read the full message from Dr. Michael Strong, President, CIHR.

Mail delivery on campus

Mail is being delivered to the mailroom in the Dental Sciences Building on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.
Mail can be picked up from the mailroom during their regular hours from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

COVID-19: A special webcast with Schulich Medicine & Dentistry experts

  • Eric Arts, PhD, and Greta Bauer, PhD, will share valuable insight into the COVID-19 global pandemic as part of a series of webinars hosted by Western.
    They will tackle questions on testing strategies, physical distancing, disease transmission, understanding key statistics and vaccine delivery methods. There will also be an update on the vaccine being developed at Western.
  • There is no charge to attend the webinar.
  • Registered participants will be provided login details by email to join the Zoom webinar using a computer or any mobile device.
  • The webinar takes place April 6, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EST
  • Register for the webinar.

Please send ALL communication related to the COVID-19 pandemic that you need to be shared with the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry community for faculty, staff, students, learners, trainees and fellows to Jennifer Parraga. The information will be compiled and shared with the School.

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