COVID-19 Update #7 - March 27 - Dean's Office Contact, MD Student Wellness Chat, Convocation, NSERC/SSHRC Grant Extension

This is the seventh update to the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry community.

This update includes information about:

  1. Reaching teams at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry

  2. Schulich Medicine student wellness chat

  3. Guidelines regarding volunteer opportunities for medical students

  4. Convocation

  5. NSERC and SSHRC grant extension deadlines

  6. #Healthcareheroes

  7. Family Medicine Resident Project Day

  8. Continuing Professional Development repository of information


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.

Reaching teams at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry

  • Administrative teams at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry are, for the most part, working virtually. Departments remain open and can be reached by phone and email. If you need to contact an office or department and you require some guidance, you can contact the Dean’s Office. Kay Hickey and Seidy Rayo are monitoring the phones within the Dean’s Office.
  • To reach the Dean’s Office main reception, please call 519.661.3459. There are a number of options available to you to access support. If you press 0, you will be directed to Kay Hickey, Executive Assistant to the Dean.
  • If you need to leave a message, it will be directed via email as a voice message and your call will be returned.

Schulich Medicine student wellness chat

  • All medical students are invited to drop in virtually for a one-hour session weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. The hope is that by chatting and sharing information and strategies, we may remain socially connected while we are physically distant. It is meant to be a safe space to talk about how we are managing with all the changes that have come about during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Sessions are scheduled to run April 1, 8 and 15.
  • The Wellness Chat will occur via Zoom.
  • Please follow the link to participate:
  • Meeting ID: 854 016 480
  • Call: 1 647 558 0588
  • Guest code: 854016480#

Guidelines for medical student volunteer opportunities

  • There is an increasing number of requests from government, professional bodies, and private and public entities to medical schools, student leaders, student organizations and individual students to volunteer in a variety of roles that are rapidly evolving from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We know that many of you are committed to helping others respond to COVID-19.
  • Your commitment to public service is commendable, as well as your support to the broader efforts to combat the COVID-19 virus. Please know, however, that there is no expectation from us that you participate in these activities. If you wish to volunteer, you must make your own decision about what level of risk you are willing to accept. As future health professionals, we know that you will make responsible decisions.
  • Any volunteer opportunity is independent of academic studies and the University, even if the activities take place on sites that are affiliated with the University (e.g. affiliated hospitals or with academic appointees requesting volunteers).
  • Please refer to the email you would have received from Dr. Cheng today, or read his full message online.


  • Western’s spring convocation is postponed as part of our larger response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes all scheduled ceremony dates from May 22 through June 19.
  • This difficult decision was made by the University’s Convocation Board. The decision was made with guidance from public health authorities and with the best interests of our community at heart, particularly those of our graduating students and their families, as well as the many faculty and staff whose efforts make convocation such a joyous occasion.
  • The University realizes this will come as an enormous disappointment to graduating students, especially after you have persevered these last few weeks to complete your studies in the face of such extraordinary challenges. You have worked hard, made countless sacrifices, and learned so much during your time at Western — achievements that deserve to be celebrated in accordance with your alma mater’s longstanding traditions.
  • For those who are graduating, your degrees will be conferred this Spring, and the University will ensure that your graduation “awarded” status is reflected on your official transcript. If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to apply to graduate by visiting the Office of the Registrar’s website
  • Read the full statement from President Alan Shepard.

NSERC and SSHRC information regarding grant extensions

  • NSERC and SSHRC have released the following statement regarding grant extensions.
  • NSERC and SSHRC recognize that agency-funded research activities may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic institutions can immediately approve extension requests up to 12 months for Agency grants with an end date between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusively. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). This will have no impact for applications awarded in the fall 2020 competitions. The intent of this provision is to allow grantees to continue spending grant funds, and institutions to delay the processing of residual grant funds (per the NSERC/SSHRC Guidelines for the General Research Fund).
  • If your grant ends between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 and you wish to request an extension, please contact your respective Financial Officer in Research Finance.
  • Please note that related Ethics or Animal protocols must be up to date prior to an extension being approved.
  • Please refer to the NSERC website for updates to program-specific details concerning adjustments to the deadlines.


  • This week, people in the community shared their thanks to all the health care providers in the region. The video messages have been captured and shared on social media. You can share your own video message of thanks and support on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #healthcareheroes.

Family Medicine Resident Project Day

  • Family Medicine Resident Project Day, which was scheduled for June 10, 2020, has been cancelled. More information is available online.
  • Continuing Professional Development repository of information
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) has created a repository of current COVID-19 resources to support the Schulich Medicine community.


  • The following has been shared by the U15 Research Committee.
  • COGNIT.CA is now live and accessible to everyone. In this time of crisis, we thought that it would be useful to advance the release of COGNIT.CA. We believe that COGNIT.CA will be particularly useful, not only to COVID-19 researchers but to the entire research community, now engaged in “social distancing” research.
  • Anyone can now access the “public beta” version of COGNIT.CA
  • As with any software, COGNIT.CA is not bug- or error-free. We encourage users to report any bugs or errors using the Feedback button that appears on the right-hand side of the screen. The Feedback button takes a screenshot of the COGNIT.CA window and allows you to annotate the window. That information is then transmitted to the developers for action.
  • COGNIT.CA currently makes use of the awards databases of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Research Facilities Navigator. In addition, COGNIT.CA contains a catalogue of licensing opportunities and patents to allow users to identify the intellectual property filed by Canadian researchers and institutions.
  • COGNIT.CA provides access to more that 200,000 federally funded research projects, more than 100,000 pieces of intellectual property, 120,000 researchers and 10,000 businesses and not-for-profit collaborators. In addition, COGNIT.CA provides direct access to the more than 700 CFI-funded research facilities available on CFI’s Navigator website. COGNIT.CA will be of special interest to businesses, governments, not-for-profit organizations and media who need access to world-class Canadian expertise.
  • COGNIT.CA is a partnership between the U15, Universities Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Mitacs and the Tri-agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC).

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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