Human participant and field research

Thursday, June 24, 2021

On June 24 the following email was sent to graduate students


To: Graduate students

From: Charmaine Dean, Vice-President, Research and International

Date: June 24, 2021

Subject: This email is for information 


  • Face-to-face research with human participants can resume (with exceptions).
  • Domestic travel for field work outside Waterloo region can resume.
  • All other on-campus research, under approved safety plans, may continue.

Following discussions over the last week with the Research Ethics Board and the Safety Office, and subsequent to the Government of Ontario’s announcement and guidelines for the province-wide Step 1 re-opening effective Friday, June 11, 2021, we are implementing changes to human participant research. Additionally, with rapid testing protocols in place, researchers may engage in domestic field research outside the Waterloo Region.

Human participant research

All in-person (face-to-face) research involving human participants that has been approved on the University of Waterloo campus or an off-campus location in Canada can resume.

Approved safety plans and Research Ethics Board clearance are still required for human participant research. The Office of Research Ethics will continue to review applications, and the Research Ethics Boards will issue clearance to new protocols or amendments that fall under Step 1 of the provincial reopening. Renewals will continue to be reviewed and approved to ensure studies remain in good standing. Certain exceptions remain in Step 1, for example, human participant research involving vulnerable populations. Questions can be directed to the Office of Research Ethics. 

Off campus field research

Researchers may travel into or out of other public health regions in Canada to conduct field research, with approved safety plans. Field research within Waterloo Region may continue under approved safety plans.

New and pending requests for field work may be submitted to research queries: https://resume-research.uwaterloo.ca/

The health and wellbeing of our University community depends on each of us taking safety precautions not only in research but in our day-to-day activities. The University of Waterloo expects our students and staff to follow all public health and safety guidelines when off campus.

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