Research with Human Participants during COVID-19

Resumption of Research at MSVU during COVID-19

Updated December 17, 2021

Researchers are reminded that they and their research team must abide by all Public Health directives and MSVU requirements regarding in-person contact with participants. In-person research requires additional clearance and may not proceed until the second level clearance is obtained.


Beginning Friday December 17th, 2021 at 9am:

  • Capacity levels for MSVU areas (labs, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.) will be reduced to 50% capacity.  Researchers are asked to review their plans/timelines and adjust as needed.
  • 2m distancing is required for all members of the research team and/or participants for both indoor and outdoor locations.
  • Research lab spaces may continue to remain open. Please ensure that all appropriate masking, distancing, PPE, and cleaning protocols remain in place.
  • Masks are mandatory inside the University, with the exception of removing briefly for intake of food/fluids.
  • All in-person research (on campus or off campus) continues to require additional approval from the Lab Access Committee prior to conducting in-person research (see application process below)

Nova Scotia Phase 4  = MSVU Level 3

Face-to-Face research continues, including research off-campus and in the community, following a research plan approved by the Lab Reopening Committee. Researchers must send an email to to indicate they are now resuming under MSVU Level3.

In keeping with the Province of Nova Scotia “Reopening Safely with COVID-19 Plan”, Mount Saint Vincent University has revised the schedule of resumption of Face-to-Face / In-person research for MSVU researchers. Please see REB>INFO.502 below for details and how the phases of the Province of Nova Scotia align with MSVU Levels of Resumption.

If researchers have not yet applied to resume F2F research, please follow the instructions below:

  • In-person participant interactions (recruitment and data collection) should be replaced with telephone, online communications or other remote measures. If your cleared protocol involves any in-person participant interactions, you must complete a modification request as soon as possible (REB.FORM.002). We are processing these requests as quickly as possible.
  • Researchers should be aware that any data collected in this pandemic environment may alter, skew or contaminate your results, unless your focus includes COVID19 questions. Further, researchers may need to address/disclose this in publications and other knowledge dissemination activities when documenting method and timeframe of data collection.
  • If you need to postpone data collection and have questions about extending your funding, please contact
  • If it is not possible to postpone the research or modify participant contact, please contact us at with a formal request and full rationale. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Researchers with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact the UREB via email:
  • As per the federal government advisory, research ethics applications directly addressing COVID-19, or pandemics generally, will be given first  priority for ethics review.

The UREB has worked closely with the Lab Access Committee and Senior Administration to develop procedures for resuming F2F research in a narrow and phased approach. Researchers are invited to review the process and procedures and submit applications for resuming F2F research studies, keeping in mind that researchers must also plan for immediate cessation of research if conditions change.

Wherever possible, researchers should continue to maintain remote contact with participants. Any research that involves F2F interaction must have clearance from the UREB and the Lab Access Committee.

Researchers that currently have human participant studies with healthy/less-vulnerable individuals that require F2F interaction are encouraged to review the procedures and forms prior to submitting a request.

⇒Please do not submit the application/documentation if you do not meet the current status and criteria.  

Contact if you any have questions or concerns.

Researchers who wish to resume human participant research studies, or are considering new research studies with human participants, are asked to first review the documents below to determine if their research meets the current criteria for resumption of research with human participants:

For more information, please contact


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