COVID-19, Research Restart and Ethics

Important links and documentation in relation to a phased resumption of university research activities that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found below.


IMPORTANT: New Updates Concerning Research Activities:


Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Resources:


Human Research Ethics Resources:

Research involving human participants conducted by faculty, staff and students at or under the auspices of the U of T must be reviewed and approved by a University of Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB) prior to its commencement.

This review is to ensure that human participants rights and welfare are protected and respected, as well as to meet funding sponsor requirements.

Each institution within the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN) has their own independent REB. If human research will be conducted at a hospital and also involves the University (e.g. research to be used for a graduate student’s thesis, recruitment, data analysis), a TAHSN hospital REB review is required, followed by administrative review at the University.

More information on the human ethics review process -including how to submit human ethics applications- can be found here.

Please note:

The University of Toronto’s Research Ethics Boards (REBs) are accepting all submissions of F2F human research as one of two separate review processes. The REB review process focuses as usual on human research ethics issues. The second review process by the Face-to-Face COVID-19 Review Committee (F2FCRC) focuses specifically on the COVID-19 health and safety risks of the research being proposed. Approvals from both review processes are required before F2F research activities can commence. Please see the detailed instructions for the submission process.


ADDENDUM TO ABOVE MEMOS: Researchers currently in other regions or countries conducting REB-approved in-person research, may continue, as long as they follow all applicable local public health directives and safety measures.  If you have any questions/concerning regarding safety while conducting in-person research, please contact

Please note, research and associated research staff in Grey Zone regions may not travel at this time to other regions or countries to conduct field research activities without a risk assessment being conducted by Occupational Health and Safety prior to travel; please contact for further information and guidance. Final approval will be provided by the divisional research restart process, where there will need to be a justification for essential travel and essential research. If approved, please note, field researchers must ensure they are aware of and abide by any travel restrictions and local public health requirements at their research host location.

Human Research Ethics Documentation:


Animal Research Ethics Resources:

Any instructor or Principal Investigator (PI) working with vertebrate species or cephalopods must submit an animal use protocol (AUP) to the appropriate Local Animal Care Committee (LACC) through the online system – My Research Animal Protocol (MRAP). The LACC is responsible for the review and approval of teaching and research protocols to ensure that all animal use is in compliance with institutional, municipal, provincial, and federal regulations and guidelines.

An AUP is required for all animal work (research and teaching) that will occur at the University of Toronto (U of T facilities) on campus or in the field (e.g. wildlife studies). Please see the Researchers’ Guides in the Forms & Download section of this page for more information. For teaching protocols, please see Pedagogical Merit Review for Animal Use for more information.

More information on the animal ethics review process -including how to submit human ethics applications- can be found here.

Animal Research Ethics Documentation:


UTSC Research Restart Documentation:


UTSC Access Request Documentation:


Division of the Vice-President Research & Innovation documentation to guide the recovery and adaptation of research:  


Division of the Vice-President & Provost guidelines:  


School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Research Re-Engagement:

  • UPDATE: SGS memo re: Discontinuation of the Form: COVID-19 Graduate Students/Trainee Postdoctoral Fellows Acknowledgement

The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) has made the decision to discontinue the COVID-19 Graduate Students/Trainee Postdoctoral Fellows Acknowledgement: Conducting Research On-Campus or at Off-Campus Research Site form (attached for reference), which was required in earlier phases of the COVID-19 research restart process.



Wellness Resources:

  • Support and Advice for Employees During COVID-19 Webpage​
    • The main page to access wellness supports for COVID-19 specific resources
    • sections on mental and emotional wellness
    • specific resources on anxiety, depression, stress, resilience and coping skills
  • Wellness and Work from Home Toolkit​
    • A work from home toolkit to assist with mental, physical, social and team wellness
    • support for those working in isolation or in quarantine
    • sections on productivity, ergonomics and technology
  • Employee and Family Assistance Program
    • counselling, coaching and support available 24/7
    • extensive online resources including tip sheets and online self-paced courses
    • specialized help available for anxiety, depression, stress and developing resilience/coping skills
  • COVID-19 and The Impact on Your Mental Health (Webinar Recording)
  • Wellness Calendar
    • topics include mental, physical, social and financial wellness
  • The Wellness Hub
    • central source for all wellness services, supports, and resources available to employees across the three campuses and by a range of internal and external providers




Should you have any questions, please contact: 

Dr. Anika Mifsud (SSHRC and related grants), OVPRI Research Administration Officer

Jason Darby (NSERC, CIHR and related grants), OVPRI Research Administration Officer