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Updated Amendments to Phase 2 – Fieldwork Activity
Effective July 20, 2021

Overview

With the Province entering Step 3 and with guidance from infectious disease experts, we are continuing to reduce restrictions to Phase 2 of our Phased Return to Increased Research Activity. The amended directives are effective July 20, 2021. Information regarding a broader return to campus will be forthcoming as described in the July 19th Campus Update.

Please note, with the exception of what is described below, we still encourage meetings to be held remotely, as outlined in the Campus Update.

Training of Research Personnel

Note: If you already have an approved Research Activity Plan, the addition of any research personnel, previously trained or new trainees, requires a simple amendment. If you do not already have an approved Research Activity Plan, you must submit one before any training can begin.

Training of McMaster researchers (undergraduates, graduate students, PDFs, staff) and non-McMaster volunteer researchers and visiting scientists working on McMaster-based research projects, when possible, should be done remotely. Where this is not possible, training will be allowed under certain conditions; precautions required will depend on the category of the training.

Category 1: Training which maintains physical distancing greater than 2m. 

Training that can be done from a distance of at least 2m is allowed provided the instructor and trainee follow existing COVID-specific work processes and shared space protocols.

Category 2: Training from a distance of less than 2m that may include limited direct contact.

Training that requires the instructor and trainee to be within 2m of each other is allowed only under these conditions:

Involvement of Human Participants

Note: Research personnel or researchers (those conducting the research) are distinguished from human participants (those who are the subject of the research).

First, please read the Summary of McMaster University COVID-19 Requirements for In-Person, Fieldwork Research with Human Participants to ensure you are familiar with all the steps to obtain approval and the McMaster COVID-19 safety protocols and vaccination policies that you will need to follow for in-person human participant research.

All work involving human participants must be approved by MREB or HiREB, in addition to your V/ADR. These approvals may take some time. Where COVID-19 precautions and guidelines require modifications to previously approved protocols, Letters of Information and other documentation, the standard REB protocol amendment processes should be used.

Procedures for Approval

Approvals are required for all activities described above. In all cases, as you are developing your plans, experts from McMaster’s Environmental & Occupational Health Support Services (EOHSS) and Biosafety Office are available to provide guidance. Please contact directly for assistance.

Please refer to McMaster’s RMM 801 Field Trips, Student Placements and Research Activity Planning and Approval Program before making any travel arrangements. In addition to V/ADR approval, all international travel requires the approval of the Provost and/or AVP International Affairs at this time due to Global Affairs Risk Rating L3 as per RMM 801. EOHSS approval is not needed.

All McMaster guidance documents can be found here.

If you are submitting your Research Activity Plan (RAP) for the first time, please visit the Phased Return to Research Application Form Decision Tree.

If you are making an amendment to a previously approved RAP, please use this portal.

Consultation with External Research Partners

Meetings with external research partners and stakeholders (collaborators, industry, community, and government representatives) are encouraged to take place remotely. In cases where that’s not feasible, all distancing and face-mask guidelines must be followed and an attendance record must be kept.