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Research During the COVID 19 Pandemic



There are many uncertainties about what the COVID-19 pandemic and pandemic responses will mean for investigators, research staff and research study participants. While we defer to IWK Health for policies, processes and operational direction during this event, we strive to answer questions specific to conducting research in this document. Recognizing that significant changes in how we operate will continue to evolve as we move forward and implement solutions, the attached document will also evolve as we work to support the research community. If you have questions specific to research, please send them to research@iwk.nshealth.ca

Important Updates to Research Activities (January 6, 2022)

Important Updates to Research Activities (August 5, 2021)

Introduction to COVID-19 (September 3, 2020)

IWK Research Services COVID-19 Pandemic Response FAQ (June 17, 2020)

COVID-19: FAQ’s for Employees (UPDATED) (September 9, 2020)

Special Reimbursement Process (Requires Pulse Login)

Cost Centres (Requires Pulse Login)

Financial Services Support (Requires Pulse Login)

Meeting Rooms (April 7, 2020)


Research Ethics

Processes Concerning Research Protocols During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Purpose: With the activation of SOP 5.503 (REB Review During Publicly Declared Emergencies), the REB may, during a publicly declared emergency “follow a modified review and operations plan”. The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to inform the processes concerning research protocols during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

NOTE: Effective August 5, 2021, SOPs 503 and 505 have been stood down as part of IWK Health’s COVID-19 De-Escalation Plan. Please see the Memo from the Vice-President, Research & Innovation for more information.

IWK Research Services Standard Operating Procedures Research Ethics (April 2, 2020)


E-Consent Resources:

IWK E-Consent Documentation (September 9, 2020)

IWK Interventional E-Consent (September 9, 2020)

IWK Non-Interventional E-Consent (September 9, 2020)


Resumption of Onsite Research

As IWK Health works towards the resumption of onsite services, we are able to move forward plans to expand the current research activities being conducted onsite. We are entering new terrain as we prepare to resume some onsite research activities, including facing the possibility of subsequent waves of COVID‐19.

NOTE: Effective August 5, 2021, SOPs 503 and 505 have been stood down as part of IWK Health’s COVID-19 De-Escalation Plan. Please see the Memo from the Vice-President, Research & Innovation for more information.


IWK Memo Resumption of Research (June 11, 2020)

Remote Monitoring of Clinical Trials (October 19, 2020)

Research: Resuming Onsite Activities (June 10, 2020)

Request to Resume IWK Onsite Research Activities: Application Form (October 13, 2020)


Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF)

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) was announced on May 15, 2020, as part of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The temporary program was established to help sustain the research enterprise at Canadian universities and health research institutions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) (August 31, 2020)

CRCEF Stage 3 – Deadline Nov. 9 (October 26, 2020)

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Stage 3 of CRCEF will provide funding for incurred costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities.

All IWK researchers with active research accounts are encouraged to review account expenses and identify eligible CRCEF Stage 3 costs (see Eligible Costs list below). Research funding may be from government or non-government sources. “(Only direct costs of research that are extraordinary and incremental to those already covered by existing sources of funds and have been incurred between March 15 and November 15, 2020 will be reimbursed, at up to 75%.”Note: “The costs of research personnel can be eligible for partial reimbursement at up to 75% in Stage 3 for the period of August 30, 2020, to November 15, 2020, provided that the costs meet the Stage 3 eligible expenses criteria.”

Stage 3 Eligible Expenses Criteria

  • unanticipated additional costs that would not have been incurred in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be funded by existing sources of funds;
  • for direct costs associated with maintenance and ramp-up of research activities;
  • costs borne by research projects; and
  • approved by the decision-making group identified for CRCEF

Projects with considerable, financial balances at the end of the fiscal year (March 31, 2020) are not eligible (i.e., less than 10% of total budget has been spent).

To be eligible for Stage 3, institutions must meet equity, diversity and inclusion requirements. For CRCEF Stage 3, the highest priority for funding will be for applicants from equity-seeking or underrepresented groups. Other priority groups include applicants who have been personally impacted by the pandemic, applicants who undertake non-traditional or unconventional research, and early career researchers. (There is an opportunity to self-identify on the application form.) Projects that are close to their grant end date will be of lower priority.

For more detailed information on the CRCEF program:


Frequently Asked Questions:


The IWK is participating in the CRCEF through Dalhousie University, more information on the program can be found at:


Research Site Map


Contact Us

IWK Health Research Services
5850/5980 University Ave
PO Box 9700
Nova Scotia, B3K 6R8

If you have a general question about research, our services, facilities or programs please email us below.

If you are looking for a specific individual from one of our departments or facilities please select the button below to view the research services team (individual contact information is provided here).


Research E-Bulletin

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