Research Travel Safety Update
March 30, 2021
The Office of Research & Innovation reminds all Trent University employees engaged in research activity that public health and government travel guidelines can change rapidly and should be adhered to at all times.
As indicated in the last Trent Forward message (February 2021), faculty who feel the need to travel for research purposes should follow federal and provincial government and public health guidelines, taking into consideration the conditions, restrictions and quarantine requirements before traveling to and from destinations (local, regional, provincial, inter-provincial, international). Be sure to continue to follow government updates on travel advisories and familiarize yourself with the details and limitations of insurance coverage.
Where fieldwork is necessary, and prior to initiating any such research this season, please review the guidance provided here:
Necessity of Research Travel
Consider the need/urgency for the research project to be completed at this time. Is there a researcher at the destination available to perform the research? Can the research be delayed to a future date? Do all research team members need to travel?
Permission by the Host
Where applicable, has the proposed travel and research received permission from the host location (i.e. travel to a First Nations community or work requiring third party logistical support, etc.). Will you need documentation of approval?
Identification of specific public health directives at the research location
Awareness of location-specific health protocols (including in vehicles and at the destination) as well as, conducting quarantine upon arrival, knowing distance to the nearest hospital emergency room and location, physical distancing and prevention of exposure to COVID-19, managing a potential/known exposure, established procedure and measures to self-isolate, and/or seek attention.
Research Ethics Approval
Approval must be obtained as required by the Research Ethics Board for human participant research protocols and/or Animal Care Committee for animal research protocols.
Risk Management encourages due diligence for insurance coverage
Confirm your insurance coverage for travel by all members. There may be different policies for unpaid employees, graduate students, undergraduate students, and adjunct faculty. Considerations include WSIB, Sunlife (employees), OHIP and UHIP.
Identification of financial obligations associated with COVID-19 requirements at either end of the travel
Investigate whether your research budget can accommodate unforeseen, additional costs such as extended stay hotel accommodations, cancelled flights, appropriate PPE for research team. Ensure the availability of COVID-19 cancellation clause in contracts for accommodations, rental cars, flights where possible.
Please review the Trent University Safe Travel tips guidance.
As available, vaccination against COVID-19 is highly encouraged. The vaccination is the best measure to protect yourself against COVID-19 as well as the communities you are traveling to.