GPS continues to support the McGill graduate community with staff working remotely.

FAQ: Conducting Research

Can I return to my lab?

The Return to Campus Fall 2021 timeline includes a target of 65% lab occupancy in the Fall in the scenario where 1 metre distancing is required. You should consult your supervisor to confirm the level of research activities approved for your lab. The principles and procedures for on-campus research activities are consistent with principles outlined in McGill’s health guidelines. Please also consult the guidelines developed by GPS for research ramp-up.

Can I return to my office or other space on campus to pursue my work?

Access to buildings on campus varies depending on the building's activity level (see Building Access). Only research approved through the Directives: Principles and Procedures for Research on campus can be carried out on campus at this time, but access will increase as restrictions are lifted. More information is available for researchers on McGill's coronavirus website

Study Hub spaces are available at select libraries and offer space for safe, individual study. These spaces have been retrofitted to allow for physical distancing and follow safety protocols including enhanced cleaning, mandatory procedural mask use, safe lineups, and clear signage. Reserve a spot on the Library website.

Can I start or resume my research involving human participants?

Please speak to your supervisor and consult the directives on the Resumption of research with human participants to determine the approval process to follow in the current context.

I am concerned about the delays caused to my experiments and research progress. Can I request an extension to my degree?

We encourage you to have a conversation with your supervisor regarding your research progress in the current context and to plan ahead.

If you are in the middle of your doctoral degree (PhD 4/5/6) and worried about completing your degree on time, rest assured that you will be able to make a request for an extension at the end of your degree. If the pandemic has affected your ability to progress in your research and to graduate in time, it will be taken into consideration at that time.

If you are a Master’s student whose data collection and research activities have been affected by the present situation, please email associatedeans.gps [at] to describe the impact of the current measures on your timeline.

What should I ask my supervisor as a new PhD student?

You should definitely be discussing your research project and planning the first steps you should take (whether they involve coursework, applying for external funding, designing initial experimental approaches, familiarizing yourself with the literature, etc.) You can also seek to clarify expectations with your supervisor. Your department can give you a template for a letter of understanding that outlines the potential topics you and your supervisor should discuss near the beginning of your program.

Our graduate supervision site also has excellent resources to help you create a productive working relationship with your supervisor.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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