Covid-19

We are aware that the outbreak and spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can raise questions and concerns. Please know that the University is taking all necessary precautions and is monitoring the situation very closely. 

The University is receiving regular updates from Vancouver Coastal Health, the BC Ministry of Health, the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and the Office of the Premier concerning the COVID-19 virus.  While the risk to British Columbia remains low at this time, the situation is rapidly evolving. 

Due to the coronavirus and social distancing protocols, the PDFO Reception is currently closed. During this time, we ask that you contact our office by email. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner, but may have limited capacity due to a high volume of emails.

Please note that http://www.ubc.ca continues to be the main source of updates for the UBC community.

UBC ANNOUNCEMENTS

March 26, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Important information for secure remote working

On March 26, 2020, UBC released a Broadcast Update reminding those accessing UBC's systems and networks remotely of the IT resources and support available at this time. Please refer to the broadcast for additional information.

March 20, 2020 - UBC Equity and Inclusion Update: Equity & Inclusion Office Services during Remote Work Pilot

In line with UBC and provincial health authority guidelines, the Equity and Inclusion office is taking the following precautions and shifting and adapting the way they are delivering their services.

  • Human rights advising services remain available to UBC students, staff and faculty. Services will be provided via email, telephone consultation or other virtual system as appropriate. Should you have any concerns of discrimination (Policy SC7), please contact the human rights team.
  • As the office is closed, should you have an inquiry about any of their resources or consultation services, please submit a consultation service request.

The Equity and Inclusion team will work to address your needs remotely as best as they can. Please refer to their website for additional information.

March 19, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: Curtailing research activities on UBC campuses

On March 19, 2020, UBC released a Broadcast Update announcing the university is curtailing on-campus research activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. This is in line with social distancing protocols regarding remote teaching and working arrangements implemented in the last week. This curtailment is in effect until April 15, 2020 and may be extended.

To continue research activities on our campuses, researchers must receive an exemption to be classed as critical research or maintaining critical research resources. The exemption process is outlined at https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19. It involves approval at the departmental, Faculty and Vice-President, Research & Innovation levels. Examples of critical research may include COVID-19 research and clinical trials. Critical research resources may include data, cell lines, materials and reagents that are deemed essential and difficult to replace.

For additional information, please connect with your department administrator.

March 16, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 – remote working for faculty, staff, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, and student employees

On March 16, 2020, UBC released a Broadcast Update regarding remote working opportunities which includes Postdoctoral Fellows.  We encourage all postdocs to review this broadcast and work with their PI’s and units on how best to continue their work in a safe manner.  If you have any questions or concerns about working remotely, please connect with your units directly, as they are in the best position to provide assistance and support.

March 13, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: Updated guidance regarding events and travel

On March 13, 2020, UBC released a Broadcast Update regarding events and travel. Events with more than 250 people in attendance have been cancelled, and the Office of the Provincial Medical Health Office, BC Centre for Disease Control and Ministry of Health are also recommending British Columbians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Please review the full broadcast for information about self-isolation requirements established by the University.

APPOINTMENT INFORMATION

Please direct any questions about your Postdoctoral Fellowship appointment to your department administrator. 

IMMIGRATION INQUIRIES AND ISSUES

Please contact the Housing and Relocation Services Office with any questions or concerns relating to your immigration status during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can reach this office via their consultation form

PDF TRAVEL AWARD COMPETITION

Due to the rapidly-evolving situation, the PDF Travel Award Competition is on hold for the foreseeable future. Please refer to the PDF Travel Award page for updates about when the competition will resume.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PDFO Workshops and Events 

We are currently reviewing all of our current professional development programming, and will be looking at alternate-format delivery when feasible. Those events that cannot be accomodated via alternate-format delivery may be cancelled or postponed.

The following PDFO events have been cancelled or postponed:

  • Foundations of Project Management II – Tuesday, March 17 & Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (Postponed)
  • Immigration Clinics – March 2020 – Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (Cancelled)
  • Immigration for Postdoctoral Fellows - Thursday, April 16, 2020 (Cancelled)

The following PDFO events have been transitioned to webinar format and will proceed as scheduled. For additional information and to register, please refer to the Professional Development page of the PDFO website. 

  • Skills of Communication - Friday, March 27, 2020
  • Essentials of Productive Teams - Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Available Online Learning and Professional Development Opportunities

The following online learning and professional development resources are available for the UBC postdoc community: 

 

SUPPORT

The PDFO wants to remind you of the resources available to currently-appointed UBC Postdoctoral Fellows through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). This confidential and voluntary counselling support service, provided through Morneau Shepell, is available in multiple languages and formats, and counsellors can help with a range of issues including stress, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. The Morneau Shepell Care Access Centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-387-4765 or through workhealthlife.com.

TRI-AGENCY FELLOWSHIPS

If you hold a tri-agency fellowship, please refer to the appropriate tri-agency website for updates on COVID-19 and its impact on tri-agency policies, programs, and operations:

FAQ (Postdoctoral fellows)

Is the Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) open?

The Postdoctoral Fellows Office is currently closed to the public. However, the PDFO team continues to maintain operations. Following UBC's March 16 recommendation to implement remote work, the PDFO team is working remotely and there may be a delay in service as a result. Please contact the PDFO via email at postdoctoral.fellows@ubc.ca.

What resources are available if I need to talk to someone?

Confidential and voluntary counselling support service is available through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), provided through Morneau Shepell. Appointments are available in multiple languages and formats, and counsellors can help with a range of issues including stress, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. The Morneau Shepell Care Access Centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-387-4765 or through workhealthlife.com.

Is the PDFO still running professional development workshops?

We are currently reviewing all of our current professional development programming, and will be looking at alternate-format delivery when feasible. Those events that cannot be accomodated via alternate-format delivery may be cancelled or postponed.

At this time, the following sessions have been cancelled or postponed:

  • Foundations of Project Management II – Tuesday, March 17 & Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (Postponed)
  • Immigration Clinics – March 2020 – Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (Cancelled)
  • Immigration for Postdoctoral Fellows - Thursday, April 16, 2020 (Cancelled)

The following PDFO events have been transitioned to webinar format and will proceed as scheduled. For additional information and to register, please refer to the Professional Development page of the PDFO website. 

  • Skills of Communication - Friday, March 27, 2020
  • Essentials of Productive Teams - Tuesday, March 31, 2020
I am currently abroad and am having issues returning to Canada. What should I do?

Global Affairs Canada has issued an advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. To limit the spread of COVID-19, many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines. As a result, your travel plans may be severely disrupted and/or you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected. For information on the global travel advisory, please click here.

If you are an international Postdoctoral Fellow and are experiencing difficulties returning to Canada, please contact the Housing and Relocation Services Office for assistance. This team has 3 Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) on staff who may be able to assist.

The support services provided through the Employee & Family Assistance Program are accessible to UBC postdocs at all times, even when outside of Canada.

 

Further COVID-19 Information

Please refer to the following reliable sources of information for additional information about COVID-19:

1. World Health Organization - https://www.who.int/

2. British Columbia Centre for Disease Control - http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus

3. Vancouver Coastal Health - http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health-statement-on-coronavirus

4. Public Health Agency of Canada

5. Government of Canada Travel –  https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories