Covid-19

As UBC continues to navigate the situation regarding COVID-19, we recognize that members of our community may have questions and concerns.

Within British Columbia, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are leading the coordinated response to COVID-19. UBC continues to take direction from the BC Provincial Government as we plan and consider next steps.

This website contains answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to appointments, immigration, professional development, Tri-Agency funding, and more.

You are also encouraged to visit https://covid19.ubc.ca/ for the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and UBC's response.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and in support of physical distancing, the PDFO Reception is currently closed and it is not possible to make in-person visits to our office. During this time, we ask that Postdoctoral Fellows, faculty and staff 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.

APPOINTMENT INFORMATION

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

BENEFITS, HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Medical Services Plan (MSP) Response to COVID-19

The Government of British Columbia has announced temporary changes to aspects of the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please refer to the Government of BC website for detailed information about MSP coverage.

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

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.

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace: Not Myself Today

Since 2015, UBC has been an active participant of the Canadian Mental Health Association's Not Myself Today (NMT) Initiative. NMT includes digital toolkits and activities, online learning tools, and resources.

For more information, visit the Central Human Resources website.

Free Virtual Health and Wellbeing Events

UBC Human Resources is offering a series of free virtual health and wellbeing events. For more information and to register, visit the Healthy UBC Newsletter online or subscribe to their emailed newsletter.

Online Support Programs

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) offers a number of free online mental health support programs. These programs include:

  • BounceBack: Offers weekly calls and homework with a personal coach to combat depression, anxiety, stress, and worry.
  • Living Life to the Full: An interactive, 8-week online course based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy delivered in 90-minute sessions. Available for adults and for youth ages 13-18.

The CMHA is regularly adding support resources to their website. Please visit the CMHA website for more information and to access these supports.

Articles and Info Sheets
Wellness Together Canada

Wellness Together Canada provides connections to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counselling with a mental health professional. This hub allows you to choose from a variety of resources to motivate and support your wellness journey. Wellness Together Canada provides tailored support programs and general resources for adults and for youth.

Visit the Wellness Together website for additional information and supports.

CHILDCARE

Childcare at UBC is managed by UBC Child Care Services. Please refer to their website for COVID-19 news and updates. Child Care Services has also created a frequently-asked questions document (.PDF format) with information and updates on a wide range of COVID-19-related questions and concerns.

Are there any other resources for finding child care at UBC Vancouver?
Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver who are looking for childcare support in their homes can post a request on the CareersOnline job board, which is available to  match diploma and certificate students in the Faculty of Education’s Early Childhood Education program (who are experienced caregivers and have current criminal record checks). To use this service, faculty, staff and students can create an employer profile on CareersOnline, using an UBC email address. Once your employer account is approved, you can create a job posting with a description of the position, salary/wage, and qualifications. Select “Education/Teaching” as your preferred degree/discipline to indicate you are looking for Early Childhood Education students. Please see the tip sheet for items of consideration when posting a childcare job.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AND AID PACKAGES

The PDFO is currently researching the various government supports and aid packages that have been announced at both the federal and provincial levels. For additional information, including eligibility criteria and application procedures, please refer to: 

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

INCOMING POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

Please be advised that the Postdoctoral Fellows Office staff is not able to advise on issues related to immigration. Please contact Housing and Relocation Services for any questions related to immigration.

Start Date Information

Please contact your department administrator with any questions about your start date. If you do not know your department administrator, contact the PDFO. So we can best assist you, please include the name of the department or unit listed on your offer letter.

Self-Isolation Resources

If you are an incoming Postdoctoral Fellow and will need to self-isolate, please refer to the self-isolation section below.

PDF Town hall

The PDFO held a virtual Town Hall for Postdoctoral Fellows on Monday, June 29, 2020 featuring Dr. Gail Murphy (Vice President, Research & Innovation), Dr. Susan Porter (Dean and Vice Provost, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies), and Karen Vaughan (Director, UBC Child Care Services).

Click here to read a summary of the information discussed in this PDF Town Hall.

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 accommodate via alternate-format delivery may be cancelled or postponed.

The following PDFO events have been cancelled due to COVID-19:

  • Foundations of Project Management I (with Mitacs Training)
  • Foundations of Project Management II (with Mitacs Training)
  • Immigration Information Sessions
  • Postdoctoral Fellows Immigration Clinics

For a list of currently-available professional development sessions, including registration information, please refer to the Professional Development page of the PDFO website. 

Available Online Learning and Professional Development Opportunities

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

Please view the Professional Development page of the PDFO website for a list of additional upcoming online webinars and workshops.

RE-occupancy & resumption plans

Re-occupancy and resumption plans are being handled by each faculty. Please contact your department administrator for information about plans for your specific unit.

General information about re-occupancy & resumption plans can be found on the UBC COVID-19 website.

Information specific to UBC Vancouver can be found on the Safety & Risk Services website.

Information specific to UBC Okanagan can be found on the UBCO Finance and Operations website.

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

BounceBack (for Youth age 15+)

A free program provided through the Canadian Mental Health Association. Provides access weekly calls and activities including workbooks, activities, videos, or trained mental health coaches who can provide up to 6 phone sessions. Delivery formats include coaching, an online program, or online video.

Please visit the BounceBack website for more information and to register.

Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators (EASE) at Home Program (for K - 12 Students)

Provides parents and caregivers of children in grades K - 12 with activities that focus on strategies for creating calming routines, speaking about difficult emotions, and managing anxiety.

Visit the EASE program website for additional information.

Here2Talk (for Post-Secondary Students)

Provides post-secondary students with free, confidential, single-session services by app, telephone, or online chat, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Visit here2talk.ca for additional information and to access this resource.

Living Life to the Full Program (for Youth ages 13-18)

An interactive, 8-week online course based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy delivered in 90-minute sessions and provided through the Canadian Mental Health Association. Available for youth ages 13-18 and for adults.

Please visit the Living Life to the Full website for more information and to register.

WE Well-Being Program (for K - 12 Students)

Provides free, virtual learning tools aimed at students experiencing anxiety and social isolation, with an emphasis on social-emotional learning and resiliency.

Visit the WE Well-being Initiative website for additional information.

SELF-ISOLATION RESOURCES

For those in need of space to self-isolate, UBC Vancouver's Student Housing and Hospitality Services has a number of furnished studio apartments at Gage Apartments (Walter Gage Residence) available for short-term rental for Postdoctoral Fellows. Visit the SHHS website for additional information, including reservations and pricing.

TEACHING

To better support postdocs and others with teaching remotely, UBC has created a Keep Teaching website that offers resources and support to help you develop your own strategies for meeting the needs of your courses online. The website also has guidance on how to prepare to offer lectures, group work and discussion, assignments and assessments online.

Faculty and teaching assistants at UBC Vancouver are invited to learn more about the process for transitioning classes to an online delivery format through the website of the VP Academic + Provost.

For postdocs at UBC Okanagan, the Center for Teaching and Learning has additional resources.

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.

General Information

Tri-Agency Message on COVID-19

  • CIHR
  • NSERC
    • Making Connections - Industry, Not-for-Profit, and Public Sector Organizations: If you are from an industry, not-for-profit or public sector organization that is addressing a challenge related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and could benefit from expertise in natural sciences and engineering, please complete this survey
    • Making Connections - Researchers: If you are a researcher from a Canadian college or university who is eligible to apply to an NSERC grant and is interested in helping an organization address a challenge or question related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the list of project opportunities.
  • SSHRC
    • SSHRC has created a new Extranet for Applicants, a portal designed to allow applicants to access the results of their SSHRC applications.
Funding Agency Deadlines / Funding Updates

Visit the Office of Research Services (ORS) website for updates from funding agencies related to application deadlines and other process changes and announcements.

 

UBC ANNOUNCEMENTS

September 11, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Required use of non-medical masks at UBC, effective Sep 16
June 29, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Planning for the safe phased-in re-occupancy of our campuses (June 29)
May 15, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Santa Ono's address to the community (May 15)
May 14, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: UBC's operational and safety planning
May 12, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Plans for the phased resumption of on-campus research
May 8, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Santa Ono's address to the community (May 8)
May 1, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Santa Ono's address to the community (May 1)
April 30, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - UBC planning update
April 28, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Extension of Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment
April 24, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Santa Ono's address to the community (Apr. 24) 
April 17, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Santa Ono's address to the community (Apr. 17) 
April 15, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Action required: New minimum cybersecurity controls for accessing UBC systems and information
April 9, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Santa Ono's address to the community (Apr. 9)
April 3, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Santa Ono's address to the community (Apr. 3)
April 1, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment - extended to end of April
March 26, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Important information for secure remote working
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: COVID-19 - Curtailing research activities on UBC campuses
March 16, 2020 - UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Remote working for faculty, staff, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, and student employees

Read this announcement in full.

We encourage all postdocs to review this announcement and work with their PIs 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: COVID-19 - Updated guidance regarding events and travel

Virtual Events and Activities

UBC Internal Communications has compiled a list of virtual events and activities available to the UBC community:

Latest COVID-19 INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

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.

The British Columbia Psychological Association (BCPA) is currently offering free "Psychological First Aid" telephone consultations to any BC resident age 19+ affected by the COVID-19 pandemic These telephone consultations are up to 30 minutes and are designed to provide information and strategies to help cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please visit the BCPA website for additional information and to access this resource.

The Psychological Support Service is not the same as a crisis line. If you are in a crisis, please visit go to https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/ or call 1-800-SUICIDE. If your crisis is an emergency, call 911.

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 accommodate via alternate-format delivery may be cancelled or postponed.

The following PDFO events have been cancelled due to COVID-19:

  • Foundations of Project Management I (with Mitacs Training)
  • Foundations of Project Management II (with Mitacs Training)
  • Immigration Information Sessions
  • Postdoctoral Fellows Immigration Clinics

For a list of currently-available professional development sessions, including registration information, please refer to the Professional Development page of the PDFO website. 

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.