LFS Research Use Request

Our faculty is preparing to enter into Stage 2 of Resumption and the official guiding document will be the LFS Parent Plan (general faculty plan approved August 17th 2020). The target date for the commencement of Stage 2 is September 1st 2020. Please note that during Stage 2, remote work is still highly encouraged but greater office access will be available to aid with furthering research and allowing for academic activities associated with term 1 remote teaching deliveries.

The overall guiding principles of the phased return of approved research activities at UBC have been provided by the VPRI and in Stage 2 of Resumption an update includes:

  • Permission to conduct on-campus research and scholarship will be limited to those who require on-site resources. Managed access to offices will be governed by Faculties.

Please see more information on Office Use Requests.

The main guidelines pertaining to research use as we move into Stage 2 are:

  1. All users MUST adhere to the following mandatory rules:
  2. For research labs, there have been amendments on the occupancy limit of each space, which can be found under Stage 2 Research Space Occupancy Limit at MCML or FNH. If any PIs would like to add personnel to access the research space, please submit a revised safety plan, highlighting changes in work schedule and the information on the new lab member(s) accessing the space. If the lab(s) are shared by multiple PIs, then a coordinated safety plan will be needed to ensure occupancy limit will be respected.
  3. You may find updates on reoccupancy at LFS at https://lfs-my-2020.sites.olt.ubc.ca/operations/lfs-covid-19-reoccupancy-information/
  4. If you have any questions/concerns regarding Stage 2 resumption, please send an email to lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca or submit anonymously via https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d0xslqMad9vS1iB.


On Thursday June 11, 2020, the Faculty received the news from VRPI and the UBC Executive that our Faculty Research Resumption plan has been formally approved. This is great news for the researchers, staff and students who have been patiently waiting for the chance to get back into the laboratories to resume or complete their research projects.

The next steps in the process are for individual faculty members to develop return-to-research plans for their own research spaces based on the COVID-19 Land and Food Systems Workspace Safety Plan template and then submit these plans for approval by the LFS Research Resumption and Planning Committee.

To help facilitate this process, this page has been set up with detailed references and documents. Completed plans and laboratory access requests can be forwarded for review to:


The deadline for submissions will be by noon on Friday, June 19th 2020 to allow for equity and efficiency in the approval and planning process. Approved plans must include a signed VPRI access agreement posted on the laboratory door along with acknowledgement and agreement to follow all health and safety guidelines detailed in the LFS resumption plan and FNH / MCML Building safety plans.

As per University and provincial directives, work that can be done remotely (i.e. from home) should continue to be done remotely. “High” priority access during Phase 1 of the resumption will be given to graduate students who need access to wet laboratory facilities and who are within 6 months of completion of their degree programs (see Section 4, Prioritization of Access, in the LFS Research Resumption Planning Document). Researchers who hold active exemptions from the curtailment period will continue to be granted access as per the terms of their exemption, however they will be required to complete and submit a COVID-19 Land and Food Systems Workspace Safety Plan to facilitate scheduling and workplace quota determinations with personnel returning through Phase 1 approvals.

Requests for access to office space will be handled on a case-by-case basis to ensure occupancy levels are maintained and in place for faculty, staff and research personnel who cannot work at home or are essential to the operation and support of the faculty. For those whose need for access to on-campus resources extends only to the use of office space, we ask that you forward a request including schedule/room to lfs-restart@lists.ubc.ca

Conditional on the continuing favorable evolution of COVID-19 epidemiological data, and following guidance from BC Health Officials working with UBC leadership, the research resumption would progress to Phase 2, which would allow for the return of additional lab personnel falling in the “moderate” need category (see Section 4, Prioritization of Access, in the LFS Research Resumption Planning Document). PIs would be required to submit a revised Workspace Plan reflecting any new personnel and laboratory procedural changes for review and approval. Full details on Phase 2 will be released in the coming weeks.

  • Limit the use of common spaces
  • Limit unnecessary movement through the facilities

  • Due to the size of the washroom space, single occupancy measures will be in place
  • Must follow 30 second hand washing guide posted in all washrooms
  • Only washrooms close to your workspace are to be used

  • All meetings will be held online using tools such as Zoom, Skype, etc.
  • Meeting rooms will be closed and/or repurposed until further notice.

  • Rooms which were normally open access to employees such as reception areas should
    be closed to only allow access from one point such as the front counter.
  • The front counter would have clear plastic shields such as those seen in retail stores.

  • Lunch rooms will be closed.
  • Designated eating areas will be assigned in both MCML and FNH.
    • MCML: Agora café (ground floor / south side)
    • FNH: 373 and adjoining deck space (3rd floor / NE corner)
  • Signage and space use guidelines will be posted in these areas.
  • Microwave ovens, kettles, etc. will be removed.
  • Seating will be limited to ensure a physical distancing of 2 meters can be accommodated.
  • Workers are encouraged to pack cold lunches or lunches in a thermos.
  • Normal standard operating procedures for Laboratory Chemical Safety, namely no beverages or food in laboratories would
    continue to apply.
  • It is encouraged to eat outside, or in a space that allows for proper social distancing and sanitation of the surfaces after eating.

  • Use the stairs when possible. The elevator should be used for those with large items that cannot be carried up the stairs or people unable to use the stairs for other reasons.
  • Only one person is permitted in the elevator at a time. If elevator is occupied, wait for the next opportunity allowing for single occupancy.

  • Only one person is allowed in the copy rooms at a time
  • In the event of multiple users, the second user must wait in the hallway until the space is vacant.

Vehicle Usage

  • Employees are encouraged to walk whenever possible.
  • If possible, assign the same vehicle to the same person on consecutive days.
  • If feasible, remove the vehicle from the rotation for 72 hours between users.

Vehicle Occupancy

  • Following review of UBC SRS’ COVID-19 guidance on UBC vehicle use, the Faculty will adhere to a policy of only one individual per vehicle in accordance
    with this guidance.

Personal Hygiene

  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for 30 seconds before and after vehicle
  • Avoid touching the face before, during, and after vehicle use.
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm.

Equipment and Supplies

  • Sanitizer will be provided for users of shared LFS vehicles.
  • A waste container or bag will be provided for the disposal of used gloves and wipes for each user.

Vehicle Cleaning

  • Users of shared UBC vehicles are responsible for wiping down high touch surfaces, both upon entry and exit, to ensure everyone’s safety.
    • High touch spots include the exterior and interior door handles, steering wheel, gear shifter, turn signals, and any other surfaces touched while driving.

  • Those responsible for shared equipment or supplies that are in high demand must establish a schedule for their use.
  • Users must reserve equipment prior to use and ensure they have allotted enough time to cover their use of the equipment.
  • Users must sign an instrument log when finished using equipment.
  • It is recommended to use disposable gloves whenever using shared equipment.
  • After equipment use, the user must wipe it down using ethanol or another sanitary cleaning product, and dispose of the used wipe in the appropriate waste receptacle.

  • Before entering or exiting an autoclave room hands must be thoroughly washed with soap or disinfected with sanitizing solution.
  • Only one person is allowed to enter an autoclave room at a time. In the event of multiple users requiring the use of the autoclave or access to the room for retrieving items at the same time, the user outside the room must wait until the person inside the room exits.
  • Any materials that are autoclaved must be sealed off in a containment vessel (bottle, bag etc.) when it is safe to do so.
    • The outer surfaces of the autoclaved containment vessel must be cleaned (wiped down with sanitizing solution) or repackaged in a clean vessel and removed from the autoclave room sometime within the work day of the user.
    • When the containment vessel is cool, it should be checked for leaks and repackaged if leaks are found.
    • Containment vessels with autoclaved materials must be stored appropriately in a designated lab area or an autoclave waste collection area with clear tagging and/or markings to identify the person, research group and type of autoclave material contained.