By anne-marie.dubois - Posted on 27 March 2020

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May 6, 2020, 9:30 a.m.- Emergency Assistance Program for 2020 Summer semester

 

Emergency Assistance Program for 2020 Summer semester

 

To all members of the student community,

 

As part of a first emergency assistance program for the 2020 winter semester, INRS provided financial support to several students who suddenly lost their jobs in March and were not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Even with the announced resumption of specific activities and the relief measures offered by governments, the current health crisis caused by COVID-19 will have impacts in the coming months. Not only has the pandemic limited employment opportunities for students, but it has also delayed projects and internships, undermined their funding and delayed immigration processing. Given this situation, INRS has decided to take action.

 

As of April 23, INRS announced its intention to provide compensation for the professors' research funds used to finance students' research projects. Scholarships that were supposed to be awarded to students from these funds should therefore be paid out as planned. In addition, INRS is now announcing a second phase of its emergency assistance program for students to ensure minimum income or income replacement for people whose financial situation is impacted by the pandemic in the short term.

 

The program is designed for students who do not qualify for Canadian emergency benefits or equivalent programs.

 

Eligible students not receiving a scholarship or employment income will be able to obtain a scholarship of up to $1000 per month for 4 months. An income supplement of up to $500 per month for 4 months will also be available to students who have experienced a loss of income related to the pandemic.

 

 

Terms and conditions

 

♦ Being in Québec or in a foreign country as a result of ongoing studies

 

♦ Starting or continuing education at INRS during the summer of 2020 OR having to postpone it due to the pandemic.

 

♦ Experiencing one of the following financial impacts as a result of the pandemic:

 

♦ Decrease in revenue for the 2020 summer semester

 

♦ See its expenses increase for the 2020 summer semester

 

♦ Experiencing financial insecurity due to the impacts described in the previous point

 

 

This student assistance fund for the summer is now available. All the details concerning the assistance program, as well as the application form, are available on the INRS website.

 

If you have any questions, please do contact the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Department at the following email address: sae@inrs.ca.

 

April 28, 2020, 4:30 p.m. - Partial resumption of laboratory and field research activities

 

Partial resumption of laboratory and field research activities 

 

To all members of the INRS community,

 

Like all academic institutions in Quebec, INRS is working to organize the gradual reopening of its laboratory and field research activities, in accordance with the Government of Quebec’s guidance. The resumption of these activities will be done in compliance with the standards set by public health and the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). Over the next few days, each of the centres and departments will be called upon to provide plans for the organization of schedules and spaces. Partial resumption of research activities will begin next week.

 

Our objectives are to allow our students and professors to pursue their research projects, to maintain job security for our research professionals and to maintain the link with our partners by contributing to the collective relaunch effort. INRS thus wishes to continue to fulfill its role in the economic, social and cultural development of society through scientific research.

 

In light of our consultations with the unions, specific measures will be taken to provide a safe working and study environment and to protect people who will have to visit our institution or in the field.

 

These measures will include more intensive health maintenance and respect for physical distance. Students and employees concerned by this partial return to research activities will be notified by their director or research supervisor who will explicitly invite them to come to INRS or to their research field. This resumption will be done with respect for the health condition of each individual. More details on the return procedure will be communicated to you shortly by your respective departments. Finally, we would like to remind you that classroom courses remain suspended until further notice.

 

Once again, I would like to thank you for your perseverance and your commitment which make a difference for our entire community.

 

Best regards,

Luc-Alain Giraldeau

Chief Executive Officer, INRS

 

April 23, 2020, 11:00 a.m. - Special financial aids for students

 

Special financial aids for students 

 

To all members of the INRS community,

 

In the context of the closure of INRS facilities due to the pandemic, we are fully aware of the delay in the research projects conducted by our students and the financial impacts they generate. In fact, most of these projects are funded by government grants or other external donors for a fixed period of time. As a result and to compensate for this delay, INRS has decided to support its students until the end of the summer, if necessary, by compensating professors who fund their research projects for losses incurred due to the pandemic, up to a maximum of $3.3 million.

 

This financial support will complement the federal government's assistance announced Wednesday (April 22), which provides a total of $291.6 million in assistance to, among other things, extend research scholarships for graduate student researchers.

 

Our student-researchers are at the heart of INRS's mission. We would like to thank them for their sustained efforts and perseverance in the difficult context in which we operate.

April 9, 2020, 4:30 p.m. - Update on the Continuity of Academic Activities Plan

 

Update on the Continuity of Academic Activities Plan 

 

To all students and professors,

 

We wish to inform you regarding an update on the continuity of academic activities plan. The academic calendar has not changed. However, students and professors will be given an additional month to submit assignments and grades.

 

Assignments, including dissertations and theses, will be accepted until May 15 (instead of April 17), and grades until June 15 (instead of May 18). In addition, students will have the option of requesting the use of "pass" or "fail" grades instead of literal grades for course evaluation. Pass or fail will not contribute to the student's average. The mention "failure" will not be taken into account in the application of the sanctions set out in our academic regulations (Règlement sur les études supérieures de l'INRS).

 

Three possibilities are offered to our students for gradings for the Winter term 2020:

 

♦ Literal grading

♦ Mention "success" or "failure"

♦ "R", for postponed courses and evaluations

 

March 31, 2020, 4:40 p.m. - Emergency Assistance Program for Students Affected by the Pandemic

 

Emergency Assistance Program for Students Affected by the Pandemic

 

 

To all members of the community,

 

Over the past few weeks, I have been touched by your resilience and courage. I am particularly proud of the solidarity you have shown at this exceptional time.

 

Today, I would like to pay special tribute to our student community. The closure of INRS and the Québec-wide pause, which serve to limit the spread of COVID-19, may also create anxiety, to which financial insecurity could also be added. Some students may thus find themselves in a difficult financial situation despite the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) announced by the government, which some of our student population will not be able to access. I am therefore announcing two measures that INRS is taking in solidarity with its student community.

 

 

Emergency Assistance Program

 

As of now, INRS is setting up an emergency financial aid fund to support students who find themselves in a precarious financial situation.  To access it, an application form is available online. The amount of assistance can be up to $1 500 per person. We have made sure that funds are already available and can be distributed within a week.

 

 

Mobilization of the INRS community to help our students

 

INRS forms a tightly knit community united behind the success of its students. I am mobilizing our new INRS Foundation to carry out a blitz of voluntary donations from you in support of our students. I encourage the INRS community to come together in these uncertain times. If your current financial situation allows it, you can make a tangible contribution to the emergency assistance program by making a donation. Your generosity will allow our students to continue their research training, a gesture that will make all the difference in the lives of our young scientists. Your donation, whatever it may be, is precious for the entire INRS community, and especially for our students.

 

In closing, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your kindness. We are living in a singular moment that makes us aware of the importance of the human and personal ties that we all have with one another. Let’s be supportive! Take good care of you and your loved ones.

 

With all my best wishes for good health,

 

Luc-Alain Giraldeau Ph. D.

Director General of INRS

 

Update: March 27, 2020, 4:30 p.m. - Emergency Assistance for Students

 

Emergency Assistance for Students

 

 

To all students,

 

We are aware of the exceptional difficulties and financial stress that the current pandemic situation is creating for each and every one of you.

 

To help you get through this crisis situation, INRS will set up an emergency fund for students in need. Full details of these financial support measures will be announced early next week.

 

In addition, we are currently working with our university partners and funding agencies to support those of you who would find themselves obliged to extend the duration of their studies due to the closure of our facilities in the context of the pandemic.

 

We sincerely thank you for your perseverance in the current circumstances. Our entire community stands in solidarity with your situation. We invite you to take good care of yourself and of your loved ones.

 

Update: March 25, 2020, 5:15 p.m. - Guidelines for maintaining academic activities

 

Guidelines for maintaining academic activities

 

 

To all students and professors,

 

INRS is committed to providing the necessary flexibility to students and professors in order to facilitate the continuity of studies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. All deadlines provided for in the Règlement des études (Règlement 2) will be applied in a flexible manner. The Graduate and Postdoctoral Department (GPD) is implementing several measures allowing all members of the community to complete the winter term 2020 in the best possible conditions given the circumstances.

 

 

University calendar and end of winter term

Note that the university calendar will not be adjusted, but flexibility in the application of deadlines will be offered. The winter term 2020 will end on April 17, 2020 as scheduled and the submission of grades to the Registrar’s Office will be completed by May 18, 2020 as planned. For programs in Urban Studies, the term will end on April 26, 2020 and the submission of grades to the Registrar’s office will be completed by May 8, 2020.

 

 

Remote instruction

Considering the closure of the INRS, it is highly recommended that courses, seminars, doctoral exams, and thesis defences be completed remotely whenever possible. For courses that cannot be completed remotely, the GPD will allow a great deal of flexibility for course extensions. The notation “R” (postponed) will be used systematically for courses that cannot be completed remotely. This notation allows another term for the delivery of grades. Depending on the development of the pandemic, it is possible that the notation "R" may, exceptionally, be granted for a second semester.

 

 

Evaluation of research activities

Research activities for the winter 2020 term will be evaluated as they stand at the closing of the INRS on March 13, 2020.

 

 

Registration for the summer 2020 term

Registration for the summer term 2020 will continue. The registration period has been extended until April 5, 2020.

 

Three options are offered to students:

 

♦ The possibility to register for an authorized absence without penalty (the form is available in the student portal IDÉ);

 

♦ The possibility to continue their studies and research activities at a distance, where possible, and with the approval of their research director;

 

♦ The possibility to enroll part-time. Students who change their status to part-time in the summer of 2020 will be able to return to full-time status in a future term.

 

 

Students are asked to contact their supervisor or tutor to determine the best decision to make. If you have any questions on these points, please do not hesitate to contact the Registrar's Office by email at this address: registrariat@inrs.ca.

 

 

Admissions to INRS

Admissions to INRS will continue. For students who are not be able to present themselves in person, the possibility of starting their program remotely will be offered if their supervisor agrees.Postponement of a new admission, if necessary and without penalty, is also possible.  In order to do so, please contact the Registrar’s Office by email at this address: registrariat@inrs.ca.

 

 

Internships

To this end, if the period of confinement continues, the GPD will explore, with you and your internship supervisor, the possibility of continuing your research activities remotely. Depending on the outcome of the pandemic, other options may be available to you, such as the possibility of completing your internship on a part-time basis or deferring it to the fall of 2020 or the winter of 2021.

 

 

Do not hesitate to contact your supervisor and the GPD if you need additional information.

 

 

Update: March 22, 2020, 5:00 p.m. - Extension of the closure

 
Extension of the closure
 
Following the intervention of the Premier of Quebec, we wish to inform you that the INRS will be closed until May 1st. We thank you for your understanding and resilience in this exceptional context.
 
 
Message for students
Over the next few days, details will be communicated to students regarding online courses, the continuation of the session and registration for future sessions. We are aware of the concern that this exceptional situation is generating for you. We assure you that no student will be penalized for the consequences of the suspension of our activities.
 
We would also like to inform our graduating students and graduates that the Government of Quebec is postponing, for a period of six months, the payment of debts contracted through the Aide financière aux études, a decision that is welcomed by the INRS.
 
 
Convocation Ceremony
Under these circumstances, and to our regret, we are announcing the postponement of the 2019-2020 Convocation Ceremony, which was scheduled for May. We will be sure to recognize the success of our graduates at a later date.
 
 
Message for employees
Thanks to a common agreement with all the unions, over the next few weeks, each employee will be mobilized in order to allow us to make a shift towards the pursuit of online courses, when possible, as well as the continuity of our administrative activities, in telework mode while taking into account telework-family balance. Only essential services will be provided face-to-face. All staff will be paid during this period.
 
 
Thanks to the entire community
We understand the major impact of these measures for each and every one of you, whether it is in your studies, research or career. These government-mandated precautionary measures are intended to ensure the health and safety of society as a whole and to halt the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
 
For any questions regarding the measures implemented by INRS, we invite you to write to the following address: coronavirus@inrs.ca.
 

Update: March 20, 2020, 6:00 p.m. - Guidelines and information related to COVID-19

 
Guidelines and information related to COVID-19
 
The Canadian government announced the closure of Canadian borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, with the exception of U.S. citizens, starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at noon. In addition, those with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 will be prohibited from entering the country on commercial aircraft.
 
In this context, for Canadian students and trainees or permanent residents who are currently abroad, we encourage you to return home as soon as possible. INRS will provide you with the necessary support to enable your repatriation. Do not hesitate to contact your teachers or your centre management for this matter, as soon as possible.
 
For foreign students and trainees who are currently outside of Canada, you will be contacted by your professors very soon. INRS assures you of its support in these difficult circumstances.
 
In addition, INRS is currently working to put in place the necessary processes to allow students to complete the winter session properly. More details will be sent shortly.

Update: March 16, 2020, 6:00 p.m. - Guidelines and information related to COVID-19

 

Guidelines and information related to COVID-19

 

The Canadian government announced the closure of Canadian borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, with the exception of U.S. citizens, starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at noon. In addition, those with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 will be prohibited from entering the country on commercial aircraft.

  

In this context, for Canadian students and trainees or permanent residents who are currently abroad, we encourage you to return home as soon as possible. INRS will provide you with the necessary support to enable your repatriation. Do not hesitate to contact your teachers or your centre management for this matter, as soon as possible.

 

For foreign students and trainees who are currently outside of Canada, you will be contacted by your professors very soon. INRS assures you of its support in these difficult circumstances.

 

In addition, INRS is currently working to put in place the necessary processes to allow students to complete the winter session properly. More details will be sent shortly.

Update: March 15, 2020, 5:00 p.m. - New guidelines related to COVID-19

 

New guidelines related to COVID-19

 

Our institution remains closed until March 27, 2020 and all our activities are suspended for a period of two weeks.

 

For students and interns who are currently abroad and who wish to be repatriated as soon as possible, precise guidelines will be communicated very soon to your teachers who will contact you.

 

Furthermore, the Government of Québec strongly recommends avoiding all non-essential travel abroad. Considering this recommendation and the obligation of our employees to isolate themselves for 14 days upon their return from abroad, we inform you that for those who will be leaving for a trip as of March 15, 2020, the 14-day isolation following the return will only be paid by the employer if the employee is able to use vacation, sick or family days or an accumulated time bank. Otherwise, the employee will be considered on leave without pay. As previously announced, staff members who have left the country prior to March 15 will be paid during their period of isolation without using the above leave days.

 

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we invite you to contact the CORONAVIRUS INFO line (1-877-644-4545). We also invite you to notify the INRS management if you consult a clinic designated COVID-19 for a screening test or for any positive result, so that we can take additional preventive measures.

 

We are aware of the important effects of these measures for each of you. We thank you for your patience and understanding under these circumstances.

 

Update: March 14, 2020, 3:00 p.m. - Guidelines related to COVID-19

 

Guidelines related to COVID-19

 

Our institution remains closed until March 27, 2020 and all our activities are suspended for a period of two weeks.

 

We would like to reassure students about the continuation of their session. INRS is considering the possibility of holding some thesis defenses, without any public gathering, by videoconference. You are also invited to continue your research or training by teleworking as much as possible. Finally, we confirm that scholarships payments will continue as agreed. INRS management would like to assure you of its flexibility and support to make up for lost time upon your return. We remain accessible by e-mail during the closing.

 

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we invite you to contact the CORONAVIRUS INFO line (1-877-644-4545). We also invite you to notify the INRS management if you consult a clinic designated COVID-19 for a screening test or for any positive result, so that we can take additional preventive measures.

 

Furthermore, the Government of Québec strongly recommends avoiding all non-essential travel abroad. Considering this recommendation and the obligation of our employees to isolate themselves for 14 days upon their return from abroad, we inform you that for those who will be leaving for a trip as of March 15, 2020, the 14-day isolation following their return will not be paid by the employer. The employee will be required to use vacation days or unpaid days during this period.

 

We understand the major impact of these measures for each and every one of you. We would like to thank you for your civic mindedness under the circumstances.

 

Starting on Monday, March 16, and until the end of the suspension period decreed by the government, INRS will communicate daily with the community via its website to update information, to outline evolving government guidelines and to communicate the terms and conditions of the return to work. Community members are asked to check their email and the INRS website on a regular basis.

 

 

Reminder

INRS would like to remind you of the preventive measures announced by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education regarding COVID-19. These measures must be implemented by the entire community.

 

♦ Access to our facilities is restricted to persons who are recognized by management as administering essential services. These individuals will be contacted by their manager. Compensation for all staff will be maintained.
 
♦Travel outside Canada by all employees, professors and students of universities in Quebec that had to be carried out in the performance of their duties is no longer authorized as of today, until further notice. This measure applies in particular to outings, internships, exchanges, international mobility programs, competitions and symposiums.
 
♦ We must also suspend exchange students from foreign countries who are to be welcomed into our institution as of March 13, 2020. Each person in charge - professor or member of the management - must promptly notify those concerned in order to avoid unnecessary travel.
 
♦ Each staff member and student returning from a stay outside Canada must respect a 14-day isolation period, as prescribed by Public Health. The INRS management has the mandate to enforce this measure. During these two weeks, and only for those who left the country before March 15, 2020, employees' salaries will be maintained.
 

Update: March 13, 2020, 13:30 p.m. - Quebec Government new directives related to COVID-19

 

Quebec Government new directives related to COVID-19

 

Following the intervention of the Premier of Quebec, we wish to inform you that INRS will be closed for a period of 14 days as of Saturday, March 14, 2020.
 
All staff will be paid during this period. Access to our facilities will be restricted to persons who are recognized by management as administrating essential services. These individuals will be contacted by their manager. We ask our teachers and students to take safe measures to stop ongoing experiments, as soon as possible.
 
Classes are suspended for two weeks. We encourage you to continue your operations at home, if possible.
 
We understand that the seriousness and exceptional nature of these measures will have a major impact on the progress of research and studies conducted at INRS. These measures of precaution have been declared by the government to ensure the health and safety of our students, employees and fellow citizens. They affect everyone in the education and higher education networks and are based on the assessment made by the Direction générale de la santé publique du Québec and on the progression of COVID-19.
 
More details will be communicated shortly.

Update: March 13, 2020, 9:30 p.m. - Quebec Government directives related to COVID-19

 

Quebec Government directives related to COVID-19

 

Travel outside Canada
Travel outside Canada by all employees, professors and students of universities in Quebec that had to be carried out in the performance of their duties is no longer authorized as of today, until further notice. This measure applies in particular to outings, internships, exchanges, international mobility programs, competitions and symposiums.
 

Exchange students

We must also suspend exchange students from foreign countries who are to be welcomed into our institution as of March 13, 2020. Each person in charge - professor or member of the management - must promptly notify those concerned in order to avoid unnecessary travel.

 

14-day isolation period

As of today, each staff member and student returning from a stay outside Canada must respect a 14-day isolation period, as prescribed by Public Health. The INRS management has the mandate to enforce this measure. During these two weeks, our employees' salaries will be maintained.

 

However, the mandatory isolation does not apply to persons who have travelled abroad in the last few days, particularly during the March break week that ended on March 8, and who would have returned before March 13, 2020. However, the INRS recommends that such persons consider telework. However, these individuals should closely monitor their symptoms for 14 days following their return to Quebec. If they experience symptoms, they should isolate themselves immediately and contact 1 877 644-4545.

 

We are counting on your cooperation in reminding staff members and students of the importance of informing the institution's management if they have been in contact with a person who has visited a country at risk or if they themselves have stayed there.

 

 

Indoor gatherings

As announced by Premier Legault, all indoor gatherings of 250 or more people in one location are prohibited. In addition, the INRS recommends that other gatherings be held by videoconference or postponed if possible.