GRS COVID-19 Update August 25, 2020

Kia ora Graduate Research Students,

We hope you are looking after yourself and your close ones. At the GRS, we know it can be challenging to stay up-to-date on the information and communication associated with this constantly moving pandemic situation. Please find below information on the imminent Alert Level 2 in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (from Monday 31 August), of direct relevance to you as a graduate research student. As always, do feel free to email us as needed: grs@aut.ac.nz.

Nigel Harris

Acting Dean, Graduate Research School


Under Level 2 all postgraduate study rooms will be accessible by swipe card from 6.00am until 10.00pm. We encourage you to maintain one metre social distancing, practice regular hand-washing, and wear a face covering if possible while using the postgraduate study rooms.

All research and related activities are allowed, provided the required public health control measures are in place. This includes:

  • Face-to-face research activities, including public events (subject to government guidelines limiting gatherings to 10 people), and personal interviews
  • Research activity based in laboratories 

PLEASE:

We must remain disciplined and vigilant in following the Ministry of Health guidelines (see COVID-19 information website) and via AUT’s COVID-19 update page (and doctoral candidates can also access the AUTi COVID-19 intranet page).

  • Contact tracing – While on campus, it is essential you use the AUT app to scan the AUT QR codes displayed on the entrance and exits to all AUT buildings. For more information on the AUT QR code system and how AUT will store and share your information please see our frequently asked questions.
  • Physical distancing of one metre in controlled environments, where possible.
  • Face masks are encouraged, particularly where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Remember if you’ve been affected by COVID-19, please let us know. There is a COVID-19 form for students.

Guidance for Ethical Research Practice under Alert Level 2

AUTEC advises that data collection involving physical proximity to other people may resume at Alert Level 2 as long as researchers and participants are complying with Ministry of Health Guidelines. These include limiting the size of gatherings, maintaining physical distancing, wearing face masks, and collecting sufficient information to enable quick and accurate contact tracing.

AUTEC encourages graduate research students to consult with their Primary Supervisor, and the AUTEC Secretariat if necessary, to develop protocols that are in line with Ministry of Health guidelines, and appropriate for their specific research project. If these protocols are different than those approved for your research project by AUTEC, you will need to seek an amendment (via your Primary Supervisor) to your approval using the EA2 form which can be found here.

You are also reminded to prioritise the safety of your research participants, yourself and any research assistants, particularly when people in an at-risk category are involved.


International travel

If you have plans to travel internationally for data collection, unfortunately these cannot be approved at present. Given issues with international travel in general around entry and exit quarantines, travel restrictions, and general safety, you may not travel internationally for any graduate research purposes until further notice. This means you cannot access any international travel funding that was prior approved, until further notice. You may of course travel as a private citizen, but you must be aware of the possibility of issues with your visa, and with potential costs associated with any compulsory quarantines. We understand this may unfortunately impact on your study progress, so please do communicate with your supervisor regarding alternative plans. We note that this restriction also currently applies to all staff at AUT.

About Graduate Research School (Auckland University of Technology)

The Auckland University of Technology Graduate Research School offers support and resources to all postgraduate students at AUT. Come and visit us on the 5th floor of the WU building.

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