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McMaster University will continue to host undergraduate academic activities remotely for the Spring/Summer/Intersession term with only a few exceptions for courses that need student access to specialized equipment.

Updates to Winter 2021 Science Courses

All courses for every first-year Science student will be delivered online for Winter 2021. Due to the COVID-19 provincial lock-down, second, third and fourth year students who were expecting in-person labs, should check their McMaster e-mail for important winter announcements.

In response to the ongoing pandemic and the recent Provincial announcement regarding the minimum 28-day province-wide lockdown that began on December 26, we have made the difficult decision to replace the in-person labs with virtual labs for a number of courses (Medical Radiation Science courses will still run with planned in-person elements). Courses originally planned for virtual will continue as planned. Details regarding courses that have changed due to this announcement are listed below:

Clinical Courses Remaining On-campusCourses pivoting to VirtualCourses cancelled for Winter 2021
MEDRADSC 2A03 BIOLOGY 2A03 **CHEM 3LA3/CHEMBIO 3L03
MEDRADSC 2H03 BIOLOGY 2D03 **LIFESCI 3L03
MEDRADSC 2Q03 BIOLOGY 2EE3 *MOLBIOL 3V03
MEDRADSC 2U03 BIOLOGY 3B03  
MEDRADSC 3H03 BIOLOGY 3U03  
MEDRADSC 3K03 MOLBIOL 3M03  
MEDRADSC 3O03 MEDPHYS 4RB3  
MEDRADSC 4B15 PHYSICS 3H03B, 3HD2  
MEDRADSC 4D15 CHEM 20D3/ CHEMBIO20D3  
MEDRADSC 2ZZ0 CHEM 2OB3  
  CHEM 2LB3/CHEMBIO 2L03  
   EARTHSC 4P03  

*indicates course is now being planned for spring/summer offering in addition to fall 2021 offering with additional capacity
** indicates course will not be offered in spring/summer but additional capacity for fall 2021 is being planned.

If you have questions you are encouraged to review the advising options at the Associate Dean (Academic) Office

 

Four McMaster Researchers Named Canada Research Chairs

Four Research ChairMcMaster University's newest Canada Research Chairs. Clockwise from top left: Gita Ljubicic, Alemu Gonsamo, Gabriel Xiao and Jennifer Heisz.

Four McMaster University researchers have been awarded Canada Research Chairs by the Government of Canada.

The new Chairholders - all from the Faculty of Science – were announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

McMaster’s newest Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are:

  • Dr. Alemu Gonsamo, an Assistant Professor in the School of Earth, Environment & Society, is the new Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Ecosystems (Tier 2). The global carbon cycle is the exchange of carbon among the atmosphere, oceans and land. The land carbon cycle is less understood than either the atmosphere and ocean carbon cycles, contributing the largest error to the global carbon budget estimates. This is attributed largely to the lack of understanding of the magnitude of carbon dioxide fertilization effect on plant growth and the changing sensitivity of plant growth to warming-induced stress. Dr. Gonsamo’s research program integrates carbon cycle models and emerging satellite technologies that directly measure photosynthesis for improved insight into photosynthetic processes to reduce the land carbon cycle estimation uncertainty.
  • Dr. Jennifer Heisz, an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, is the new Canada Research Chair in Brain Health and Aging (Tier 2). For the first time in history, older people outnumber younger generations. This has created unique health challenges including dementia, a debilitating disorder that cause severe memory loss with no cure. Dr. Heisz’s research examines how one session of exercise impacts the brain to improve memory, and will then determine how those temporary changes become permanent with regular exercise training and whether they can be enhanced with brain training games that target memory. This research will inform evidence-based guidelines for exercise interventions to keep older Canadians healthier longer.
  • Dr. Gita Ljubicic, an Associate Professor in the School of Earth, Environment & Society, is the new Canada Research Chair in Community-Engaged Research for Northern Sustainability (Tier 2). Research in the Canadian North has a conflicted history, being used as both a tool of exploitation and empowerment. Working with Inuit communities in Nunavut, and learning from Elders and Indigenous leaders across Canada, Dr. Ljubicic explores how community-engaged research can contribute to northern sustainability. Her research will provide unique insights into the interconnections between climate resilience, environmental governance, and Indigenous self-determination in research.
  • Dr. Gabriel (Naiqi) Xiao, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior, is the new Canada Research Chair in Perceptual Development (Tier 2). Dr. Xiao was also awarded an additional $210,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund, designed to help universities attract and retain the very best researchers by providing them with the foundational equipment and facilities to ensure they become leaders in their fields. Dr. Xiao’s research investigates the early development of perceptual and social capacities in infancy. While most studies examine infants’ prolonged perceptual development over months, Dr. Xiao will explore how neonates and infants can actively change their perception within seconds and how this cognitive capacity is impaired in preterm infants. The finding will contribute to understanding the origins of cognitive deficits by prematurity. Dr. Xiao will also examine how social biases emerge as early as infancy. Identification of the origin of social biases offers an opportunity for mitigating the pervasive social biases in our society.

Dr. Karen Mossman, McMaster’s Vice-President, Research, saluted both the new Chairholders and the federal government. “Congratulations to our new Chairholders whose pioneering work will advance our knowledge and help to solve complex societal issues,” she says. “The Canada Research Chairs program plays an integral role in our ability to attract and retain scholars with diverse backgrounds which is so important to our research enterprise.”

Dr. Gonsamo, Dr. Ljubicic and Dr. Xiao were recruited to the Faculty of Science in 2019 while Dr. Heisz joined in 2013.
“Our Faculty of Science is incredibly proud of Alemu, Jennifer, Gita and Gabriel,” says Dean Maureen MacDonald. “Our colleagues have quickly established themselves as outstanding researchers and the Government of Canada’s investment will further accelerate the impact of their vitally important work.”

Tier 2 Chairs, which are held for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers who have the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the University receives $100,000 annually, with an additional $20,000 annual research stipend for first-term Chairs. The McMaster researchers were part of a $195 million investment by the federal government to support 259 new and renewed Chairs announced across the country. McMaster has been allocated 88 Canada Research Chairs, with 19 Chairs in the Faculty of Science.

The Canada Research Chairs Program invests up to $295 million annually to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising researchers. The Government of Canada invests in research in health sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities through the three federal research granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

New Covid Screening Requirements In Effect

Covid 19 picHamilton's Medical Officer of Health has introduced new local regulations that apply to everyone working, studying or visiting a McMaster campus or facility.

The screening must be completed once each day before arriving at McMaster. Anyone receiving a screening notice from students, faculty and staff should save the documentation. The University has worked closely with Public Health to ensure McMaster's protocols follow the new regulations.

The regulations will apply to the 30 Faculty of Science courses to be delivered on campus during the winter term.

McMaster employees approved to be working at a McMaster workplace:
  • Complete the province’s COVID-19 screening app within one hour of attending campus or a McMaster facility. This must be done before entering the workplace. The screening tool is also available on the McMaster Safety App.
  • After completing the screening, email your immediate supervisor informing them if you have passed or not passed the screening for the day. If you have passed, you are then able to enter the workplace.
  • If you do not pass the screening test you are not permitted to enter campus and should self isolate and seek assessment and testing
McMaster research personnel including students working in a research capacity:
  • Complete the province’s COVID-19 screening app within one hour of attending campus or a McMaster facility. This must be done before entering the workplace. The screening tool is also available on the McMaster Safety App.
  • After completing the screening, email your immediate supervisor (Principal Investigator or Associate Dean Research in your Faculty) informing them if you have passed or not passed the screening for the day. If you have passed, you are then able to enter the workplace.
  • If you do not pass the screening test you are not permitted to enter campus and should self isolate and seek assessment and testing
McMaster students:
  • Complete the province’s COVID-19 screening app within one hour of attending campus or a McMaster facility. This must be done before going to classes, the library or any other building on campus. The screening tool is also available on the McMaster Safety App.
  • After completing the screening, email your class instructor informing them if you have passed or not passed the screening for the day. If you have passed, you are then able to enter the campus. Your instructor may also set up a folder on the course’s Avenue to Learn site for this purpose and will communicate this to students in the class. If you currently have a protocol in place with your instructor to share the results of the screening app, this protocol will continue.
  • If you do not pass the screening test you are not permitted to enter campus and should self isolate and seek assessment and testing
  • If you are attending a campus for any reason other than to attend a class (e.g. accessing approved library study space) complete the screening and submit through the library booking app or to the person who has authorized you to be on campus.
McMaster graduate students:
  • Complete the province’s COVID-19 screening app within one hour of attending campus or a McMaster facility. This must be done before entering campus. The screening tool is also available on the McMaster Safety App.
  • After completing the screening, email your academic supervisor informing them if you have passed or not passed the screening for the day. If you have passed, you are then able to enter campus
  • If you do not pass the screening test you are not permitted to enter campus and should self isolate and seek assessment and testing.
McMaster faculty:
  • Complete the province’s COVID-19 screening app within one hour of attending campus or a McMaster facility. This must be done before entering the workplace. The screening tool is also available on the McMaster Safety App.
  • After completing the screening, email your Department chair or director informing them if you have passed or not passed the screening for the day. If you have passed, you are then able to enter the campus.
  • If you do not pass the screening test you are not permitted to enter campus and should self isolate and seek assessment and testing.
Non-McMaster employees working or providing services at a McMaster location:
  • All employers must require employees to complete and report COVID-19 screening before entering the workplace
  • Those who work for external entities that are housed at McMaster, are part of a construction project or are providing other types of services, must meet the screening requirements as detailed by their employer
Updated information is available on McMaster’s COVID-19 website. McMaster’s Supervisor’s Guide Supervisor’s Guide has also been updated. Additional information may also be provided by individual departments and will be sent directly to people in those areas.

Action plan to follow review of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior Department

An external review of the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior initiated in response to sexual harassment and violence allegations has identified systemic and cultural issues that will be now be addressed to safeguard students, faculty and staff.

The review, initiated by President David Farrar and conducted by the Canadian law firm of Rubin Thomlinson, interviewed and surveyed 149 faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and alumni. Key recommendations based on the review include:
  • Training for faculty and staff with a trauma-informed approach to be undertaken early in 2021.
  • Training for students on sexual harassment and the resources and supports available.
  • Working with the PNB Chair to identify Department members to work with the Dean’s Office to recommend limits and restrictions on alcohol consumption at Department social events and gatherings. This group will also plan ways to educate stakeholders about existing University policies and codes of conduct.
  • Additional equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) expertise from outside the Department will be made available to help ensure that any future concerns are dealt with expeditiously and appropriately.
  • Increased Department oversight and accountability, as recommended, particularly with regard to EDI-related issues. This requires immediate and comprehensive discussion between the Department and University leadership and will include shared accountability for addressing the review recommendations.
  • A renewed commitment to transparency with participants of the review, as well as a commitment to helping the Department build on its research and teaching strengths.
While the Department review is now complete, investigations into specific allegations under McMaster’s Sexual Violence and Discrimination and Harassment policies are ongoing.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated in the review and were candid about their experiences both positive and negative," Dean Maureen MacDonald said in the summary report. "This was not an easy process for anyone involved but the review provides a fresh starting point and I hope that everyone embraces that opportunity.”
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