COVID-19 Updates

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe, healthy and virtually connected! #IHPandME


Financial Aid Resources available to students in light of COVID-19 related disruptions to progress in their programs: https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/impact/awards/

FAQs for international students: https://viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/

Information about emergency aid: https://future.utoronto.ca/finances/financial-aid/emergency-assistance-grants/

UofT students are provided two free non-medical face masks: https://www.utoronto.ca/utogether2020/where-to-pick-up-face-mask


COVID-19 IHPME GSU Check-In Survey:

You asked, we answered!
The IHPME GSU sent out a COVID-19 Check-In Survey to gather your questions, concerns and feedback. See below for answers:
(updated October 27th, 2020)

1. Might the school offer reduced tuition or tuition bursaries for the upcoming school year (2020-2021) due to COVID-19?

Students whose academic progress has been significantly impeded due to COVID-19 may be eligible to register with a tuition fee exemption for up to one academic session. Please refer to: https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/admissions/graduate-fees/#section_13 for more information. Please note: this exemption does not apply to mandatory non-tuition fees, such as incidental, ancillary and system access fees.

Students in the funded cohort need to know that the commitment outlined in their annual funding letters, including research stipendiary payments, continue to remain in effect.

2. Will winter/spring 2020 incidental fees be reassessed?

Non-tuition incidental fees that go to student services and recreation program for the summer 2020 session were reduced. Similarly, student service fees (including fees for Student Life, Hart House and athletics & recreation) have been reduced for Fall 2020. The University expects that all services and programs will resume in January 2021 and that full costs will be charged. If the situation changes, the University will review fees.

St. George Campus Fee Reductions: KPE Sports & Rec fee is reduced by 30%.; Hart House fee is reduced by 20%; Student Life fee is reduced by 10%. Some student societies have also reduced their fees.  Please check your invoice and with the society directly for additional information.

3. If my research assistantship is not renewed because of COVID-19, are there any sources of financial aid I could apply to?

There are several sources of financial aid available from IHPME and the University of Toronto. Please refer to https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/impact/awards/ for more information.

Additional resources:
Financial Aid
Emergency Funding
School of Graduate Studies Awards
SGS Emergency Loan
SGS Emergency Grant

4. Is Research Day still happening and is submission of abstracts over?

Research day is going VIRTUAL this year! Join us via Zoom on November 20th, 2020 Abstract submissions will be accepted up until October 9th, 2020. Visit our Research Day page for more information!

5. Data access has been challenging with many places being shut down. Are there support systems in place to help us access data? Everyone is busy with clinical time and research is starting to fall by the wayside. Particularly, my supervisor has been very distant recently. Getting my committee together for my comp defence has been difficult. We cannot find a time that works for everyone. Step 2 defence – how do we go about presenting at the hospital research rounds? Advice on setting that up would be appreciated.

We can appreciate that this is a very difficult time for all including supervisors and students. To discuss your specific challenges please contact Dr. Whitney Berta at whit.berta@utoronto.ca to determine the best course of action for you. If you require support to schedule your defence you may reach out to the appropriate graduate assistant below:

CEHCR Contact: Zoe Downie-Ross, clinepi.grad@utoronto.ca 416-946-3486 HSR Contact: Kerstin Giannini, ihpme.hsr.grad@utoronto.ca 416-946-4100 HPER Contact: Cheryl Ku, ihpme.hper@utoronto.ca 416-340-4219

Defences and final oral examination can now occur virtually without requiring an in- person meeting as outlined by SGS https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/covid19/.

For updates on library services and operations during COVID-19, click here: https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/covid-19/updates-library-services-and-operations

For a list of libraries that are re-opening on campus and available study spaces, click here: https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/node/42645/

6. Do students who have no income/jobs and are not eligible for anything have access to any financial aid?

There are several sources of financial aid available from IHPME and the University of Toronto. Please refer to https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/impact/awards/ and the Funding Opportunity Directory for more information. Additional opportunities include:

Additional resources:
Financial Aid
Emergency Funding
School of Graduate Studies Awards
SGS Emergency Loan
SGS Emergency Grant

7. For students in the funded cohort, how does our funding package impact our eligibility for CERB (in the event that we lose our part-time employment)?

Typically, standard funding packages without any RA or TAships associated with the package are not considered income for tax purposes (T4A). If you lose your part-time employment due to COVID-19 you may be eligible for CERB. Details on eligibility are outlined here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra/who-apply.html. The government has also announced support for students and recent graduates who may not be eligible for CERB through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). Please check the Government of Canada website for more details regarding this at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.

8. When will award winners be announced?

The deadline to apply to various University of Toronto Awards/Scholarships & Additional Financial Aid/Assistance Resources for Winter 2020 have now passed and results have been released. 

SGS Emergency Grant Results: 2 weeks after receipt of completed application 

University-wide Award Results: July 2020 

SGS Master’s Completion Bursary Results: June 2020 

For more information on awards, please contact Zoe Downie-Ross, clinepi.grad@utoronto.ca

9. What will happen with funding if the university shuts down again? The first tuition exemption specifically states that it will only apply to one semester. How will those that have data access impacted by another shutdown (or other significant blockages to graduate that can’t be moved virtually) be supported?

On September 29 2020, it was announced that courses at DLSPH will remain online for the winter term. This decision was made in part so that those who cannot work remotely are better protected by reducing opportunities for disease transmission. Students interested in re/starting research activities on-campus or in-person off-campus can apply to the research reentry process through their primary supervisor who will submit the request.

The duration of the tuition fee exemption may be re-assessed as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

10. Does the GSU have any suggestions for free workouts? With the weather getting colder I’m worried about how I’ll keep up my fitness routine in November/December.    

It is definitely a challenging time to keep up fitness routines with gyms and studios being closed, however, there are a number of different free resources online! Many fitness studios have also started offering live streams of their classes. 

Here are some suggestions:

IHPandMe: FIT4FALL CHALLENGE

Join us for “Fit4Fall” – a month of mobility, cardio, and strength-based exercises! Carolyn Tran, Registered Health & Exercise Practitioner, will take you through quick 15-minute exercise sessions to get you moving during your day. Carolyn will address common body aches to reinvigorate your study/work routine. Sessions will be held on Mondays (5-5:15 PM), Wednesdays (2-2:15 PM), and Fridays (8-8:15 AM) with a specific exercise goal for each day. Training equipment is not necessary for participation. Sign-up: https://bit.ly/37KFPk1


Please be sure to check out our growing list of physical and mental health & wellness resources:

Mental Health Resources:

Ways to cope with stress & anxiety during these times of uncertainty: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19.

Online/telephone support services if you’re feeling anxious or need someone to talk to:

Physical Health Resources:

Free online workout classes to stay active & healthy:
https://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2020/03/toronto-gyms-are-now-offering-free-online-classes/