Current projects and research on COVID-19

Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Microscopic view of COVID-19

This page is a collection of current research projects at the Faculty of Social Sciences that relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. The information on this page is in English; you will find projects in French on the French version of this page.

If you are currently conducting research and would like your project to appear on this page, please write to

Andrea Ashbaugh - Psychology

Led by Professor Ashbaugh, the research team at the Cognition and Anxiety Studies Laboratory at the School of Psychology is conducting a study examining the impact of moral decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s well-being.

Stephen Baranyi - International Development and Global Studies &
Dominique Masson - Feminist and Gender Studies

Professors Masson and Baranyi will play key roles in the seven year Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development (EDID) project led by Guelph University professor Deborah Stienstra.

Key roles for uOttawa profs in new SSHRC-funded partnership project

Nathalie Burlone & Eric Champagne - Political Studies & Centre on Governance

Professors Burlone and Champagne, in collaboration with colleagues from the Université de Sherbrooke and McGill University, are participating in a CIHR-funded research project to study the links between communications, public health and psychology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study is titled "Adaptive Responses of Public Actors in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis".

Research project on COVID-19 awarded CIHR funding

First Report on the WHO Global Response to COVID-19

The WHO’s risky communication strategy created confusion around COVID-19

Jude Mary Cénat - Psychology

Patrick Fafard - Public and International Affairs

Professor Fafard, who is also Associate Director of the Global Strategy Lab, received funding from the Government of Canada that will enable his team to develop public health intervention strategies to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases in Canada and elsewhere.

Patrick Fafard receives funding from Canada to fight COVID-19

Communication about COVID-19 from Canadian provincial chief medical officers of health: a qualitative study

Public health and political science: challenges and opportunities for a productive partnership

Christopher Fennell - Psychology

Professor Fennell, director of the Language Development Laboratory, is conducting a study in collaboration with an international team to examine the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on language development in infants and young toddlers. Decades of research have shown that increased exposure to parental speech advances early language development while increased exposure to screens has negative effects. In this unique modern period where parents and young children spending all their time together, will we see a vocabulary surge due to increased parental contact?

Study: Social isolation due to COVID-19 and vocabulary development: Insights from families with varying social backgrounds

Thomas Juneau - Public and International Affairs

The COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for the Canadian national security and intelligence community

The role of Canada’s intelligence and national security community has been widely debated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some describe its emergence as an intelligence failure or a failure of early warning. Others, however, note that the role of intelligence and national security in health matters is and should remain limited. It is also clear that traditional national security threats are evolving rapidly during the pandemic. There are concerns, in particular, about the rise of extremist violence as well as cyber-attacks and disinformation. Our project will study these urgent questions: should Canadian intelligence agencies engage in “health intelligence”? Do they have the tools and mandates to do so, without compromising the law and the privacy of Canadians? How are threats evolving, and what are the challenges in countering them in a pandemic?

Cary Kogan - Psychology

This CIHR-funded study, led by Professor Kogan and his partners at Columbia University (Professor G. Reed) and the Canadian Institute for Health Information (Dr. K. Denny), is a large international collaborative investigation that will assess the longitudinal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health practitioners and mental health practice. Emerging data document the immediate consequences of confronting the COVID-19 pandemic on health professionals, which may include anxiety, depression, insomnia, and overall distress including fear of contracting COVID-19 and infecting others. A detailed survey will be implemented in six languages through the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Global Clinical Practice Network (GCPN). The GCPN is the largest, most diverse international practice-based research network ever established, comprising over 15,500 clinicians from 159 countries.

Register for GCP.Network

Patrick Leblond - Public and International Affairs

The CN-Paul M. Tellier Chair on Business and Public Policy, with the support of a committee of expert consultants, is investigating how the governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec cooperated with the business community to manage the COVID-19 crisis. Using media reports, interviews with government officials, and documentary evidence, Canada’s performance will be compared with countries that are deemed to have managed the pandemic relatively well: Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. Ultimately, a policy brief and video summary will accompany a research report providing recommendations for improving business-government cooperation in preparation for future sanitary or environmental crises.

Alex McClelland - Criminology

Sociolegal researcher and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow Alex McClelland launched the Policing the Pandemic Mapping Project on April 4, 2020 "to track and visualize the massive and extraordinary expansions of police power in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the unequal patterns of enforcement that may arise as a result."

Policing the Pandemic

Roland Pongou - Economics, and Sanni Yaya - International Development and Global Studies

This collaboration betweent professors Pongou and Yaya along with Dr. Stéphanie Maltais, Associate Researcher and Dr. Marie Christelle Mabeu, Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Economics, aims to collect information on the prevalence of COVID-19 symptoms and social distancing behavior in Canada in order to learn how education, income, employment, and flu-like symptoms are linked to social distancing. The results of this survey will be used for academic research in order to help public health specialists and policymakers recommend effective measures over the coming days.

COVID-19 Symptoms and Social Distancing Web Survey

Rébecca Robillard - Psychology

On April 3rd, a group of 20 scientists from eight hospitals across Ontario and Quebec, led by Professor Rébecca Robillard, launched an exhaustive longitudinal online survey assessing the financial, social and psychological impacts of COVID-19 at different stages of the outbreak. In addition to monitoring the general population, targeted questions are included for critical populations such as healthcare workers and people with chronic physical or mental illnesses. Participants also have the option of linking their survey information to provincial health administrative data and to social media activity for mood monitoring through artificial intelligence algorithms.

Study: How are you coping during COVID-19?

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