The Faculty of Medicine does not allow for unpaid volunteer research. The decision to move away from unpaid volunteer work at the Faculty of Medicine has been in effect since March 2020 and remains in effect indefinitely. This decision was based on discussions with risk management, human resources, other Faculties at the University of Ottawa, and Faculties of Medicine across Canada.
In lieu of unpaid volunteers, the expectation is that all staff and trainees will either be paid employees or associated with an academic program (e.g., honors thesis, TMM, co-op, etc.) or formalized volunteerism program (to be reviewed by HR as situations arise).
In addition to liability and health and safety considerations, this decision is meant to ensure that all members of the university community have equal access to opportunities and are appropriately compensated for the work being done. Considering the rising costs of living, work without pay is becoming an opportunity that is only within reach for a subset of individuals. By receiving academic credit or paid work, we support equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) best practices, track and train all students and staff appropriately, and ensure that they are appropriately covered in the event of an accident or injury.