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Governer's guidance of 03/31/20 regarding allowable work (e.g., research)
On Tuesday, March 31, the Governor’s Office released new guidance to clarify certain areas of allowable work, which includes “workers and facilities supporting essential research, development, operations and clinical trials, including biotech therapies.“ This has the effect of broadening the allowable areas of research at the UW with regard to biotech therapies. Current UW policy on human subjects research, including clinical trials, already allows for this addition and therefore remains in effect without revision.Additionally, please note that on April 2, Governor Inslee announced an extension of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive to May 4, 2020. Therefore the Governor’s guidance from March 31 will be in effect to at least that date.Below is an addition to the allowable areas of research at UW that are considered essential:
“All areas of biological and biomedical research and of public health research, including those that may involve engineering, materials science, chemistry or physics, that can be reasonably justified as important for developing biotechnology-related therapies, defined as therapies to treat human health problems. These areas need not be directly COVID-19 related. Allowable areas of non-COVID-19 research do not include preventative approaches, such as diagnostics or vaccines, unless they are important as part of an approach to develop a therapy. Involvement of human subjects in this research remains limited to the allowable areas specified by current UW human subjects policy.”Even with this change, in order to minimize the number of researchers coming to laboratories and research facilities, we ask that you prioritize only research that is needed for a pressing deadline. If it can be put off for a month, please wait.All conduct of allowable research must also minimize the number of researchers in the laboratory or other facility at any one time. The concept of a “skeleton crew” should be in place, but it could be a rotating crew. In that case, scheduling is critical.Previous guidelines for in-person work are still in effect. Employees who are sick must stay home. And in-person research in any allowable research area can ONLY be carried out if it ALSO meets the following guidelines:· You are able to follow the required safety standards:§ Regularly inform personnel that if they are sick or experiencing even mild symptoms of illness, they are required to stay home§ Social distancing of at least 6 feet§ Frequent laboratory decontamination and disinfection procedures§ Personal safety with appropriate personal protective equipment and frequent hand-washing· You have personnel willing to carry out the research safely
No research personnel may be required or pressured to come to campus or to their usual work location or go into the field, unless they are designated critical personnel and they are ALSO required to maintain critical operations. However, if critical employees are in a high-risk category or are concerned about safety, supervisors are asked to do their best to accommodate their employees without impacting critical operations. If accommodations are not possible, please contact central Human Resources for problem solving and support.Mary LidstromVice Provost for Research
Continued funding for Biology personnel
Discretionary time off policy changes during COVID-19
In recognition that staff working in critical positions may not be able to use earned time off, UWHR has modified the deadlines for following types of time off:
- Discretionary time off that expires on 3/31/20 is now extended through 3/31/21. Forfeited balances will automatically be reinstated.
- Compensatory time and holiday credit time off which previously has to be used or paid by 6/30/20 may now be used or paid by 9/30/20.
UWHR has also posted a new page promoting job openings in the medical center that are critical to maintaining operations. Temporary hourly staff who may be rolling off of assignment on campus may be qualified for these positions so please review and share as appropriate in your department. See Hiring now! UW Medicine.
NSF, NIH and DOD Response to OMB Memo M-20-17 - Flexibility related to COVID-19
Working during Covid (from UW HR)
As a follow-up to the email President Cauce sent on Saturday, February 29 on UW’s preparations related to the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease, we are sharing the following time off and business continuity reminders to help you manage coronavirus concerns.
Given that this is an evolving situation, further updates may be forthcoming as circumstances change. Please know that all institution-wide decisions are being made with the health and safety of our community at the forefront, and with the best-available guidance from our local public health authorities.
Checking out keys and Husky Card access
Research FAQs for Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive
Message from the Office of ResearchThis is a headsup that the Office of Research has posted a set of FAQs relating to research aspects of the Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive. We are available to answer questions (see FAQ for directions for sending in your questions), and we will be updating both this document and others we have sent you this week, as appropriate.Web Resources
Information on Allowable Research Areas
Note: the information provided below is our best understanding at this time. Since this is a rapidly moving area, it may change. Please check the UW Coronavirus website often for updates.
What areas of in-person research are allowable under the new Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive?
Below are examples of areas of research applicable to COVID-19 response.
All areas listed are potentially valuable to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or potentially useful to recovery efforts. Many such areas may not be obvious now but should be considered for continued operations. You may wish to consider the Population Health areas as a useful framework for assessing areas that might be appropriate.
Research Area Examples
- Areas of biological and biomedical research working with SARS-CoV2 nucleic acid, proteins, virus or samples or involving COVID-19, including aspects of the virus, disease, transmission, vaccines, health care, therapies, and recovery from the infection or pandemic, as examples
- Areas of biological and biomedical research, including those that may involve engineering, chemistry or physics, that can be reasonably justified as having a possible impact on COVID-19 including impacts that might have a sparing effect on resources needed to fight the pandemic. Examples might be research on underlying health conditions or other infectious diseases.
- All areas of public health research that have relevance to COVID-19, that is, community health research, including the compilation, modeling, analysis and communication of public health information
- All areas involving environmental factors that might play into transmission, reservoirs, survival of the SARS-CoV2 virus
- All areas of humanities, social sciences, information sciences, and business that impact our understanding of misinformation, public perception, social isolation, stress, communication, economic impacts, and business concerns that may relate to COVID-19
- All areas of mathematics, statistics, and computer science addressing the ability to track or model or analyze data of importance to COVID-19
- All areas of importance to logistics of COVID-19 response, including supply chain, modeling, health care logistics, GPS-based analysis
- All areas of materials science that might impact novel therapeutics
- Others as appropriate
- All facilities that store, analyze, or otherwise process samples that are either biological or materials that might be applicable to therapies
- All animal facilities
- All computational facilities
- All facilities for which shutting down would result in significant effort and/or cost both for the shut-down and the subsequent start-up.
- Research involving long-term experiments, or maintaining vital equipment, cell lines, animals, and other time-sensitive research items, for which a pause would cause undue harm and/or cost
- Research that is essential to meet thesis requirements for a final defense in Spring Quarter, or requirements of a new position that has already been accepted
I have reviewed this guidance, including the decision tree below, and I am still not sure my research qualifies, who can I ask?
Send your question to email@example.com with the subject line COVID-19 and we will reply as soon as possible.
At this point the decision to keep a laboratory open should be based on following the decision tree at the bottom of this document and in close consultation with your department chair or director, and College or School.
Decision tree to determine whether your in-person research meets criteria for operation under the Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive
1.Is your research allowable based on one or more of the exclusion criteria below?
Question 1a. Does your research fall into any of the above categories?
If yes, go to question 2.
Question 1b. Do you help support a facility that stores, analyzes, or otherwise processes samples, houses and/or carries out procedures with animals, or carries out computation?
If yes, go to question 2.
Question 1c. Do you support a facility for which shutting down would result in significant effort and/or cost both for the shut-down and the subsequent start-up?
If yes, go to question 2.
Question 1d. Does your research involve long-term experiments, time-sensitive samples, equipment that requires monitoring and/or maintenance?
If yes, go to question 2.
Question 1e. Do you have a time-sensitive deadline, such as a thesis defense Spring Quarter or an accepted position with requirements, that requires you to finish in-person experiments?
If yes, go to question 2.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, go to question 2. If you answer no to all of them, you need to shut down your research for the next two weeks. Please see the EH&S shutdown checklist on their website.
Question 2. Safety standards--can you accommodate all of the safety standards below?
Question 2a. Can you maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times when researchers are in the laboratory? This will preclude training new techniques to others, unless it can be accomplished while maintaining at least 6 feet distance. It will also preclude techniques that need more than 2 hands, unless an alternate approach can be devised. It will also preclude dangerous experiments that require two people in close proximity. In some cases, it will require strict scheduling.
If yes, go to question 2b.
Question 2b. Can you carry out frequent laboratory decontamination procedures? This requires access to disinfecting solutions or wipes, and a schedule to wipe down surfaces regularly, wipe down common equipment before and after use, and wipe down lab benchtops before and after use.
If yes, go to question 2c.
Question 2c. Can you maintain personal safety with appropriate personal protective equipment and frequent hand-washing?
If yes, go to question 3.
If you answer yes to all of these questions, go to question 3. If you answer no to any one of them, you need to shut down your research for the next two weeks. Please see the EH&S shutdown checklist on their website.
Question 3. Personnel
Question 3a. Do you have personnel available to carry out the research? It may be difficult to hire new personnel under the current situation.
If yes, go to question 3b.
If no, you need to ramp down your research for the next two weeks. Please see the EH&S rampdown checklist on the UW coronavirus website.
Question 3b. Are the personnel you need to do the experiments willing to come into your facility to carry them out? You cannot pressure or require them to work, unless they are critical personnel for specific tasks. In that case, you still cannot ask them to do more than is required by their designation.
If yes, you are approved for carrying out in-person research. Please be sure to minimize the number of personnel in your research space at any one time.
If no, you need to ramp down your research for the next two weeks. Please see the EH&S rampdown checklist on the UW coronavirus website.
Accessing the stockroom and ethanol when it is unattended
If Eddie is out and you do not have an LSB departmental spaces key checked out (check with your PI first if they are in), you may access the stockroom via a temporary key in the top drawer of the mailroom (which is accessible by code).
Please return it when you are finished so that others can use it and we can maintain LSB security.
Plan ahead for weekend work.
Note: Aaron will be on campus M, W, F from 8am to 3pm. Alex is out of office until Wed. the 25th.
All official UW travel outside of the United States is restricted until further notice
Dear UW Students, Faculty and Staff:
I am writing to communicate new restrictions on official UW student and employee travel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a global “Level 4: Do Not Travel” health advisory. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return.
As a result of this new advisory:
- All official travel outside the United States by University of Washington employees and students is restricted until further notice, effective immediately.
- No exceptions to this restriction will be made as the UW travel waiver process has also been suspended.
- No UW funds can be used to support any travel outside the United States until further notice.
- Because of insurance exclusions triggered by a Department of State Level 4 travel advisory, UW-sponsored travel insurance and emergency assistance will not be available for any new travel.
- The UW Office of Global Affairs website provides more details and resources for travelers currently outside the United States.
These restrictions do not apply to personal travel. However, we strongly encourage you to review applicable travel warnings and in-country restrictions for your destination. We are uncertain on how long these travel restrictions will last so it is important to be well-informed before you travel.
We are deeply concerned about members of the Husky community who are currently stuck outside the U.S. due to travel restrictions imposed by various nations. Be sure to connect with the embassy of your nationality in case you need emergency assistance. If you haven’t done so already, sign up for the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates directly from the Embassy (you can sign up for STEP even if you are not a U.S. citizen).
If you are currently abroad, you may face a situation where you have to remain where you are for a period of time. This is referred to as “sheltering in place.” If you must shelter in place, acquire safe food and water supplies to last you several days (ideally two weeks) in case of acute shortages. The UW Global Travel Security team is in communication with UW travelers outside the U.S. to offer support and resources.
For all Huskies here and abroad, remember:
- Clean your hands often.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people — at least six feet — and do not gather in groups.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
The Husky community is a global community, and we are deeply saddened by the circumstances that make this travel restriction necessary. The University of Washington is a global University — now and always — and we look forward to a bright future in which our students, faculty and staff are again traveling the world in pursuit of discovery and in service to humanity.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor, Earth and Space Sciences
Cybersecurity and COVID-19
Accident reports while teleworking
Resources for Families with Elementary-Aged Children
Compiled by the UW College of Education: https://tinyurl.com/Resources4Elem
Computer loans for students
I’d like to share information regarding the Student Technology Loan Program (STLP) as it relates to students who may be in need of technology items during this critical time. The program is available to all UW Seattle students who are enrolled during the spring academic quarter. Students may visit the STLP website anytime and make a reservation to pick up a laptop or tablet computer as early as Monday, March 30th. Additional considerations for spring quarter include:
- The program will centralize quarterly operations from Kane Hall - locations in HSB and the HUB will remain closed at this time
- To focus on anticipated demand, only laptop and tablet computers may be reserved via the STLP website at this time
- The check out period for all laptop and tablet computers will be for the full duration of spring quarter
- Other inventory items, necessary to support coursework, may be requested separately
Effective immediately, the program is adding 60 Apple iPad Pros (11”) and 60 Apple MacBook Pros (13”) to its current laptop and tablet computer inventory. Additional Apple and Dell devices are expected to become available in April.
STLP Website: https://stlp.uw.edu/
Spring Announcement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qlbUBPdQFJt_jXS2fAOtORwNrBVtZqCb/view
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding the program.
He, Him, His
Manager of Program Operations
035 Kane Hall Box 353095 Seattle, WA 98195-3095
main 206.221.5000 / direct 206.685.7826 / fax 206.221.4760
Message from Mary Lidstrom, Vice Provost for Research re: COVID-19
First, let me thank you for the extraordinary work you are doing to support your research groups through this unprecedented time. As you have probably heard, the UW will be holding classes online for the duration of spring quarter, and you are likely wondering what that will mean for research. Even as many research universities around the country close their research facilities and buildings, I want to assure you that the UW is doing everything possible to keep our research programs open and productive, while also protecting the health and safety of our students, postdocs, faculty, and staff.
My goal in this communication is to provide you with guidance and resources to help you in planning during this time when constraints due to COVID-19 are constantly evolving and changing how we conduct research. How we plan can minimize the negative impact we may experience. Here is how you can help.
· Make sure your research business continuity plan is up to date and share it with your group. Consider documenting critical step-by-step instructions.
- Please encourage everyone in your research group to work at home if they can. It is a great time to analyze data, write proposals and progress reports, and get caught up on manuscripts (especially working on that review you have been wanting to write). Students may be able to write the first chapter or two of their thesis, or work on a portion of an upcoming progress report or General Exam document. I encourage you to set up journal clubs and hold them remotely, if you have not already done so.
- Discuss plans with each member of your research team; it may be useful to have a regular remote check-in on weekly plans and progress. Remember, everyone should be able to find a way to stay productive even if they are working at home (see HR policy and advice).
- For those who continue working at UW research facilities, remind them to NOT COME IN IF THEY ARE SICK, and encourage frequent hand-washing.
- Maintain social distancing. If it is difficult to maintain social distance due to crowding, you will need to work out shifts and set up schedules so that the number of people working at any one time does not preclude the ability to keep social distance. Ensure that research team members are able to arrange personal interactions to maintain a comfortable six-foot distance from each other.
- Cross-train research staff to fill in for others who may be out sick or unable to come to work.
- Remember to be as accommodating as possible for the members of your research team; each person will have unique circumstances. Regular and frequent communication is key for your research group.
- If you feel that the best course of action for your research group is to ramp down your research activities, you should do so. Every situation will be different. If you do begin to ramp down, please be sure to address the issues noted below in the section, “Guidance for the Possibility of a Research Facility Shutdown.”
Office of Sponsored Programs and Human Subjects Division
The Office of Research has continuity plans in place so our work can continue. OSP is able to access all UW and sponsor systems remotely to e-support proposal handling, award acceptance, issuance of subawards, handling of non-award agreements, and pre- and post-award activities. HSD and the UW IRBs are fully functional and operating remotely at our standard capacity, however, please look for further messaging from HSD regarding a temporary halt of some human subjects research. Priority will be given to inquiries, requests, applications, and modifications related to SARS-COV-2 or COVID-19 research, or their impacts on other research. We are prioritizing our workload to accommodate changes in our work environment and we are strategizing to handle the expected increase in workload (within our current constraints) due to COVID-19.
Other Research Support Offices
Please use the links listed below to access information on other research support offices. They are all open and functioning, and each has important information for research continuity.
Building Access and Security
Finally, for security, UW buildings have moved to a locked mode, similar to on weekends or holidays, so you and your research team will still have access. Your building coordinator will be working on plans for deliveries, but make sure you have a plan for communication with anyone who might not have after-hours access but has legitimate access needs (such as an undergraduate researcher or a repair person, for instance). You will need to call ahead for access to recharge facilities that are in a different building. Note that some of these facilities are curtailing hours and/or services, so it is wise to check in advance anyway.
Although there are no plans to restrict access to UW research facilities to those who currently have after-hours access, this is a rapidly evolving situation and could change. As the Governor noted yesterday, they are considering all potential options. It is prudent to plan, just in case, and some ideas are listed below. In addition, as we have seen around the nation, two-week quarantines are a real possibility. Plan ahead and challenge your research group to consider what each would do if they could not come to the UW tomorrow.
Guidance for the Possibility of a Research Facility Shutdown
- Prepare for a significant drop in support services on which you depend. By thoughtful planning you may be able to minimize the long-term impacts on your research.
- Make sure all data is backed up on the cloud, that all labile materials are stored appropriately, and that all instruments are shut down every night. Plan as if you may not have access tomorrow.
- Take stock of your inventory and pre-order reagents and supplies that have long shelf lives. Consider those that have had long shipping delays in the past and order early. Make sure your critical consumables (gloves, pipette tips, growth media, etc.) are in stock.
- Plan for keeping equipment functional and safe.
- Repairs performed by Facilities and other service providers may be delayed. Consider scheduling those now.
- Check on updates from UW research units like the Office of Animal Welfare and EH&S for further guidance (see links at the bottom of this email).
Keep up the good work, wash your hands, and stay safe!
Vice Provost for Research
Receiving/Tagging equipment during COVID-19
Was the equipment shipped to your home?
Save all packing slips! Sign/date/take picture. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
No packing slip? Take a picture of the shipping label.
Is the equipment worth over $5k?
(including any accessories, Brianna will send you a reminder email about this)
Eddie will assign a tag number and put it in your mailbox in an envelope.
UW Center for Teaching and Learning's Teaching during the coronavirus outbreak
Arts & Sciences COVID-19 page
The new CAS-specific coronavirus page is now on the Administrative Gateway:
Resources and strategies for teaching online during Spring Quarter
Free parking in E01 and E18
Effective immediately, Transportation Services will not be issuing citations to anyone parking in the E01 or E18 parking lots. This is to allow UW faculty or staff to park in these lots in situations where they need to come to campus to support the response to the coronavirus outbreak or to perform other essential functions in support of University operations.
Voicemail to email
With the closure of public and private schools along with many early childhood care centers, many of our employees are facing child care emergencies. This issue is very acute with those serving in critical positions within our medical centers and on campuses.
Please follow the guidance below in supporting our working parents and share this message with supervisors and managers.
- Be flexible. Staff that are in positions with duties which can be accomplished from home should be teleworking. If they now have children at home with them, please show flexibility and kindness as they juggle work and home life. This may mean that they work early morning and evening hours when their house is quieter.
- New access to sick time off. Because schools were shut due to a public health emergency, staff and student hourlies may now use an unlimited amount of their accrued sick time off for family care emergency absences.
- Back-up care services. UW’s back-up childcare services through Bright Horizons and Kindercare are still operational, but have limited capacity. Both services offer spaces to UW at their local centers; Bright Horizons also has a service that will send a care provider to an employee’s home. We encourage this option be prioritized for staff essential for campus and medical center operations and don’t have other child care options.
- UW Child Care Centers. UW’s childcare centers on campus and in our medical centers are still operational. We are working closely with the centers to see if they can welcome additional children of critical employees on a temporary basis as space allows.
- Additional services in development. UWHR is working as quickly as possible to add additional resources for child care and will share them through email as they are available. By early next week we hope to add some additional capacity and resources for staff essential to university and medical center operations.
Again, I am strongly encouraging you to extend flexibility and kindness to our working parents. UW CareLink is available 24/7 and offers service in multiple languages to benefits-eligible faculty and staff who may need additional support in navigating these extraordinary times.
Mindy Kornberg J.D.
Vice President for Human Resources
University of Washington
HCK and LSB locked
We are now taking the step to keep LSB and HCK locked 24/7. This means that you will need your HuskyCard or a temporary CAAMS card to enter LSB at all times and will need HCK exterior door keys to enter HCK at all times through 3/29/2020. We will reassess the need to extend the date for the buildings to remain locked as the situation evolves
If you do not have keys for HCK and/or if your HuskyCard is not activated for LSB access (and all of our faculty, staff, grad students, and postdocs *SHOULD* have LSB building and floor access activated) please see personnel in LSB 108 as soon as possible to check out a key, to have your HuskyCard activitied for LSB access, or to have a temporary CAAM access card for LSB issued to you.
Given the uncertainty of our current public health situation, you may want to request that the Libraries’ purchase an electronic copy (only if a multi-user version ebook is available) of your required books for spring quarter. To request ebooks use the generic course reserve form. Please note down “Ebooks Needed” in the bottom box along with the citations of the books you need.
If you are using only a small portion of a book or journal articles, please use the Libraries’ Course Instruction Scanning Service. We can scan articles (copyright restricted to one article per journal issue) or a book chapter (copyright restricted to one chapter per book). Use the Interlibrary Loan form for this service -- choose the "Request a course instruction scan" option in the toolbar.
This may also be a good time to explore Open Educational Resources (freely available, openly licensed materials) for use in your course. Use the search tools available on this guide to find existing open textbooksor create and publish your own open resources for your course.
The Libraries is currently working on temporarily adjusting our streaming policy should remote classes continue into spring. If you are requiring the entire class to view a film submit a streaming request. Keep in mind that this service is currently limited to classes over 20 and that not all films are available for streaming. See the Using Video and Streaming Video in UW Seattle Courses for additional information and alternatives. Staff at the Media Arcade continue to be available for consultation on streaming questions. Contact them at email@example.com.
If you would like me to create a mini-research guide for your Canvas course page, please notify me that you wish to do so and add me to the course as librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org). That will allow me to go in and update the generic library page to fit your class needs. I can also create an in-depth class research guide if you think students would find it helpful for class assignments. (Here is an example of one created by one of my colleagues: https://guides.lib.uw.edu/envir200A)
I am also happy to discuss with you the feasibility of potential research assignments based on available online resources.
RESEARCH HELP & QUESTIONS
I am available via email at email@example.com and will be glad to answer any questions you or your students may have. I will also be available via Zoom, although I haven't quite figured out the logistics and timing. At this stage, it’s probably best to email me first so we can set up a Zoom time.
24/7 help is available via chat.
Currently the Libraries is open Monday-Friday 9 to 5. I'm not sure if this will change in the future. Check theUW Libraries COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Updates and Resources page for the most current information concerning hours.
Summary of 03-12-2020
Mitigating impacts to research activities due to COVID-19
As noted in President Cauce’s February 29 address to the University, the University is closely monitoring the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and associated COVID-19 disease, and extensive emergency procedures are in place. Be sure to read the UW’s coronavirus FAQ page, as it contains important information for everyone in the UW community.What special planning should researchers carry out? For convenience, we have included a checklist at the bottom of this message.Emergency personnel. At this time, there are no plans to restrict access to University research spaces, but it is wise for every research group to plan ahead in the event that full access is not possible for some time period. In the case of campus suspended operations , the usual policies would apply. This includes the need for emergency personnel to carry out specified duties. The suspended operations link above includes the definition of emergency personnel, and below are the general categories:The position is necessary to support or maintain:· Human health, welfare and/or safety.· Information technology services or security.· Building or property security, safety, and integrity.· Research animals, specimens, or equipment.· Critical infrastructure (power, water, heat, roads, etc.).· Critical business, contractual, or legal obligations including employee payroll.In each unit, emergency personnel should be already designated. If you are unsure of who in your research project is designated emergency personnel, work with your department administrator or an equivalent administrator to identify such personnel.Precautions. Remember, all personnel should stay home if they experience any symptoms including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. It is also advisable to encourage limiting physical contact with others, such as hand-shaking (substitute elbow bumps or bows) and sharing of food. Finally, the most effective prevention measure is frequent, thorough hand-washing.Communications. If a communications plan for your research group is not already in place, designate points of contact so everyone receives timely information.Plan for researcher time. Principal investigators and research group leads should discuss approaches now, in the event that some personnel are unable to come to work. Such advanced planning will make future decisions straightforward and minimize disruption to research activities.Remote access. All students, post-docs, staff, and faculty involved in research projects should ensure that they have access to information they need to carry out work remotely. This might include, for example, access to literature, access to existing datasets and research-related files, and access to meeting software (such as Zoom). Principal investigators should prepare to carry out meetings remotely, using similar approaches as for remote teaching of classes. If you are unsure about whether you have access to such tools, it is wise to test them now. Examples of the types of research work that can be done remotely are: data analysis, literature reviews, writing proposals, reviews, or research papers, writing the background sections of theses, computational work, meetings, discussions, etc.Prioritization. Depending upon the nature of your research, you might consider prioritizing work that can only be carried out in your research facility, and put off work amenable to remote support, such as data analysis. Stockpiling results and data now that could be analyzed remotely in the future is a potential option that might create future flexibility.Save samples along the way. If you are carrying out a long-term experiment and if it is feasible to freeze samples at specific steps, you might consider doing this more often.Proposal deadlines. In general we expect that OSP will be able to submit proposals, even if personnel are working remotely. Our experience is that federal agencies are very flexible about deadlines under difficult circumstances beyond our control. However, if agencies are officially closed, proposals will most likely remain in a queue, pending resumption of agency operations – as has been the case during federal budget-related shutdowns. Information will be posted on the OSP website, if necessary.Travel. Should you cancel planned research-related travel such as to a conference, site visit, or other laboratory? Not necessarily. Be sure to access the list of travel restrictions – which will apply to everyone who travels on UW funds, including research grants or contracts -- and use caution in considering travel to a country with restricted access to specific locations. As always, you should use your own judgement based on the circumstances.Advance planning will allow everyone in your research group to focus on their own efforts and work together as a team, rather than wondering how they and their team members are to proceed. Even if such plans are not needed for the current situation, they are still a good learning experience for the future.Checklist:
- Identify emergency personnel and ensure they know what to do in the event of suspended operations
- Remind lab personnel of your communication plan or create one if not in place
- Identify priorities in case of restricted access
- Ensure remote access to files, data, servers, etc.
- Prioritize experiments
- Plan for remote proposal submission
- Check travel restrictions before making travel plans.