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COVID-19 information

Face Masks

Posted on 2020-06-25 15:38

Face masks are required to be worn in all common areas of biology buildings. The only time you do not need to wear a mask is in a private office with the door shut.

All members of the department who will be working on site can request a set of 2 reusable face masks. Yes - that includes on site at Pack Forest, FHL and the like. Sarah O'Hara will fill requests M/W/F.

For people needing more than two masks (animal care, etc), you can purchase a mask in the stockroom for $4.29, a bargain! Email Eddie with budget information.

If you forgot your mask, we will have a very limited number of disposable masks on hand, starting Monday, 6/30. Email Sarah O'Hara or Eddie Sabiniano.
 
Disposable masks for critical tasks for multiple people within 6-feet will be for sale in the stockroom for .66 each.
 
Optional Bonus Info from Sarah: Obviously what mask style fits best/most comfortably will vary a lot by person. However, I have heard from several department members that the "domed" style we provide, which is a nylon cotton blend, is a lot easier to breath in for extended periods than the masks they bought/made for themselves. Something to consider!
 

HR updates as of 6/22/2020

Posted on 2020-06-22 07:59

UWHR is closely following extensions and expirations of proclamations and emergency rules. Here is an overview of changes: 

 

EXTENTIONS

  • Unemployment waiting week: Washington State law requiring a one week waiting period before becoming eligible to receive unemployment benefits continues to be waived through July 4, 2020.
  • Excess vacation time off for classified staff: The excess vacation time off forfeiture waiver remains in effect until July 1, 2020 for classified staff who have exceeded 240 hours of vacation time off. Once the proclamation expires, WA State law requiring excess vacation time off forfeiture on a classified employee’s anniversary date will resume. Where appropriate and feasible, we encourage employees to request to use their vacation time off to ensure they do not forfeit excess vacation time off on their anniversary date once the restriction is put back in place.
  • COVID-19 employment accommodation for high-risk employees: This webpage has been updated to reflect that the accommodations for high-risk employees remain in effect through August 1, 2020 under Governor Inslee’s most recent proclamation.
  • Shared leave for COVID: For eligible populations, shared leave for a COVID-19 related reason has been extended until July 1, 2020.
  • Retiree rehire rule change: The 867-hour limit of post retirement Washington state employment and the employment restrictions for those who use the 2008 ERF has been partially waived and suspended until July 1, 2020.
  • I-9 completion requirements changeWaiver of physical review requirements for employees operating remotely remains in place until either July 19, 2020, when normal University operations resume under the phased reopening proclamation, or the termination of the national emergency, whichever comes first.

 

EXPIRATIONS

  • Family care emergency absences: The closing of schools due to the COVID public health emergency, triggered a change to Family Care Emergency time off which allowed employees to use unlimited sick time off to care for children who would have otherwise been in school. With the school year ending on June 19, Family Care Emergency time off returns to a maximum of three days of sick time off (in addition to other accrued time off) for unexpected disruptions in child care. Campus employees continue to have access to Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family & Medical Leave if unable to work or telework due to a COVID-19 related school or child care closure.

 

ADDITIONAL UPDATES

 

And now…a more personal note: We opened the COVID-19 Employee Emergency Fund for applications last week and were quickly overwhelmed with 500 applications in less than 72 hours. Every UW employee is an invaluable part of our shared effort to create a world of good, and many are facing challenging personal circumstances as the unfolding financial crisis takes shape. Our fundraising efforts continue so we can provide support to all eligible applicants. If you haven’t yet donated to support our community, please consider making a gift this week. This is our chance to show our employees – who have been truly extraordinary in their service to education, health care, and research – that they are valued and cared for.

 

LSB Shared Spaces and Equipment COVID policies

Posted on 2020-06-17 08:38

If anyone who uses shared equipment is confirmed COVID positive, please let the Lab Services Manager know immediately so equipment can be decontaminated and inform others who may have been exposed.

 

Per University requirements, appropriate face coverings are required to be worn at all times unless exempt under medical reasons. Even if a room is a single occupant room, the covering must stay on as these are shared spaces.

 

LSB Autoclave Rooms B143 (select labs only) & 330

  • Only 1 person is allowed in Room 330 at a time.
  • 2 people can be in B143 but must adhere to the 6-foot social distancing rule.
  • There is a new online scheduler to help prevent accidental run ins, more info below. Please look inside the rooms prior to entering to confirm space is available.
  • Upon entering the room and prior to touching anything, you’re required to put on a new pair of lab grade gloves (not provided) or put on plastic gloves (provided) over lab gloves. When exiting the room, discard gloves. Plastic gloves are provided for the use of this departmentally owned equipment and are not to be moved to another location.
  • There is new equipment on the online scheduler on the departmental resources site (https://reservations.biology.washington.edu/) where users are required to sign-up for usage of the autoclaves. This will allow users to minimize chances of running into someone accidently.
    • The autoclaves are available in 30-minute blocks, please make sure to block out a time sufficiently long enough to cover your entire run. For example, if running a 20-minute wet cycle, you’ll need at least 45 minutes to complete the run, so choose two 30-minute blocks.
    • If can’t use the equipment during the time you reserved, please cancel it online so someone else can take the time.
  • Other standard autoclave use rules still apply.
  • Do not spray any kind of disinfectant on the equipment directly as it can damage the equipment. Spray disinfectant on a paper towel and then wipe over equipment but do not saturate the paper towel to the point where it will leave residue on equipment.

 

LSB Shared Resources & Equipment

  • There is new equipment listed on the online scheduler on the departmental resources site (https://reservations.biology.washington.edu/) where users are required to sign-up for usage of departmentally owned, shared equipment in LSB. This will allow users to minimize chances of running into someone accidently.
  • Lab equipment (excluding hoods and water purification systems) will have time blocks available of different lengths that you can reserve the equipment for. Signup for the time you need but do not go longer than needed so others can use the equipment.
    • If can’t use the equipment during the time you reserved, please cancel it online so someone else can take the time.
  • Prior to using any equipment, you’re required to put on a new pair of lab grade gloves (not provided) or put on plastic gloves (provided) over lab gloves. Discard gloves immediately after use. Plastic gloves are provided for the use of this departmentally owned equipment and are not to be moved to another location.
    • Plastic gloves will be placed at the following equipment:
      • Shaker Incubators, floors 3 & 5
      • Beckman Centrifuges floor 3, Thermo Scientific Centrifuge floor 5
      • BioRad ChemiDoc, 312J
      • Azure c600 Imaging System, 509
      • NanoDrop, floors 3 & 5
  • Some equipment can have multiple users, such as shaker incubators and ovens. If you’re overlapping with someone and they are already there, please wait until they are done loading/unloading the equipment before loading/unloading yours.
  • Do not spray any kind of disinfectant on the equipment directly as it can damage the equipment. Spray disinfectant on a paper towel and then wipe over equipment but do not saturate the paper towel to the point where it will leave residue on equipment.

 

Growth Chambers

  • All users must be able to adhere to a 6-foot distance separation while in rooms that house growth chambers. The following limits are imposed on chamber rooms.
    • G1000 seed germination rooms, B226, B230, B232: 1 person in room
    • PGC-FLEX Reach-In Chamber rooms, B218, B220, B234, B236: 2 people in room
    • PGW40 Walk-In Chamber Room B221: 6 people in room
  • There are now reversible paper signs inside a sticky sheet holder on the door of each chamber room, indicating whether a room is vacant (or partially vacant) or fully occupied. Please be sure to turn the sign to the appropriate side as you enter or exit a room.
  • After entering or leaving a room, it is highly recommended that users wash or sterilize their hands due to high frequency of contact with door handles.
  • Do not spray any kind of disinfectant on the equipment directly as it can damage the equipment. Spray disinfectant on a paper towel and then wipe over equipment but do not saturate the paper towel to the point where it will leave residue on equipment.

Protocol for handling health concerns for colleagues

Posted on 2020-06-17 08:25

Department provided hand sanitizer & sterilizing spray

Posted on 2020-06-02 12:56

The Department is providing a number of bottles containing liquid hand sanitizer to have in LSB, Hitchcock and Johnson. These bottles belong to the department and are not to be taken home or outside of their home areas. This includes not moving bottles to procedure rooms. These should be kept in office areas that can be accessed by multiple people. 

 
The bottles will be located in the mailrooms of Hitchcock (417) and Johnson (30) or on the lab services racks of LSB (floors 2-5) and are clearly labeled. When the bottles are empty, please return them to the lab services racks (LSB only) or mailrooms where they will be collected and returned when refilled. Collections will attempt to be done every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, timing will vary. 
 
This is alcohol based liquid hand sanitizer, not a gel, and will come out of the bottles quickly. You just need to do a quick turn of the bottle, do not squeeze the bottles. It is also flammable so should not be store near ignition sources. 
 
In addition to the hand sanitizer, spray bottles of alcohol based sterilizer will be deployed to common area spaces in all 3 buildings sometime soon. These bottles should stay where they are deployed as they will be collected from those areas for refilling. If they aren’t there, they won’t be refilled and many people will be impacted. 

 
As always, let Aaron know if you have any questions about the deployment or product. 

Attestation Form for Non-UW Employees

Posted on 2020-05-29 10:20

This Attestation form is for vendors, volunteers, delivery drivers, and any visitors entering any Biology biuldings.

 

I attest that I am coming into work on today's date and do not have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • New cough that is not attributable to another medical condition.
  • New muscle aches (myalgias) not attributable to another medical condition or another specific activity (e.g., due to physical exercise).
  • Throat pain (pharyngitis) not attributable to another medical condition.
  • New shortness of breath (dyspnea) not attributable to another condition.

If you have one or more of the symptoms above YOU MUST STAY HOME. CONTACT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER AS NEEDED FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.

 

Unemployment fraud: what to do

Posted on 2020-05-20 08:56
Hot off the presses: If you experience unemployment fraud instead of alerting HR please contact the ISC at ischelp@uw.edu. You still need to contact the WA Employment Security Division https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud yourself.
 
I've clipped the current info on fraudulent unemployment claims from HR's site below  for your convenience. The information may change without notice, but the most updated info should always be avaialble at https://hr.uw.edu/coronavirus/time-away-from-work/unemployment-benefits/faqs/.
 

Fraud

What do I do if I think someone has filed a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits using my name?
Employees must report potential fraud to ESD through the steps listed below as soon as they suspect fraud. This is because ESD has the legal authority to investigate fraud as well as stop fraudulent claims from being paid. After reporting the fraud to ESD, employees can also let UW know by emailing ischelp@uw.edu.

Contact ESD to report fraud

Employees who are victims of fraud should complete the secure fraud reporting form ESD has provided on its benefits fraud page.

The secure fraud reporting form asks for the following:

  • First name and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your SSN
  • Street address
  • Contact information
  • Claimant or Letter ID
  • A brief description of how you found out an impostor-fraud claim was filed using your information. We suggest: “I received a letter about unemployment benefits but I have not applied for benefits. Please deny and cancel the claim.”
  • Your permission to cancel the impostor-fraud claim filed using your information.

How do I know someone has filed a fraudulent claim in my name?
When UWHR or ISC staff have reason to believe a fraudulent claim has been filed in an employee’s name, they will contact employees by email (see What is UW doing in response to unemployment fraud? below). Separately, employees may receive unexpected regular mail from ESD about an application for unemployment they did not make, as reported in this Seattle Times article.

What is the UW doing in response to unemployment fraud?
UWHR and ISC staff are responding with a coordinated approach, with the goal of getting suspected fraud reported in two ways. This is in addition to the employee reporting the fraud to ESD (see What do I do if I think someone has filed a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits using my name?).

  1. UWHR will contact employees by email when suspicious claims are filed in their name and will provide them with information about how to report fraud through ESD’s benefits fraud website.
  2. ESD provides a weekly notice of claims to ISC which are reviewed and if fraud is suspected, ISC contests the charges.

If there is a fraudulent claim in my name, does that mean I am responsible for the money paid out? What if I need unemployment in the future?
ESD has made it clear that if someone is a victim of fraud, the individual will not have to repay money paid out as a result of fraud. Additionally, if someone is a victim of fraud and then needs to apply for benefits, they will still be able to do so.

 

UW HR time off resource summary

Attestation requirement for on-site employees

Posted on 2020-05-05 11:02

As a part of the University’s ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, starting this week, all UW employees who come to a UW campus for work — whether for a full day or just to pick up work-related materials — must complete a new, daily Working On-Site COVID-19 Symptom Attestation. Any UW employee reporting to work on-site will be required to complete the attestation at the start of their work day to confirm they do not have COVID-19 related symptoms.

You can find the Working On-Site COVID-19 Symptom Attestation on the Welcome page when you log in to Workday. Please review the COVID-19 symptom attestation policy for academic personnel and the COVID-19 employee symptom attestation for staff, student workers and others who work on-site at UW (contingent workers, stipend, etc.).
Seven translated versions of the attestation language and policy are also available for staff.

You do not need to complete the attestation if you are teleworking. Employees currently teleworking must continue to do so unless otherwise notified by their supervisor.

As a reminder, Washington State regulations and University policy require sick employees stay home and that employees who become ill or symptomatic while on-site go home. If you are concerned you have COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, you need to contact your appropriate Employee Health Center for contact tracing, and, if necessary, connection to testing and employee support. Employee Health Centers adhere to all appropriate patient and student privacy protocols.

Using Workday ensures the safety and security of employee information and allows the University to ensure compliance with federal, state and local public health guidance as attestation requirements evolve and change. All units, including those with active, “homegrown” systems, must begin using the Workday attestation function by the end of the week with the following exceptions:

  • UW Medicine has an existing, mandatory attestation for clinical employees. This attestation will continue, and UW Medicine will provide specific guidance on attestation requirements to their clinical community as appropriate.
  • For units with other clinical employees, or employees who may not have computer or phone access, they have until the end of the week to transition and identify an appropriate solution. Units may use a paper attestation as an alternative solution as long as social distancing guidelines are followed and there is a method to ensure supervisor review.

Supervisors: Supervisors play an important role in both reminding on-site employees to complete the daily attestation and monitoring attestation results. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to:

  • Remind any direct reports scheduled to work on-site that they need to complete the attestation at the start of each work day.
  • Review the Daily Attestation Report, which displays each person in your supervisory organization who has completed the daily Working On-Site Symptom Attestation.
  • Contact employees who didn’t complete the attestation and ask them to do so in order to remain on-site.
  • For employees who cannot attest to not having symptoms, are worried they may have COVID-19, or who refuse to attest, please review the attestation policies for guidance applicable to the employee type.

The daily Working On-Site COVID-19 Symptom Attestation is an important step in ensuring the safety and health of the UW campus and community. If and when you feel sick, remember to follow the guidance in the FAQ What to do if I feel sick? on the University’s Novel Coronavirus & COVID-19 webpage.

HR Updates as of 04/16/20

Posted on 2020-04-16 12:22

UWHR’s Working During COVID-19 continues to be updated with policy changes and resources almost every day. Here is a recap of the most recent changes:

NEW

Retiree rehire rule change during COVID-19Retired public sector employees with skills critical to the COVID-19 emergency response are encouraged to return to service.

Temporary PEBB benefit eligibility for hires related to COVID-19PEBB approved a resolution to allow early PEBB benefits eligibility to those hired to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

UPDATED

Child care options and resourcesUpdated content highlights new child care access for employees critical to the COVID-19 response and for faculty with teaching responsibilities.

I-9 completion requirements changeUpdated to reflect Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-41 which temporarily extends the renewal date of Washington State personal and commercial driver licenses until midnight on May 3, 2020.

Self care: Updated content and links that help employees prioritize their physical, mental, and social-emotional health through the COVID-19 emergency

Shared Leave Program expanded for any COVID-19 reason: Updated to reflect Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-43 which allows employees to use shared leave “as a result of COVID-19” instead of restricted to specific reasons such as self-isolation, caring for a household member, etc.

Suspension of non-essential hiring: Updated content clarifies that while departments should use good judgement, current recruitments may continue. 

Temporary reassignment during COVID-19Updated content helps employees and departments understand the process of being temporarily reassigned to the medical centers.

Vacation hours cap suspended for classified positions critical to COVID-19 response: Updated to reflect Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-43, temporarily suspending the 240-hour annual forfeiture of vacation time off on an employee’s anniversary date for all classified employees whose balances previously exceeded 240 hours.

As the site continues to grow, we are aware it is getting challenging to find what you might be looking for. We will be refining site architecture as we go, but please feel free to reach out if you have improvement ideas. 

Governor's guidance of 03/31/20 regarding allowable work (e.g., research)

Posted on 2020-04-03 11:17
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 Lidstrom
Vice Provost for Research
 

Zoombombing Resources

Posted on 2020-04-03 07:53

Report any Zoombombing to Zoom's help center.

Zoom information from UW-IT

A good summary of  Zoombombing prevention Resources from USC

 

 

Continued funding for Biology personnel

Posted on 2020-04-03 07:49
Dear Biology community,
 
Greetings in these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m writing in response to some queries I’ve received expressing concern about continued salary/stipend funding for graduate students, postdocs and some staff members supported by federal grants. I hope to provide reassurance that all of you will continue to be paid, even if working remotely. Below, I go through each type of support and how we as a department envision that support continuing in the coming months. Please note that, while we list possible remote research-related activities below, we have no way of quantifying productivity, and hope that we all will recognize that productivity will not meet our usual high standards during these stressful times, when we don’t have access to all of the resources we would normally have. That is OK, as long as we stay healthy.
 
1. TA positions. All TA positions for this quarter will continue to be supported through the quarter. And we anticipate a similar level of TA funding for next year.
 
2. Fellowships. All indications are that federal and other fellowships will continue, even if you have to work remotely. Please note that you can continue to make progress on your project even if you are not able to carry out lab or field work. Examples of progress include: reading literature; writing background or introduction sections for your paper(s) or dissertation; planning experiments; data analysis; making figures; discussing collaborations.
 
3. Training grant positions. Federal funders have expressly made it clear that trainees in this sort of position will continue to be supported with their stipends in these unusual times, even if they are not able to carry out the project they proposed. They should still be engaged is some portion of the expected research and research training activities planned (see #2 above).
 
4. RA positions. Federal funders have made it clear that they support salary payments during these unusual times to graduate students, staff and postdocs who are able to continue working on their project remotely. In addition, even if you are not able to do the work assigned, these funders have authorized salary payments, and it is our understanding that UW is working on a policy to support this. The simplest solution for PIs and their research teams is to document, probably on a weekly or more frequent basis, how their remote activities support the goals of their research programs. See #2 above for the type of activities. Again, the emphasis here is to document goals not what has been accomplished.
 
Overall, we aim to support everyone in our community, both financially and emotionally. I hope that these guidelines will help allay any concerns, and provide guidelines for how to navigate these unprecedented times. Please don’t hesitate to ask me, Billie Swalla, Chair of our Research Committee, Jennifer Nemhauser, Chair of our Graduate and Postdoc Program Committee, or Sarah Morrow, HR Manager for Biology, if you have any questions.
 
Thank you and best wishes,
David

Discretionary time off policy changes during COVID-19

Posted on 2020-04-01 08:43

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. 

Information about these changes is posted to the Time off extensions page on the Working during COVID-19 website. The April 8 issue of the UW Insider will alert employees to this change.

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

Posted on 2020-03-30 12:19
If you do not have federal awards please feel free to ignore.   The email that I’m forwarding from OSP and PAFC is regarding NSF, but NIH and DOD have also published responses to the OMB Memo M-20-17 (if your award is from other agencies we currently do not have info from them but this UW site will be updated as we receive new info. OMD Memo M-20-17 is regarding federal agencies allowing flexibility to relieve impacts due to COVID-19. I’ve also attached a summary of some of the topics that discussed in M-20-17 that are relevant to us at the department level.   I also have a summary of responses with the entire M-20-17 available please let me know if you would like to see a full version. 
 
2 topics that I would like to bring attention to are regarding salaries and cancelled travel due to COVID-19
 
Salaries:  NSF, NIH and DOD are allowing salaries and benefits to be charged onto their awards even if the employee is unable to continue to work due to COVID-19 (research needs to be put on hold, the lab needs to be shut down) if the institution has a policy regarding paying employees under “unexpected or extraordinary circumstances”.  However UW currently does not have a policy regarding “unexpected or extraordinary circumstances” so we have been instructed that salaries cannot be charged to NIH, NSF and DOD awards if the work is not being performed.  UW is currently reviewing these sponsor policies and they will let us know if there are any changes. You can see the full UW instructions and info on the Post Award Fiscal Compliance page regarding salaries regarding COIVD-19
 
Cancelled travel:  NSF, NIH and DOD are allowing cancellation fees and other costs (unable to get full or partial refunds) incurred due to travel, conferences or events being cancelled due to COVID-19 to be charged on the awards.  Please see Post Award Fiscal Compliance page regarding travel reimbursements for more info. 
 
Please let me know if you have any general questions.  If you have questions specific to your award please contact your post award budget manager. If you do not know who manages your budgets please email

and someone will respond to your inquiry.  

 
 
Thank you, 
Hayato

Working during Covid (from UW HR)

Posted on 2020-03-27 14:15

https://hr.uw.edu/coronavirus/

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

Posted on 2020-03-27 10:40
All inquiries about keys and/or card access must be sent to biokeys@uw.edu.
 
Access can be authorized by email. Complete the Key Request Form (attached) and have both the authorizing person and requester agree to its contents by email, then forward to biokeys@uw.edu.
 
LSB Card Access - Yes, can be completed by email
HCK / PAA Card Access - Yes, for critical personnel and by appointment
Physical Keys - Yes, for critical personnel and by appointment
Key Returns - No, suspended until further notice
 
Sarah will be available for in person key checkout Mondays and Fridays 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM by appointment. Please email biokeys@uw.edu with when you're available and we'll let you know when to come.
 

Research FAQs for Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive

Posted on 2020-03-26 10:47
Message from the Office of Research
 
This 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

Posted on 2020-03-25 08:00

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

Facilities

  • 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. 

Others

  • 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 research@uw.edu 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

Posted on 2020-03-20 14:08

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.

If you need ethanol, email Alex Hansen ahansen@uw.edu and Aaron Hernandez aaroneh@uw.edu and one of them will respond with a time to meet you at the ethanol room on B1.

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.

Cybersecurity and COVID-19

All official UW travel outside of the United States is restricted until further notice

Posted on 2020-03-20 11:59

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:

  1. Clean your hands often.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Put distance between yourself and other people — at least six feet — and do not gather in groups.
  5. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  6. 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.

Sincerely,

Provost Mark A.<br />
 Richards' signature

Mark Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor, Earth and Space Sciences

Accident reports while teleworking

Posted on 2020-03-20 11:49
The Group 6 Safety Committee wanted us to remind people that if you have an accident at your teleworking location while working, you still need to report it in OARS.
 
 

Resources for Families with Elementary-Aged Children

Posted on 2020-03-20 07:30

Compiled by the UW College of Education: https://tinyurl.com/Resources4Elem

Computer loans for students

Posted on 2020-03-19 16:43

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.

Resources

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.

Best,

RYAN HURSH

He, Him, His

Manager of Program Operations

Academic Technologies
 

035 Kane Hall  Box 353095  Seattle, WA 98195-3095

main 206.221.5000  /  direct 206.685.7826  /  fax 206.221.4760

shea43@uw.edu  /  cte.uw.edu

ISP information

Posted on 2020-03-19 07:54
This information on the policies of different internet service providers could be useful for all of us, as well as for our students (perhaps we should consider including some version in syllabi).
 
 
 
Comcast is offering free internet services right now for low-income people:

 
 

Message from Mary Lidstrom, Vice Provost for Research re: COVID-19

Posted on 2020-03-18 19:24

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Research Considerations

·         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!

Mary Lidstrom

Vice Provost for Research

 

Receiving/Tagging equipment during COVID-19

Posted on 2020-03-18 14:22

Was the equipment shipped to your home?

Save all packing slips! Sign/date/take picture. Email to bdivine@uw.edu

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)

Take a picture of the serial number info and email to ets3@uw.edu and bdivine@uw.edu along with the intended room number/building.

Eddie will assign a tag number and put it in your mailbox in an envelope.

You will affix the tag to the FRONT of the equipment, take a picture, and email to ets3@uw.edu and bdivine@uw.edu.

UW Center for Teaching and Learning's Teaching during the coronavirus outbreak

Arts & Sciences COVID-19 page

Posted on 2020-03-17 14:29

The new CAS-specific coronavirus page is now on the Administrative Gateway:

https://admin.artsci.washington.edu/coronavirus-response-and-resources

Teaching online

Posted on 2020-03-17 10:49

Free parking in E01 and E18

Posted on 2020-03-17 09:51

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. 

Purchasing

Posted on 2020-03-17 09:49

Voicemail to email

HCK and LSB locked

Posted on 2020-03-16 08:00

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.
 

Leave policies

Child care

Posted on 2020-03-16 08:00

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.

Best,

Mindy

Mindy Kornberg J.D.
Vice President for Human Resources
University of Washington

 

UW Libraries

Posted on 2020-03-13 10:42

Course Texts

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.    

Streaming Films

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 medialib@uw.edu.

Research Guides

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 (sfpine@uw.edu). 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 sfpine@uw.edu 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

Posted on 2020-03-12 10:46

Mitigating impacts to research activities due to COVID-19

Posted on 2020-03-02 10:52
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.