All researchers should consider the impact of their research activities on the health and safety of colleagues (staff, students, and faculty) as well as any human research participants.
In considering the potential impact of research activity on the health and safety of UNTHSC colleagues (staff, students, and faculty), the following guidelines are in effect until further notice:
- All SCP faculty with active research programs must implement their Continuity Plans.
- Research faculty should initiate a staged ramp-down of all laboratory research activities to a level of “essential activities only” over the next week with the expectation that operations will remain in a reduced state for the next six to eight weeks.
- Studies, procedure and processes will need to be performed with a limited staff of one individual per laboratory (or at most two with adequate (6 feet minimum distance) social distancing).
- SCP faculty should immediately implement their plans for ongoing monitoring of critical laboratory equipment, such as freezers and instruments in research labs, as described in their submitted continuity plans. In the event of future restrictions to campus activities and access, a plan will be developed by Donna Coyle, Kyle Emmitte, and Jerry Simecka to ensure needed monitoring and maintenance of equipment, etc. If needed, faculty and staff may be asked to participate.
- Graduate students should not be expected to continue research projects through on campus laboratory work.
- If a student is considered essential to a critical project that cannot be delayed or is needed to carry out tasks that cannot be done by other lab personnel (e.g., maintenance of fragile cell cultures and knockout cell cultures), then the Department Chair must be consulted via email, and a waiver given. In the case of a waiver, the student can continue research, but there will be a limited staff in the laboratory, e.g. one individual per laboratory (or at most two with adequate social distancing).
- All graduate students should be assigned remote work duties, such as data analyses, writing manuscripts, review articles, etc. They could also help in developing online teaching, questions, etc. that could meet the need competency in teaching.
- Laboratory supervisors are responsible for maintaining continued day-to-day communications and directing the operations of remote team members.
- Research faculty and staff who are working remotely and are engaged in sponsored program activities must maintain a daily log of their activities towards the research projects that cover your FTE and be able to produce that log to document time and effort on the award.
- Supervisors should also consider development activities, such as reading literature, webinars, etc. as options for staff when working remotely.
- Exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by the Dean.