Further Guidance on Research Reduction

Guidance to Help Decide which Experiments might be Allowed to Continue

The intention of the research restriction is to minimize the chances of coronavirus infection. We are aware that these restrictions will result in loss of productivity and added expense, but are adopted to maximize the safety of faculty, staff, and students.

Non-critical research should be paused, and no new experiments can be started. Critical research is defined as experiments aimed at understanding, treating, or preventing COVID-19 viral infection, or research activities that involve:

  • Essential care for animals, plants and unique or expensive cell cultures or biological specimens that would otherwise be lost,
  • Preservation of unique reagents and other unique or expensive materials, and
  • Maintaining equipment (e.g., liquid nitrogen and liquid helium systems, and shared computational clusters) that cannot be maintained remotely or shut down without significant cost or consequences to the research effort.

All plans to continue laboratory activities or experiments must be submitted to the department chair. Final decision lies with the dean of the college.  For Centers in the Research Division, the decision lies with the VPR. 

Special considerations for animal research:

  • Care for animals includes continuing treatments, research manipulations, or special feeding that is necessary to maintain critical animal models, which can be carried out with minimal contact with other researchers and appropriate precautions for biosafety.
  • Preparing new animals for ongoing or new experiments must stop now.
  • Procedures on existing animals that may cause complications or involve extensive follow-up such as surgery should be avoided.

Final Note.  As you consider whether to propose continuing animal experiments and ethical concerns for the potential waste of animal life, please weigh the increased risk to co-workers and others of the spread of coronavirus in our community.