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VandenBosch: Additional CALS guidance on COVID-19 related research limitations

This message was sent to all CALS faculty and staff on 3/19/20.

The VCRGE has issued guidance on continuity of research during COVID-19 operations. Please read that message carefully, as all CALS research will be expected to comply with the guidelines outlined there. During this period while so many people are healthy, we are in the best position to plan for eventualities when staffing may be significantly reduced. We expect to see a dramatic reduction of research in UW-facilities, as projects are put off to a later date or are continued via telework. Critical work that requires our facilities may continue if the provisions outlined by the VCRGE can be met. Please note that all directives apply both to UW on-campus facilities and out-state facilities, such as our Agricultural Research Station network.

All things that can be done remotely should continue. Because we cannot assure continuity of operations with a reduced workforce, we need to limit the most critical work that needs to occur in university facilities. We ask that you limit your work to only those things which are necessary to maintain a viable research program. Research conducted within UW facilities requires approvals from a college dean (students should work through their PI). For CALS PIs:

  1. Review VCRGE COVID-19 Research Guidance.
  2. Please complete the COVID-19 research request form
  3. Send completed form to your department chair/center director along with your individual lab Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP) and, if applicable, essential travel exception request form.
  4. Send to Department Chair/Center Director for review and approval; they will forward to Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Education for review and approval.

I ask that no new projects begin without the new approvals.

As you know, the university is doing all it can to ensure graduate and undergraduate students are able to complete their programs in a timely way. I know that graduate students depend on research results to make progress. For the health and safety of our students and our research support employees, I encourage you to work with your students to maximize the amount of research they can complete through remote work.

There have been false rumors circulating that there is no assistance available for grant submissions through RSP. The grant administration staff in RSP and in CALS are both working remotely. Like you, they are adapting to new workflows and the challenges of remote work. When planning for a grant submission, please allow extra time so that any unanticipated road blocks can be overcome prior to the deadline. You are encouraged to contact CALS research administrators with questions or requests for assistance.

Dean Kate VandenBosch and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education Bill Barker