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Research Operations Update - October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020


The Vice President for Research designates allowable research activities as appropriate for current pandemic conditions. Please read this and associated documents very carefully to understand and plan for research activities that can be conducted safely during this period.

Limited Research Activities

Limited research activities can currently be conducted onsite on campus and in other facilities and field sites. Limited research in this context is defined as activities that can be conducted safely with limited personnel and COVID-19 specific protocols for reduced personnel density, physical distancing, and sanitizing workspaces.

All personnel should still work from home whenever possible, and accommodations should be made to allow people at high risk for severe illness to continue to telecommute.

In the Research Operations Level Table, we have provided separate guidance for

  1. laboratory research,
  2. clinical/human subjects research,
  3. field work,
  4. research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and
  5. participation of students in research.

Please read and adhere to these protocols with the health and safety of our community and the public as your highest priority.

Creating a Plan

As you create a plan for research operations with these protocols, please note the obligations of PIs, departments chairs, and deans as described in the University Health and Safety Policy 3-300. As a reminder:

  • Supervisors, faculty, and principal investigators are responsible to provide safe and healthy environments for those areas and personnel for whom they have supervisory or administrative responsibility, and to be continuously cognizant of the health and safety needs of all co-workers and employees for whom they are responsible.
  • Deans and department chairs are responsible to ensure that activities in their unit are in compliance with all applicable, rules, regulations and standards. To meet these obligations, deans and department chairs may define limited research activities more specifically as appropriate for their unit.

Mitigating the Impacts

If externally funded research will be greatly impacted or delayed by these restrictions, please contact the VPR office to discuss contingency plans and communications with sponsors via OSP.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) personnel are available to assist with health and safety compliance issues.

In collaboration with college safety committees, EHS will continue to monitor research spaces for compliance with regular EHS guidelines and requirements as well as COVID-19 specific protocols.


Research Operations Update - September 10, 2020

September 10, 2020

On September 4, 2020, the Governor’s Office issued an executive order to move Salt Lake County to Yellow restrictions status, while the University of Utah remains in Orange restrictions status until October 10, 2020. Throughout this period, our emergency management, facilities, and academic leadership teams will continue to review and provide information about appropriate policies and protocols that will guide our operations at the University of Utah. For more information, consult the Research Alert Levels table outlining current allowable research operations and research specific policies and procedures.

A recording of the VPR Office’s most recent Research Town Hall can also be found here in Box.


Dear Colleagues,

August 24, 2020

As the Fall 2020 semester begins today, we would like to take a moment and thank our entire research community, including all VPR unit staff, for keeping research operations running smoothly and safely this summer under the extraordinary and difficult circumstances. Your enormous efforts and cooperation with many evolving safety guidelines kept the campus community safe and healthy, while continuing many critical research operations.

Because of all your important work, the University of Utah research community has celebrated another historic high of $603M in research funding for FY20. Despite these challenging times, the U submitted the most proposals ever for the month of June and received a substantial boost in funding related to COVID-19 research. Congratulations to all of the remarkable faculty, students, staff, and research partners who helped us achieve another research funding milestone this year. You can find more details about the FY20 campus research accomplishments here.

With the return of more students and personnel to campus, it will be essential to continue to stay diligent and follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines to keep our campus safe and healthy for the remainder of the pandemic. As a reminder, university research is still restricted to “Limited Research Activities” ONLY while the U remains in the Orange Phase (see the Research Alert Levels table for more information). We will continue to keep our website current with new information and announce updated policies when the campus moves to a different risk phase.

We greatly appreciate all of your efforts and achievements during this difficult summer semester. Together we will continue to navigate through these challenging times while advancing the university’s critical missions of fostering innovation, creativity, knowledge transfer, and entrepreneurship that leads to positive transformation.

Sincerely, 

Andy Weyrich, Vice President for Research
Diane Pataki, Associate Vice President for Research
Erin Rothwell, Associate Vice President for Research


Research Operations Update - August 17, 2020

August 17, 2020

As a reminder, University of Utah’s onsite research is still restricted to “Limited Research Activities”ONLY while the U remains in the Orange Phase (see the Research Alert Levels table for more information).

Here are the VPR COVID-19 updates:

  • Temporary Policy: Guidance for Site Monitoring of Clinical Investigations
    The VPR Office has posted a temporary guidance related to on-site monitoring (including study initiation visits) and remote monitoring by external sponsors. All on-site monitoring visits are currently restricted until further notice. See the Temporary Policy: Clinical Research Monitoring Guidance for more details
  • Association of American Universities (AAU) – COVID-19 Video
    The AAU has created a 30-second video on research universities working on the frontline to battle the COVID-19 crisis. The U is proud to be a part of the AAU and the fight against COVID-19. Please feel free to share this video on your social media platforms.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to provide updated information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep limited research operations running smoothly and safely during these challenging events.


Research Operations Update - August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

As a reminder, University of Utah’s onsite research is still restricted to “Limited Research Activities” ONLY while the U remains in the Orange Phase (see the Research Alert Levels table for more information).

Here is the VPR COVID-19 update:

  • Fall 2020 Undergraduate Research Policy Information
    All types of undergraduate researchers will be permitted onsite in the upcoming semester. This includes Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and honors students. Approvals from the Department Chair and Dean (or designee) are still required, but you no longer have to notify Diane Pataki.

    Students should work remotely during the “two-week pause” from September 28 – October 9 and when all classes transition to online format after Thanksgiving break. See Fall 2020 Undergraduate Research Policy for more details.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to provide updated information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep limited research operations running smoothly and safely during these challenging events.


Research Operations Update - August 3, 2020

August 3, 2020

As a reminder, University of Utah’s onsite research is still restricted to “Limited Research Activities” ONLY while the U remains in the Orange Phase (see the Research Alert Levels table for more information.
 
Here is the COVID-19 Update:

  • Ordering and Receiving PPE and Sanitization Supplies
    General Stores & Recieving is working hard to secure the necessary supplies for Personal Protection and sanitization, but they   may become intermittent as the demand continue to rise during the COVID-19 crisis. Please order the necessary PPE supplies for your department/unit as soon as possible.We recommend ordering on a regular basis and avoid mass stockpiling to help ensure all departments/units receive sufficient PPE supplies.

    If your building is closed, you must make accommodations for someone to collect deliveries from General Stores & Receiving to avoid unnecessary delays.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to provide updated information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep limited research operations running smoothly and safely during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update - July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

University of Utah’s onsite research is still restricted to “Limited Research Activities” ONLY  (see the Research Alert Levels table for more information.) As the number of positive Coronavirus cases increases in Utah, we strongly urge our research community to remain diligent in all hygiene and protective efforts, and practice caution with all onsite research activities.

  • AAMC and CITI Program research training for return to campus in the fall
    The AAMC has collaborated with CITI Program to launch a complimentary course to train research staff, students, and faculty on COVID-19 safety as they return to campus this fall. The course features recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and includes optional modules on specific areas such as research with human subjects and safe lab reactivation involving animal research. The complimentary course is available through Oct. 1, 2020.

Research Operations Update - June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

University of Utah’s onsite research is still restricted to “Limited Research Activities” ONLY while the U remains in the Orange Phase, (see the Research Alert Levels table for more information.) As the number of positive Coronavirus cases increases in Utah, we strongly urge our research community to remain diligent in all hygiene and protective efforts, and practice caution with all onsite research activities. 

Here are this week’s updates:

  • Executive Order from White House on Immigration Restrictions
    On Monday, June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order  titled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak”. As of this moment, the order will go into effect on June 24, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Please see the full statement from Vice President Weyrich on the impacts of this Executive Order on our University of Utah community.
  • Dr. Good Addresses the Latest Utah Coronavirus Numbers in the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Please take a moment to view the COVID-19 video update from Dr. Michael Good, SVP of Health Sciences, on case counts in Utah, how the UofU Health system is handling hospitalization rates, updates on how to prevent community transmission, and how the state of Utah continues to respond to the pandemic.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to provide updated information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep limited research operations running smoothly and safely during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update - June 10, 2020

June 10, 2020

  • Face Covering Policy
    There is a campus-wide face covering policy described at the University’s return to campus website. While many resources on this site are provided in anticipation of the Fall semester, the face covering policy is in effect now and applies to everyone who comes to campus.
  • Bridge Training and Attestation Form for Faculty & Staff
    There is a new, mandatory safety training video and attestation form that must be completed for all faculty and staff who come to campus.
  • Guidelines & Procedures to Request Undergraduate Employees in Onsite Research Activities
    There is a new approval process for undergraduate students to participate in onsite research activities (on campus or at other University of Utah research sites or facilities). Students must be university employees paid from external grants (5000 funds). In addition, the PI must receive approval from (1) their Department Chair, (2) their Dean’s Office, and (3) the Dean’s Office of the student’s major, if different. Approvals must be sent to SVP’s designee, not to the VPR office.

Research Operations Update - June 1, 2020

June 1, 2020

University of Utah is still in Orange Phase
As a reminder, the University of Utah is still in Moderate Risk Status (Orange Phase). Faculty and staff should not come to campus and continue to work remotely from home with the exception of limited research activities. An expected date to move to Low Health Risk Status (Yellow Phase) is still unknown. In the meantime, please continue to follow the health and safety guidelines for Orange Phase.

Eccles Institute of Human Genetics is reopened
The Eccles Institute of Human Genetics (EIHG) has been thoroughly disinfected due to a positive COVID-19 case in the building. The EIHG building is now reopened to Limited Research Activities Only under the university’s Orange Phase conditions.

Return to Campus
Information about campus instructional activities for Fall Semester 2020 is now available on the university’s Return to Campus website.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate through these challenging times together. Thank you for your contributions in helping us keep the campus community safe and healthy and we hope to see you all soon.


Research Operations Update - May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

We hope that you are safe and well. Last week, we officially moved to the orange alert level for UofU limited research activities. We would like to express our appreciation for your support and patience as we continue to navigate through these challenging events together. Please remember to frequently visit the VPR COVID-19 and Research Alert Levels webpages as updates continue to evolve.

Here is the VPR Research COVID-19 update:

Laboratory Public Safety Video
In an effort to keep our campus safe, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) has created a laboratory safety video to help us minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. We encourage you to watch this short video on laboratory etiquette, social distancing, proper personal protective wear, disinfecting workspaces, and more.

Reminder from the Graduate School and Office Postdoctoral Affairs
Graduate student and postdoctoral research activities under the ORANGE alert level must follow the published guidelines available on the VP for research website VPR website. Under the ORANGE alert level, onsite graduate student research activities should be limited. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are not comfortable working onsite should not be asked to do so. More information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Reminder for researchers returning to campus (travel)
Anyone returning to campus after domestic travel should fill out the returning traveler self-reporting form and follow the instructions provided.

The university is requiring faculty, students, postdocs and staff returning from international travel from any country to self-isolate and implement physical distancing. Individuals who fall into this category must fill out the returning traveler self-reporting form and follow the instructions provided.

As always, please do not hesitate to send us your feedback as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible.  Thank you helping us keep the campus community safe and healthy.

 


Research Operations Update - May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

We hope that you are all doing well as we continue to navigate together during these uncertain and challenging times. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) is here to support the UofU research community and remains operational during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are the VPR Research COVID-19 updates:

Health and Safety Requirements for Level Orange (Limited Research Operations)
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety has sent out an important memorandum on Health and Safety Requirements for Level Orange (Limited Research Operations). It is essential that all personnel comply with the additional safety measures to help minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. 

Research Alert Levels Table
The Research Alert Levels table was recently updated on May 11, 2020. This table is a living document and will change as university guidelines and policies continue to evolve. Please contact info@ocm.utah.edu for questions on how to restart animal research programs.

Research Town Hall Materials
Thank you to everyone who attended the Research Town hall on May 6. You can access the town hall recording and materials in the Ubox folder.

Frequently Asked Questions
A Frequently Asked Questions page was posted on the VPR COVID-19 website. The FAQ page references information on limited research activity, telecommuting, PPE, and more.

Health and Safety Posters
The Resources for Researchers webpage has posted a few helpful documents from the Center for Disease Control and Salt Lake County Health Department.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running as smooth as possible during these challenging events. 

 


Research Operations Update - May 4, 2020

May 4, 2020

We hope that you are all doing well as we continue to navigate together during these uncertain and challenging times. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) is here to support the UofU research community and remains operational during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The university is still at the red hazard level. We anticipate moving to the orange level on May 11, which will give researchers time to review the guidelines and prepare for this phase. Below are a few helpful resources to help your research operations transition to the orange hazard level:

The VPR office is hosting a Virtual Research Town Hall is on May 6th at 1 pm. There will be a Q&A session to address any questions or concerns related to research operations & activities. Space is limited, RSVP and submit your questions here.

Lastly, a memorandum regarding hiring policies and salary increases funded by grants and contracts was updated to reflect some additional policies.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update - May 1, 2020 

May 1, 2020

The University of Utah is currently at the "Red Alert Level" and research is restricted to essential activities only


Research Operations Update - April 27, 2020 

April 27, 2020

We hope that you are all doing well as we continue to navigate together during these uncertain and challenging times. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) is here to support the UofU research community and remains operational during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are the weekly research community updates:

  • The Office of Research Participant Advocacy is working round the clock to assist researchers with language support such as translating study documents, informed consents, surveys, and informational materials. For more information, please call the office at (801) 585-6745.
  • A memorandum was recently sent out regarding hiring policies and salary increases funded by grants and contracts.
  • As a reminder, please check to see if your COVID-related research project is already captured at the COVID-19 research activities page. If it’s not listed, please fill out the VPR COVID-19 web form below to be added to the database and the mailing list for the 3i weekly COVID research newsletter.
  • President Ruth Watkins and Vice President for Research Andrew Weyrich published an op-ed piece in the Deseret News regarding Why Research Universities Matter.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events.


Research Operations Update - April 21, 2020 

April 21, 2020

We hope that you are all doing well as we continue to navigate together during these uncertain and challenging times. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) is here to support the UofU research community and remains operational during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are the research community updates:

  • Our campus response to COVID-19 will be stronger with a central repository and communications across all researchers conducting COVID-related research. Please check to see if your COVID-related research project is already captured at the COVID-19 research activities page. If it’s not listed, please fill out the VPR COVID-19 web form below to be added to the database and the mailing list for the 3i weekly COVID research newsletter.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events.


Research Operations Update - April 17, 2020 

April 17, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) is here to support the UofU research community and remains operational during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are the weekly research community updates: 

  • The Office of Research Participant Advocacy has created a webpage for volunteers who are interested in participating in COVID-19 research from home.
  • As a reminder, all undergraduate studies have been moved to an online platform for the summer 2020 semester. In partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research, a memo was sent out recently by the Office of Academic Affairs in regards to student research activities on campus. Consistent with the move to online student services, undergraduate research must also be conducted remotely. We realize that this maybe a constraint for some mentors that conduct laboratory, clinical, or field research. However, our student’s safety is our highest priority and responsibility, and we hope you can accommodate the need for alternative research training opportunities during these extraordinary circumstances.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 

 


Research Operations Update - April 10, 2020 

April 10, 2020

We hope that you are all doing well as we continue to navigate together during these uncertain and challenging times. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) is here to support the UofU research community and remains operational during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are the weekly research community updates: 

  • The 3i Initiative has created a weekly newsletter that will contain updates on COVID-19 research news, including calls for collaborators, recent news and guidance, funding announcements, and important events. You can subscribe to the newsletter HERE.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of submissions for the Emerging COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 seed grant research initiative, the VPR Office will be sending out notifications of funding decisions over the next few days. 
  • The VPR Office has posted a memo and PDF regarding the required Universal Masking Policies for Human Subjects Research Related Visits.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update - April 8, 2020 

April 8, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are today’s research community updates:

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update - April 6, 2020 

April 6, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are today’s research community updates:

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update - April 3, 2020 

April 3, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

Here are today’s research community updates:  

As previously noted, the VPR Office is phasing out the daily emails for the VPR COVID-19 Updates. Today’s update will mark the end of daily email reminders. Going forward we will send updates weekly or as needed to highlight major changes/additions. COVID-19 related research updates from our units, leadership, and community will be thoroughly and consistently updated on the VPR Website – please check this site regularly for updates.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 

 


Research Operations Update - April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Here are today’s research community updates:

  • The Research Town Hall materials (video, slides, and chatroom transcript) are now available on box. Please download the video to access audio and sound.
  • The Office of Research Participant Advocacy (ORPA) guidance has been updated. Maintaining open communication with study participants during this time is very crucial. ORPA is available to assist in communicating with your participants about the changing environment and how it impacts their participation.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events.


Research Operations Update - April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

We would like to express our gratitude to the UofU research community for attending the Research Town Hall today. Thank you to everyone for your input and participation!  We are extremely proud of the research community for working together to keep research operations and activities running as smoothly as possible during this challenging time. The combined efforts across campus truly demonstrates what it means to be OneU!

We hope that we have answered all of your questions and concerns at the Town Hall meeting. Please feel free to submit any additional questions to the Google Form and we will respond to you as soon as possible. The Town Hall materials (recording and presentation slides) will also be available on the VPR website in the near future.

Here are today’s research community updates:

  • The Institutional Biosafety Committee guidance has been updated.
  • Clarification on the recent message regarding “Temporary changes for Documenting Informed Consent during COVID19 Pandemic.”
    • The recent mandate to suspend patient signatures on informed consent for high-risk patients is for standard of care consent only, not for research.

As a reminder, the VPR office will start phasing out the daily emails for the VPR COVID-19 Updates. Please remember to frequently visit the VPR website to access the daily updates.

As always, please continue to give us feedback on how we can do better. Thank you again for your commitment and dedication to research at the U. Be safe and be well.


Research Operations Update - March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The VPR office will start phasing out the email reminders for the VPR COVID-19 Daily Updates. Please visit the VPR website to access the daily updates.

As a reminder, the VPR Office is hosting a Virtual Research Town Hall on April 1st at 1:00 pm. The Town Hall will include:

  • An “Opening Welcome” from President Ruth V. Watkins
  • UofU Research Continuity Updates
  • Open Q&A Session

If you have any questions you would like us to address at the meeting, please fill out this form before the Town Hall. This Town Hall is open to all of our research community, however, space is limited to the first 300 participants. Zoom Meeting link: https://utah.zoom.us/j/268865038

Here are today’s research community updates:

  • The Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) is requesting that researchers who are carrying out or considering COVID-19-related research fill out a brief REDCap survey. The intent is to identify opportunities for collaboration, areas of expertise, and to connect researchers with funding opportunities. Please fill out the survey here.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update - March 30, 2020

March 30, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The VPR Office is hosting a Virtual Research Town Hall on April 1st at 1:00 pm. The Town Hall will include:

  • An “Opening Welcome” from President Ruth V. Watkins
  • UofU Research Continuity Updates
  • Open Q&A Session

If you have any questions you would like us to address at the meeting, please fill out this form here before the Town Hall. This Town Hall is open to all of our research community, however, space is limited to the first 300 participants. Zoom Meeting link: https://utah.zoom.us/j/268865038

In addition, the seed grant for COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 is due tomorrow, March 31st. The RFA can be accessed here.

Here are today’s research community updates:  

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events.


Research Operations Update - March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We are getting numerous questions about effort reporting and charging salaries on grants during this period. Please see this expanded guidance from OSP

We would like to express our gratitude to all of the research faculty and staff that have tirelessly worked together to donate their PPE to U Health. We are truly humbled by these incredible efforts across campus. THANK YOU!

So far research labs have donated: 

  • Gloves: 87000 (~870 boxes)
  • N95 Respirators: 540
  • Safety glasses: 1165
  • Face Shields: 180
  • Rear closing disposable gowns: 455

Here are today’s research community updates: 

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 

 


Research Operations Update - March 26, 2020

March 26, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Thank you for the enormous response to the request for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE). We’re continuing to ask researchers on campus to provide a summary of PPE that they have on hand and would be willing to donate in support of University healthcare operations.  The hospital is requesting specific types of PPE, as listed on the donation form.

For logistical reasons, we are not collecting PPE at the present time -- we are compiling an inventory of available PPE, contact information, and location. If the need arises, the PPE will be collected by EHS personnel with 24-hrs notification.  We recognize this will require coordination to access laboratory space that might be currently shut down and we are prepared to facilitate that process.

The VPR office is currently working to coordinate this call for PPE donations with other University organizations outside the research community.

Here are today’s research community updates:

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 


Message from Andy and Sam Weyrich

March 26, 2020


Research Operations Update - March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As of Wednesday, March 25, 2020, EHS personnel will begin conducting periodic walk-throughs of all research buildings, verifying that personnel are complying with University guidance on physical distancing, confirming that ongoing work is limited to essential functions, and verifying that building conditions are safe and stable.

Just as a reminder – please help us spread the word that we are gathering inventories of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies needed by the University of Utah Hospital and Clinics. Fill out the inventory form here.

Here are today’s research community updates:

Additionally, please see this video message from Sam and Andy Weyrich that was sent out to all research administration staff earlier today.

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events. 


Research Operations Update – March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Just as a reminder – please spread the word that we are gathering information on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other needed supplies to give to the University of Utah Hospital and Clinics. Please fill out the inventory form here.

For PIs who receive external funding, please make sure you have read about COVID-19 Impacts on Sponsored Projects.

Here are today’s research community updates:

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible. We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible during these challenging events.


Research Operations Update - March 23, 2020 

March 23, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Many researchers have inquired about donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other needed supplies to the University of Utah Hospital and Clinics. Thank you so much for your generosity! To submit an inventory of equipment and supplies that you may have in your department or laboratory, please use the link at the bottom the COVID-19 Research page.

Just a reminder - as research activities ramp down, under no circumstances should researchers take materials other than laptops, data storage devices, or notebooks offsite (e.g., to their homes). All essential research activity must take place within the confines of an appropriate laboratory space to ensure research continuity, health and safety, and security. 

Specifically, under no circumstances is it appropriate to remove animals from IACUC approved housing or research spaces. Similarly, removal of hazardous, biological, or radioactive material from approved research spaces is not allowed.

We know that many of you are concerned about how restrictions on travel and essential research activities are impacting grants, contracts, and research funding. Please see updated information about COVID-19 impacts to Sponsored Projects.

Here are other research community updates: 

Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance on the VPR website as quickly as possible.


"Thank You" From Vice President Weyrich

March 23, 2020

 


Research Operations Update - March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

Thank you for your monumental efforts to identify and implement essential research operations and personnel. The majority of research laboratories have developed continuity plans and revised their protocols to operate with minimal on-campus staff, physical distancing, and best practices for personal and public health. We know that this has taken a tremendous amount of time and effort, and we are extremely grateful. 

Although VPR Central Research Administration operations are largely running at full capacity, the majority of services are performed remotely. Onsite VPR operations are limited to essential services that ensure animal welfare and environmental health and safety in laboratories.

Here are today’s research community updates:

As we enter the weekend, we are working with Deans/Research Deans and Center/Institute Directors to further refine guidance on essential research operations within their Units. Thank you for all of your input as we strive to provide needed information and guidance at the VPR website as quickly as possible.

Andy Weyrich, Vice President for Research
Diane Pataki, Associate Vice President for Research
Erin Rothwell, Associate Vice President for Research


Research Operations Update - March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains open and operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Below are the new updates:

Due to the evolving communications regarding COVID-19, please check the VPR website daily for updates and announcements.

 


Research Operations Update - March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

Dear Research Community,

We are grateful that all of you are safe. It’s important that we take care of each other and demonstrate patience and support during these stressful events.  We appreciate all of your hard work to keep research operations running smoothly as much as possible. On top of all the challenges with COVID-19, we experienced a 5.7 magnitude earthquake this morning. 

The VPR website now has an earthquake information webpage.

Today’s updates:

  • Research buildings have gone through initial assessment, and with the exception of the Browning building, have been cleared for re-occupancy. Essential personnel only should check laboratory spaces for damage and report hazardous conditions to Environmental Health and Safety (1-6590 or EHS website.
  • All vivaria have been evaluated and remain operational.
  • Please check the Central Research Operations Guidance page for the current status of research support operations for continued guidance.
  • Detailed guidance if there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in your work area is available. Please review and share this guidance document.

The VPR website will be continually updated with current information about central research operations, investigator laboratory guidance, and funding agency updates.

Again, thank you for all of your hard work. The University of Utah’s research community is doing an outstanding job under very difficult circumstances and we are so grateful for each and everyone of you.  

Andy Weyrich, Vice President for Research
Diane Pataki, Associate Vice President for Research
Erin Rothwell, Associate Vice President for Research


Research Operations Update - March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains open and operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Below are the new updates:

  • The Graduate School has created a new webpage for operational updates related to COVID-19. Access the Graduate School website here.
  • The Office of Comparative Medicine (OCM) has posted a guidance for research operations. Access the guidance webpage here.

Due to the evolving communications regarding COVID-19, please check the VPR website daily for updates and announcements.


Research Operations Update - March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains open and operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As of this moment, UofU laboratories are currently open and functional. Laboratories are recommended to develop and/or review established local continuance plans, identify the minimum personnel necessary for lab operations, and create a laboratory shutdown plan in the event that research operations need to be ramped down on short notice. Below are resources to assist with research planning and guidance:

Due to the rapid communications on the coronavirus outbreak, please check the VPR COVID website daily for updates and announcements.


Guidance for Research Planning and Continuity

March 13, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains open and fully operational as we closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and continuance of research operation plans are in place.  

The VPR office is also encouraging research laboratories to develop and/or review established local continuance plans. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, or other infectious agents in the future, it is possible that a significant number of laboratory personnel will be absent. We recommend that each facility/laboratory develop a written continuity plan.

Examples of elements to consider include:

Identify the minimum essential personnel and ensure they know what to do in the event of suspended operations.

  • Encourage employees to telecommute, especially job duties that do not require them to be on campus. Note that telecommuting is not appropriate for all jobs. All employees who telecommute are required to follow the University’s Telecommuting Policy for Staff Employees (Policy 5-140) and Telecommuting Guides (Guideline 5-140) and complete the University of Utah Telecommuting Form.
  • Review important operational questions, such as: Are there sufficient back-up personnel if these personnel become unavailable? How will employees be trained to ensure their safety while they are at work?

Create a communication plan. All emergency contact information should be shared between personnel and departmental leadership (e.g., cell phone numbers).

Identify critical processes that will need to be maintained if the campus is shut down and review samples/facilities that are at risk of harm in the laboratory or facility. For example, do you have live animals that will need feeding? Do you have equipment that cannot be shut down and will need regular maintenance? Are all critical equipment on emergency power and are all refrigerator/freezers connected to alarms with remote monitoring?

Review telecommuting needs. Ensure that you and your key personnel have remote access to files, data, servers, IT devices, etc.

Keep amounts of hazardous materials waste to a minimum. Be mindful that the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) waste disposal group may also be affected by illness, increasing pick up wait times.

Start prioritizing experiments. 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. Ensure that critical materials are secured.

Prepare for delays in ordering. Ensure that you have sufficient materials/supplies for critical functions, e.g., PPE, CO2 tanks, liquid nitrogen tanks. Contact vendors/collaborators to discuss plans to suspend regular shipments (receiving and outgoing).

Be cognizant of upcoming deadlines. Although central research administration remains open, reviews by the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IRB), etc., may be prolonged or delayed.

Keep personnel up-to-date on wellness training. All personnel should be trained on what to do if they are concerned that they have been exposed to an illness. This also includes training on prevention methods to keep a healthy and safe work environment. Please print and post the Safe Laboratory Guidance document in your laboratories/facilities. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has helpful tips on what to do if you are exposed to the coronavirus.

Create a Rapid Laboratory Shutdown Plan. Please create a contingency plan in the event the University needs to suspend and/or significantly reduce laboratory research operations on short notice (i.e., 24-72 hours).

The VPR office has created an example template regarding instructional laboratory guidance. Your written plan should be shared with your Department Chair or Division Chief. We hope that advance planning will allow everyone in your group to focus on their own efforts and work together as a team. Be prepared and stay safe!


Letter from the Office of the Vice President for Research

March 11, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to inform the UofU’s research community that the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) continues to provide full services and resources during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As the UofU continues to closely monitor COVID-19, we strongly encourage all research groups, laboratories, and facilities to create an operations plan to prepare for any potential disruptions to research activities. Although UofU research operations are currently functional, we hope that research groups on campus will take proactive steps now to help mitigate impacts to research activities in the case of an illness outbreak. Please consider contingencies, such as remote access and telecommuting, due to the possibility of university restrictions and building access. The VPR office will also have its own emergency plans in place to ensure the continuity of research operations on campus.

Our main priority is the health and safety of the UofU campus community. As a reminder, please check the university’s coronavirus website for regular updates, guidance, and alerts, as well as best practices to reduce the spread of any type of illness. Thank you for your patience and consideration.

Best,

Andy Weyrich, Vice President for Research
Diane Pataki, Associate Vice President for Research
Erin Rothwell, Associate Vice President for Research

 

Last Updated: 10/19/20