COVID-19 FAQ for Researchers
Last Updated 2 P.M. Monday, March 30
What are the latest communications from the Office of Research on COVID-19?
Are there any upcoming events/meetings being held virtually?
We will have a second all-campus Zoom meeting on research activity on Tuesday, March 31, at 1:30 pm. As we did last time, the meeting will begin with brief updates from VP Gary Ostrander and AVPs Laurel Fulkerson and Kerry Peluso.
Information on the meeting is available here.
Director of Human Subjects Howard Stone will hold a Zoom meeting for researchers involved in human subjects research on Tuesday, March 31, at 11 a.m. The meeting is available here.
On Thursday, April 2, at 11 a.m., a session will be offered by SRA and the FSU Research Foundation focused on research administration topics. Brief updates will be provided by Kerry Peluso, Pamela Ray (Senior Director, SRA), and Heather Cave (Director, FSURF) followed by a Q&A session. Included will be updates on the RAMP Project, Research Foundation transition to OMNI Project, eSPEAR training, and other topics related to our current working environment.
Information on the meeting is available here.
Is there any overarching guide for how we should handle moving our research operations to a remote work space?
The Office of the Vice President for Research has published "Guidance About Research Continuity" to help researchers working to move some of their operations to remote work.
Will faculty be allowed on campus with access to our labs and offices?
Yes, the campus will remain open, and you will still have access to labs and other facilities for the foreseeable future. However, employees whose jobs are conducive to remote work are encouraged to do so with appropriate approval. The Office of Human Resources has posted temporary remote work guidelines.
Should we ship essential purchases to our homes?
The university strongly suggests the delay of purchases or entering into contracts that are not absolutely essential. For those essential purchases, FSU is relaxing normal protocols regarding where orders can be shipped. If you are working remotely from home, you can get items delivered to your home address with appropriate departmental approval and documentation. More information on that process is available here.
Will we still have access to the libraries and other campus resources?
FSU's physical libraries are closed until further notice, but they are still delivering assistance online. Please click here for more information.
Will mail and supplies continue to be delivered?
Will veterinary care for animals remain intact?
Yes. The Laboratory Animal Resources team will continue with its normal operations. LAR also has a long-standing emergency management plan that we will activate should the necessary circumstances arise. Should our workforce be reduced due to illness or caregiving needs, LAR will limit services to essential husbandry tasks, including provision of food and water and changing excessively soiled cages.
I have a grant application due soon. Will SRA and the Research Foundation still help me to submit?
Yes; we will continue all operations as normal.
Should my graduate student RA still come to work?
Graduate Assistants are considered students first and should follow travel restrictions for all students. Because Graduate Assistants are expected to perform their assigned duties and meet expectations of their roles and responsibilities, they should refrain from leaving the Tallahassee area if their duties are required to be performed on campus. Teaching Assistants are expected to host their sections online and, if feasible, should work remotely. Teaching Assistants who are not instructors of record should continue to work with their faculty mentors/supervisors to provide ongoing TA support either in person or remotely based on the duties of the assignment. The same applies for students who are working as a research assistant or in another graduate assistant role. Graduate assistants who have left the local area but are required to perform duties on-campus should notify their supervisors and consult with Human Resources.
What if graduate research assistants have to self-quarantine or isolate because of travel? How will they do their jobs?
Any faculty, staff or student who travels internationally or takes a cruise during the spring break will be asked to self-quarantine or isolate for 14 days upon their return. Supervisors are asked to show flexibility in how student workers perform their jobs if they are affected by self-quarantine or self-isolation requirements; please be flexible with work arrangements.
Can our graduate research assistants be paid from our federal grants?
We are still waiting on guidelines from many agencies.
Events and Travel
Can others come to campus?
Applications to the visiting scholar program from international scholars have been suspended. At this point, other visitors are allowed; see https://fda.fsu.edu/faculty-employment/appointments/procedures-for-inviting-an-unpaid-visiting-scholar-researcher for the most up-to-date information.
Should I cancel my travel plans?
Yes; as of March 12, the FSU has banned all domestic and international travel.
I am hosting an event in the spring semester. Shall I cancel or postpone it?
Events scheduled through the end of the spring semester should be canceled, postponed or moved to a virtual platform if possible.
If we have to cancel scheduled university travel, will it be reimbursed?
How shall I handle unexpected grant-related expenses due to the virus?
Federal agencies are starting to issue guidelines. For now, be sure to document any expenses.
I have a CRC grant involving travel or other activities being affected by the coronavirus. What do I do?
You may file a request for a budget amendment or time extension by visiting the online request form located at https://www.research.fsu.edu/research-offices/ord/crc/forms/time-extension-and-budget-amendment-request/. Decisions may be delayed, and your patience is appreciated.
Ongoing research projects
Can I continue/start a long-term experiment?
Every faculty member must decide what is in the best interest of their lab moving forward. The Office of Research will do its best to support researchers facing unusual circumstances in this rapidly evolving situation.
Will research involving human subjects continue?
FSU Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander and the Office for Human Subjects Protection (OHSP) announced the immediate cessation effective March 24, 2020, and until further notice of some research activities that involve in-person interactions or interventions with human research participants. Click here for more information.
My colleagues or I would like to conduct research related to COVID-19; what are the FSU IRB review requirements?
All proposed research involving human subjects must be submitted to the FSU Office for Human Subjects Protection (OHSP) to determine what federal regulatory and FSU policy human subject protection review requirements will apply. OHSP and the FSU IRB will as feasible try to ensure fast-tracking of such proposed research.
Will international users still be allowed to use the facility? What about users from other locations from within the United States?
The Mag Lab has discontinued its visitor program for the time being. They are still hoping to receive samples but will not allow new domestic or international visitors. For more information regarding the status of the MagLab please visit here.