Research Continuity and Mitigation due to COVID-19

Research Continuity, Reopen, and Researcher Guidance in Relation to COVID-19

This page contains information about UNT’s approach to resuming research operations on campus in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNT is currently in the stage 2 of the research reopen plan. This page also addresses communications, guidance for researchers, funding opportunities, and other considerations. 

Research Reopen Plan

A research reopen plan was created on the principles, stages, and special topics of the UNT plan to reopen research. A research reopen townhall was to discuss such held on 5/6/20.

Current COVID-19 Communications

Official UNT System COVID-19 response guidelines

Official UNT System announcement on 6/25/20 of face coverings required at all UNT locations

Official UNT Office of the President COVID-19 communications

Official City of Denton COVID-19 communications

CDC recommendations for time to return to work after COVID-19 positive test

Archived Communications from VP Mark McLellan

March 23rd Continuity of Research Townhall Meeting 

March 21st Message from VPRI Mark McLellan 

March 18th Message from VPRI Mark McLellan

March 17th Message from VPRI Mark McLellan

March 16th Message from VPRI Mark McLellan

Funding Opportunities for Research on COVID-19

The VPRI research development staff at UNT developed a COVID-19 list of vetted funding opportunities

Best Practices and Guidance for Researchers

As part of mitigating the impact COVID-19 has on UNT research, we asked faculty to submit research continuity plans so they could communicate their contact information and research continuity needs when UNT operations moved to a reduced or restricted access. This information should have been provided to your departmental chair and AVPRI pamela.padilla@unt.edu. Research guidance and precautions are provided and updated regularly. Highest priority is given to all research inquiries, submissions, and modifications related to COVID-19.

Human Subjects Research

The human subjects team has established IRB guidance for current studies.

Animal Subjects Research 

 The IACUC team has established  IACUC guidance for current animal studies.

Remote access

As part of the social distancing protocols (reduce group settings, maintain a 6-feet (1.8 m) between individuals).
We advise faculty researchers to consider precautionary measures including:

  • Rotation schedules for researchers within research space
  • Cleaning work areas with disinfectants (shared equipment, shared computers, work benches etc.)
  • Develop a communication plan for researchers within your group
  • Communicate to your department chair your emergency contact information
  • Conduct group/lab meetings via Zoom or other videoconferencing capabilities. Refer to UNT resources for remote work.
  • Refer to guidelines communicated in VPRI letters to the university
  • Cancel travel unless essential (refer to UNT guidelines)

Prioritization

Depending upon your research, consider prioritizing work that can only be carried out in your research facility, and put off work amenable to remote support, such as data analysis.

Travel

Refer to UNT guidelines for travel and on canceled travel. Note that it is best to obtain reimbursement from airlines, hotels etc for any canceled travel plans.

Conferences

Conferences and large meetings have been either canceled or moved to remote delivery. Refer to organizers of conferences for such information.

Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate and Undergraduate Research

At this time, researcher staff and graduate students are allowed to participate in research and maintain research priorities within laboratories and other university facilities if they are not sick, maintain social distancing, and their faculty mentor is allowing such. Please carry your UNT ID on you if on campus. Implement alternative research related work that can be done remotely (e.g. literature review, data analysis, writing). Note that some research facilities may have limited access at this time, so students should work with their mentors to determine the best course of action for completing their research needs. Additional sources of information include the Departmental units, Toulouse Graduate School, and Honors College.

Laboratory ramp down preparations

In the event of another university closure, the VPRI created a rampdown checklist to assist with the process within your lab.

Division of Research and Innovation units

The Division of Research and Innovation staff are working remotely. Thus, unless otherwise noted, functions pertaining to grant and proposal submissions, funding agency updates, contract negotiations, IACUC and IRB reviews are operating normally. All staff can be reached via MS Teams.