❖ Can I still work in the lab and use campus research facilities?
We are strongly encouraging researchers to focus on activities that can be done remotely. If there is research that must be conducted on campus, faculty can submit a request to continue those activities. The request should justify the urgency and necessity of the activity and include a plan to address minimization of exposure of our researchers. Faculty can submit their requests through InfoReady:
Campus researchers may continue to conduct their research if they receive approval. However, all researchers should develop plans in the event operations are further disrupted.Please see additional information here: https://www.uml.edu/alert/coronavirus/3-14-20-research.aspx
❖ What should I be doing to prepare for possible disruptions in operations?
Campus researchers should be developing plans now in the event there is a change in campus operations and/or personnel are unable to come to campus.
❖ What should laboratory-based researchers be doing to prepare?
Currently, access to university research spaces has not been restricted but, research groups should make plans in the event campus operations are disrupted. Some steps to consider:
· Remind laboratory staff and students that safety standards must continue to be followed, including the requirement that no one should be working in a lab by themselves.
· Review emergency procedures with researchers and staff, and update signage and contact information.
· Ensure that high-risk materials (radioactive, biohazards, chemicals) are secured and freezers are labeled with emergency contact information and secure all waste.
· Assess and prioritize critical laboratory activities and identify procedures and processes that require regular personnel attention (e.g. cell culture maintenance, animal care, human subjects contacts).
· Identify personnel able to safely perform essential activities and ensure that all staff have the appropriate training. Document critical procedures with step-by-step instructions.
· If possible, train research staff to fill in for others who may be unable to come to campus.
· Coordinate with colleagues to identify ways to cover critical activities.
· Identify research activities that can be delayed or completed without compromising the research project.
· Define shutdown processes in the event normal operations are halted.
❖ Are undergraduate and graduate students (paid or unpaid) who are conducting research projects allowed on campus to do so?
Yes, as laboratories and facilities remain open, students may continue working on research projects (although they should not be compelled to do so). Faculty supervisors will need to make a case for the necessity for unpaid students to be on campus.
❖ Can I travel to a research-related conference? What about travel to do field work or meet with a colleague?
Per university guidance pertaining to travel, “All work-related travel (domestic and international) is canceled until further notice.”
❖ I have a grant to host a conference on campus. Will I still be able to host the meeting?
Per university guidance pertaining to travel, “All conferences, meetings, and seminars hosted by UMass Lowell that include external parties should be moved to a virtual environment or canceled.” Email any questions to VCRI@uml.edu .
❖ Can I continue to hold research lab meetings with my staff and students?
Per university guidance pertaining to research, “We must shift work habits to significantly reduce the number of physical interactions amongst our graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff.” You are strongly encouraged you to hold lab meetings virtually using tools available on campus such as Skype for Business and Zoom.