Last Update: 4:30 pm 3/24/2020
Major Updates: Restricted access to facilities and payments to personnel during Governor Pritzker's Stay at Home directive.
The offices supporting research are here to help as you navigate the unprecedented events related to COVID-19. During the State of Illinois' Stay at Home order, we will continue to provide services--to the extent possible--from our remote workplaces. Email is the highly preferred communication method. Using call forwarding, our goal is to have staff available to answer the main office phones and individual office phones during business hours. Primary contact information for our offices can be found at the bottom of this page (mobile browser) or in the box to the right on this page (desktop browser).
Note: Members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to read the guidance provided by the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html) regarding preventive steps you can take to avoid the Coronavirus and the spread of respiratory diseases. Any personnel exhibiting any symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) should stay home and seek medical attention as appropriate.
Laboratories can still be accessed by authorized personnel (as designated by their department chair or school director), but employees are required to work at home if possible. Personnel who must work on campus should notify the ISU Police Department (email@example.com) of the times they will be in their building. All employees should observe social distancing guidelines. PIs cannot require their students (undergraduate or graduate) to work on campus, but essential functions must be maintained. PIs who choose to close their research facility may do so. An excellent guideline for temporarily closing a facility can be found at https://www.k-state.edu/covid-19/documents/LabHibernationPlan.pdf.
For the duration of the Governor’s stay at home directive, employees will be paid at their current rate, including any applicable overtime pay, in accordance with university policy and wage and hour laws. Contact HR (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
There is still a need for essential personnel to carry out their duties. Individual units should have already identified essential research personnel that will require access to laboratory or other facilities for safety, animal health, continuity of operations, and other critical functions, and should have submitted the names of these individuals to the ISU Police Department (email@example.com). In general, such functions involve human health, safety, and welfare, and the protection/preservation of research animals, specimens, or equipment. Please contact your chair or director to ensure that all essential personnel have been identified by your department or school.
Graduate students can work on research projects, but should work at home as much as possible. For essential work on campus, students must comply with social distancing guidelines (see https://coronavirus.illinoisstate.edu/). Studies involving human subjects research may require protocol modifications in order to observe social distancing requirements (see https://research.illinoisstate.edu/ethics/human/coronavirus/). Thesis and dissertation defenses can still be held; see the Graduate School coronavirus page for additional information.
Only undergraduate students with essential job functions (as identified by the department/unit) should be working on campus. Supervisors cannot require undergraduates to report to work, and any students who are not feeling well should not come to campus.
Agencies are being given substantial flexibility by the Office of Management and Budget. How each agency implements this flexibility can be found through the individual agency websites. Be prepared to submit on time, as Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) staff will continue to have the ability to submit proposals. The Council on Government Relations (COGR) has a helpful website that tracks COVID-19 related grant issues.
Follow University, State, and Federal guidance on travel (COVID-19 travel page: https://coronavirus.illinoisstate.edu/study-abroad-travel-advisories/). The State is currently prohibiting nearly all travel and exceptions must be granted by a Vice President. We recommend not making any travel arrangements until national travel restrictions begin to relax.
You may experience a delay in the recruitment of subjects, meeting study objectives, etc. Check your granting agency’s website for guidance on dealing with such delays. At the very least, most projects will be eligible for a no-cost extension, but additional information may be available from specific agencies. Formal requests to external sponsors for award extensions must be made through RSP (ResearchOffice@IllinoisState.edu or 309-438-2528), but you may wish to contact your program officer for guidance before requesting an extension.
Since changes in protocols have to be approved prior to implementation, contact the Research Ethics and Compliance Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-438-5527) if you need to change the timing, location, or method of interaction for any interviews, focus groups, recruitment, etc. Pauses in research are allowed, but protocol modifications may be required. See https://research.illinoisstate.edu/ethics/human/coronavirus/ for additional information.
Animal care facilities will operate as usual. Researchers who care for their own animals must continue to provide care for the animals during the Stay at Home order. All essential personnel who must have access to care for the animals should have already been identified. For any questions contact the Research Ethics and Compliance Office (REC@ilstu.edu or 309-438-2529).
By this point, PIs and other responsible personnel should be implementing plans for substantial disruptions to research activities. Some important areas to consider are: