COVID-19: Guidance
for the UD Research Community

LAST UPDATED: October 12, 2020

COVID-19: VIRTUAL TOWN HALL

The Research Office will host a Virtual Town Hall Monday October 26, 2-3 p.m., for important updates for the research community.

Registration is required for this event as the number of attendees is limited. This Town Hall will also be streamed on UD Live.

Register today UD Live

Campus Health and Safety Requirements

As fall semester begins, the University of Delaware is taking multiple steps to help protect the health and safety of all UD students, faculty, and staff and visitors.

RESEARCH REACTIVATION

During the first half of June, the University of Delaware expects to begin reactivating campus research operations on a limited basis — with the safety and wellbeing of our community as our highest priority.

COVID-19 RESEARCH NEWS

The University of Delaware research community is applying its expertise to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This webpage provides a compilation of this work. Please check back frequently for updates.

Current Guidance and FAQs

The University of Delaware continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus and to follow the guidance of public health officials. Visit UD’s Coronavirus webpage frequently for updated information for the entire UD community

Here, we provide UD researchers with guidance and resources for navigating under the “new normal,” from our process for safely reactivating research on campus, to funding opportunities and the latest news about UD research to thwart COVID-19.

We also want to answer questions you may have about research activities in this rapidly changing environment. See the link to the FAQs below, and send research-specific questions to UDResearch@udel.edu. For general questions, contact coronavirus@udel.edu.

Return to Research Guidance

UD is working to resume research operations

COVID-19 Funding

COVID-19 Specific Opportunities

COVID-19 Research News

UD Research Community Discovery News and Innovation

PI Return to Campus Request Form

Must be completed to access campus facilities

COVID-19 FAQs

General, Human Subject and Animal Subject FAQs

UD Workplace Guidelines

Return to campus guidelines for all UD employees

COVID-19:
VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS

 

View the October 12 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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Latest Campus Research Communication Updates

Communication for UD’s research community from the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

August 4, 2020 – UD opens phase 3 of research operations

August 4, 2020

Dear Members of the UD Research Community,

The University of Delaware’s research operations have been steadily resuming over the past two months — thanks to the hard work and vigilance of so many of you.

The Research Office recently surveyed the 1,541 researchers who were approved to return to campus, partner facilities and field sites during Phases 0–2. We wanted their perspectives on the research environment. Forty-six percent responded, including faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students. Among the key findings:

  • 99% agreed or strongly agreed that they understand the COVID-specific training, guidelines and protocols in place to safely conduct their work.
  • 95% agreed or strongly agreed that adherence to safety guidelines and protocols at their facility/location is high.
  • 95% agreed or strongly agreed that cleaning of restrooms and high-touch areas is adequate to ensure hygiene.
  • 8 out of 10 agreed or strongly agreed that they feel comfortable with Phase 3 activation in their workspace.

Based on external conditions with regard to COVID-19 prevalence and the state of UD’s research environment, coupled with our researchers’ confidence and comfort level in moving forward, we are officially opening Phase 3 of our research operations, effective Monday, August 10. As Phase 3 proceeds, we expect two-thirds of UD’s research community — an estimated 3,000 faculty, staff and students — to be back working on campus, at partner facilities and field sites by September 1.

Under Phase 3:

  • Research that can effectively be conducted remotely should continue remotely, including meetings, advising, etc.
  • An indoor density of, at most, one person per 125 square feet will allow two-thirds of laboratory personnel to be at work simultaneously. More importantly than the square footage, it is critical that work density continues to allow individuals to stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Additional in-person clinical/human subjects research and extension/outreach activities are permitted.
  • Common spaces may be used in a limited capacity. Specifically, at most, 10 individuals are permitted in a shared space provided that space can accommodate the total number of individuals separated by at least 6 feet. Common spaces cannot be used for eating/drinking at this time.
  • The Provost’s Office will initiate a process to permit faculty access to their offices.

In Phase 3, the following faculty members are required to complete application forms to return to campus:

  • If you are commencing research in a building that has not yet been brought back online, or if you are requesting access to conduct face-to-face human subjects research, please complete the PI Return to Campus form.
  • If you have been approved for access in a prior phase and you are bringing additional coworkers back, please complete the PI Return to Campus form, adding the new coworkers.
  • If you are seeking to host an outreach/community engagement/extension activity, please complete the Outreach and Community Engagement form.
  • All others who have been approved for Phase(s) 0–2 may proceed with increasing their indoor density consistent with Phase 3 guidelines without submitting a new request.
  • All application forms will be reviewed for approval by the PI’s department chair and dean, the provost and myself.

Please visit this webpage to access the online form, as well as links to the ramp-up checklist and the safety training required of each member of your team:

Research Reactivation Guidelines & Resources

Phase 3 researchers can expect these changes as their work on campus resumes:

  • One-time COVID-19 specific training by all employees and students prior to returning to research
  • A daily health questionnaire
  • Cloth face masks as the norm
  • Controlled access to buildings/facilities
  • Limited access to common areas/shared spaces
  • A density of no more than one researcher per 125 square feet, and maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Increased cleaning of bathrooms and high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, etc.

As we steadily reactivate research operations, I encourage you to share your thoughts and questions at UDresearch@udel.edu or at our next virtual town hall, Monday, August 17, 1-2 p.m. Town halls are being held every other Monday through August. Instances of non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols endanger our community and should be addressed immediately. Reports of non-compliance may be submitted anonymously to UD’s Compliance Hotline.

I want to thank all UD researchers, as well as our colleagues in Facilities – Maintenance and Operations, Custodial and University Services, and Environmental Health and Safety, for your dedication and collaboration. The health and safety of our community rests with each one of us. Let’s continue to look out for one another and stay strong!

Sincerely,
Charles G. Riordan
Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

June 23, 2020 – UD opens second phase of research operations

June 23, 2020

Dear Members of the UD Research Community,

Earlier this month, the University of Delaware launched Phase 1 of our research reactivation on campus. The return of this initial group of more than 700 researchers to our labs and field sites has gone extremely well, with research teams embracing new health screening and safety protocols to keep our community safe. My thanks to these teams for their tremendous work and ongoing vigilance.

Based on the success of Phase 1, we are now opening the application process for Phase 2, which seeks to increase UD’s on-site research activity to 33% of the research workforce. With the launch of Phase 2, an estimated 1,500 personnel are expected to be back in labs and design studios and conducting fieldwork at any one time by the end of June.

We are engaged in a gradual research ramp-up, with health and safety our highest priority. Provided current trends continue, we aim to be at 90%-100% research capacity by the start of fall semester, which will begin September 1, as President Assanis recently announced. UD is carefully monitoring external and campus conditions, which will dictate the pace of the phased reactivation of campus research.

Principal investigators who believe they or their graduate students and postdocs qualify for Phase 2 may now submit their Request to Return to Campus forms. Forms will be reviewed for approval by the PI’s department chair and dean, the provost and myself. Please visit this webpage to access the online form, as well as links to the ramp-up checklist and the safety training required of each member of your team:

Research Reactivation Guidelines and Resources

In Phase 2:

  • All field-based research can resume consistent with local guidance/conditions.
  • Laboratory research will continue to ramp up — with an indoor density of one person per 250 square feet.
  • Studio activities, such as visual and performing arts and design, will be permitted.
  • Limited time-sensitive human subjects work may be possible depending on restrictions, with prioritization of:
    • Research with significant likelihood of providing direct therapeutic benefit to the study participants, which outweighs the risk of COVID-19 exposure
    • Studies for which in-person research interactions can occur, with no added risk, in the context of a clinical care visit
    • Research with minimal physical contact/proximity with study participants
  • Instructional lab and studio spaces will be available to permit preparation and redesign of fall semester classes.
  • Common/gathering areas, multiple cubicle spaces and shared offices will remain closed. Desk and group work will continue remotely.
  • Research work that can effectively be performed remotely should continue to be conducted remotely.

Maintaining Health and Safety. Researchers in Phase 2 can expect these changes as work on campus resumes:

  • A daily health questionnaire
  • Cloth face masks as the norm
  • Highly controlled access to buildings/facilities and the traffic flow within them
  • Closure of common areas/shared spaces
  • A density of no more than four researchers per 1,000 square feet, potentially necessitating shift work at some facilities
  • Increased cleaning of bathrooms and high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, etc.

As UD’s research engine continues to ramp up, I encourage you to share your thoughts and questions at UDresearch@udel.edu or at our next virtual town hall, held each Monday, 1-2 p.m.

Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our community, and to the pursuit of research. Your collaboration is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Charles G. Riordan
Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

May 18 2020 – COVID-19: Return to Campus

May 18, 2020

Dear Members of the UD Research Community,

This letter is directed to individuals who need physical access to UD or partner facilities and fieldwork sites to perform their scholarly research activities. Consistent with Gov. Carney’s orders, all other research work that can be performed remotely should continue remotely until further guidance is issued.

During the first half of June, the University of Delaware expects to begin reactivating campus research operations on a limited basis — with the safety and wellbeing of our community as our highest priority.

A plan for a safe, phased-in return to research on campus — including all UD owned and operated facilities, as well as any partner sites where our employees and students conduct their scholarly research — has been developed with input from a working group representing colleges, core facilities, graduate student government, student health services, communications, environmental health and safety, maintenance and operations, and custodial services. My thanks to this dedicated group and to the Campus Reopening and Fall Planning Task Force for their invaluable contributions.

Reactivating UD Research: Phase 1

Together, we have identified several phases for reactivating UD research operations, along with the external conditions driving them. Please see this webpage for a detailed overview, including required forms for administrative approval and mandatory safety training:

Research Reactivation Guidelines & Resources

Phase 1, which we are preparing to launch in June, will involve an estimated 10-15% of our research community. This phase allows for time-sensitive research, where further disruption would cause catastrophic data loss or delays, with examples being seasonal fieldwork and long-term longitudinal studies.

The following will have priority in Phase 1:

  • Graduate students scheduled to graduate in August 2020, and postdoctoral researchers with appointments ending on/before August 31, 2020, who require on-site access
  • Research of tenure-track (but not yet tenured) faculty
  • Sponsored projects with fixed, time-sensitive deliverables or with no ability to charge salaries/stipends for no work
  • Core facilities that serve the broader UD research community

Principal investigators who believe they (or their graduate students/postdocs) qualify for Phase 1 may submit their Request to Return to Campus forms starting May 18. Forms will be reviewed by the PI’s department chair and dean, the provost and myself.

There is no set timeline for opening additional phases. Decisions will be based on a variety of factors, including the status of the COVID-19 situation, state guidance and the success of previous phases. Additional communications will be issued in advance of each phase as it prepares to open.

Maintaining Health & Safety. The safety and wellness of our community is paramount. The resumption of research on campus is contingent on sufficient availability of testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. It also is contingent on the diligent practice of social distancing, face covering and hygiene protocols. To that end, researchers will be asked to complete additional safety training online before returning to campus.

Researchers also can expect these changes as work on campus gradually resumes:

  • A daily health questionnaire and on-site temperature checks
  • Cloth face masks as the norm
  • Highly controlled access to buildings/facilities and the traffic flow within them
  • Closure of common areas/shared spaces
  • An initial density of no more than two researchers per 1,000 square feet, potentially necessitating shift work at some facilities
  • Increased cleaning of bathrooms and high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, etc.

As we prepare for next steps, I encourage you to share your thoughts and questions at UDresearch@udel.edu or at our next virtual town hall, on May 19, from 1-2 p.m.

We have a tremendous research community at UD that is growing even stronger in the face of COVID-19. Thanks very much for your ongoing commitment and collaboration.

Sincerely,
Charles G. Riordan
Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

 

COMMUNICATION ARCHIVE

 

View the September 28 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the September 14 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the August 31 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the August 17 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the August 3 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the July 20 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the July 6 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the June 29 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the June 22 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the June 15 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the June 8 Presentation
UD Research Community Update

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View the June 1 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the May 26 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the May 19 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the May 12 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the May 5 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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COVID-19: VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS

 

View the April 28 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the April 21 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the April 14 Presentation

UD Research Community Update

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View the April 7 Presentation

UD Research Update – Looking Toward the Future

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View the March 31 Presentation

UD Research Update

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View the March 24 Presentation

UD Research Update

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View the March 16 Presentation

Suspension of Laboratory Research

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April 27, 2020 - COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall

April 27, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In an effort to keep our research community connected and informed, I invite you to our next Virtual Town Hall. We will cover a broad range of important updates, provide actionable guidance and address questions, as always. Please join us.

Research Office Virtual Town Hall Tuesday, April 28, 1-2 p.m.

Thank you for your continuing collaboration and cooperation.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy,

Vice Provost for Research SignatureCharles G. Riordan Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

April 2, 2020 – COVID-19: UD Research 4-7 Virtual Town Hall

April 2, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In an effort to keep our research community connected and informed, I invite you to our next Virtual Town Hall. We will cover a broad range of important updates, provide actionable guidance and address questions, as always. Please join us.

Research Office Virtual Town Hall Tuesday, April 7, 1-2 p.m.

Thank you for your continuing collaboration and cooperation.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy,

Vice Provost for Research Signature Charles G. Riordan Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

March 27, 2020 – COVID-19: UD Research 3-31 Virtual Town Hall

March 27, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In an effort to keep our research community connected and informed, I’d like to invite you to our next Virtual Town Hall. We will cover a broad range of important updates and will address questions, as always. Please join us.

Research Office Virtual Town Hall

Tuesday, March 31, 1-2 p.m.

Thank you for your continuing collaboration and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Vice Provost for Research Signature Charles G. Riordan Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

March 23, 2020 – COVID-19 Update: Virtual Town Hall

March 23, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In an effort to keep our research community connected and informed, I’d like to invite you to our next Virtual Town Hall. We’ll be covering a broad range of topics, from campus operations updates to grants administration, and ways you can help our local community at this time.

Research Office Virtual Town Hall

Tuesday, March 24, 1-2 p.m.

Thank you for your continuing collaboration and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Vice Provost for Research Signature Charles G. Riordan Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

March 15, 2020 – Suspension of Laboratory Research

March 15, 2020

Dear Members of the UD Research Community,

As President Assanis announced this evening, all research laboratories and core facilities are ramping down immediately for a period of two weeks and potentially much longer. Access to these facilities will be limited to only critical activities such as animal care and maintaining unique reagents and cell cultures, essential equipment and materials. This suspension of operations takes effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.

To handle this transition swiftly and in an orderly fashion, we are asking principal investigators and laboratory managers to complete information in BioRaft, the online platform managed by Environmental Health and Safety. An automated message will be sent from BioRaft to principal investigators and lab managers this evening asking to confirm that your laboratory is closed and to identify 2-3 essential personnel/PI who would need to have access if critical duties are necessary. If you are a principal investigator/lab manager and do not receive a message, please contact EHS Director Mike Gladle at mgladle@udel.edu.

We realize that you have questions and concerns. We are available to answer your questions and provide these key resources for your assistance:

Thank you for your cooperation and commitment to keeping our community safe.

Sincerely,

Vice Provost for Research Signature Charles G. Riordan Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

March 11, 2020 – Researchers Working with Human Subjects

March 11, 2020

TO: UD Researchers Working with Human Subjects

FROM: Charles G. Riordan Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

RE: COVID-19 Guidance for Human Subjects Research

An important source of visitors and human interactions on our campus is research with human subjects in our clinics and laboratories. At this time, research at UD involving human subjects should continue as previously scheduled with the implementation of additional preventive hygiene and screening protocols:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Cough/sneeze into your elbow. If you use a tissue, dispose of it right away. Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with others.
  • Effective Immediately: Check with participants scheduled to complete a research visit in the next few weeks. This should be done as close to the scheduled visit date as is feasible and prior to starting research procedures the day of the visit. The following script and questions are recommended:

    Hi, I am calling from the University of Delaware in reference to your upcoming appointment on [Date] for [Study X].

    • If the person does not answer, leave a message with instructions and the number to call back. If the person picks up the call, proceed with the following questions, which also should be asked at the beginning of their visit:

    With the current concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., we would like to ask you a few questions to ensure your safety and that of our researchers and campus community:

    1. Have you traveled in the past 14 days to any country on the CDC level 2 or 3 travel alert, currently China, Italy, South Korea, Iran or Japan?
    2. Have you been in contact with anyone who has traveled outside the U.S. and/or has been diagnosed with the coronavirus?
    3. Do you have any respiratory illness symptoms? Cold, cough, fever over 100°F, shortness of breath, etc.

    • If yes to any of the above, cancel/postpone the upcoming research appointment. If yes to questions 1 or 2, ask the individual to contact the Delaware Division of Public Health at 1-866-408-1899 so they can be advised about self-monitoring guidance or discuss their symptoms.
    • If the subject presents symptoms upon arrival to the research visit, cancel/postpone the visit, provide them with a mask if available and ask them to contact their medical provider.
  • The above screening is not considered part of the research protocol and does not need Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approval prior to implementation.

Questions related to human subjects research should be directed to the UD IRB at hsrb-research@udel.edu. General questions regarding UD prevention and response plans to COVID-19 should be emailed to coronavirus@udel.edu.

March 11, 2020 – Announcing Research Guidance and FAQ Resource

March 11, 2020

Dear UD Research Community,

The University of Delaware continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus and to follow the guidance of public health officials. As President Assanis announced today, one person connected to the University of Delaware has tested positive for COVID-19 and all classes scheduled for Thursday and Friday are cancelled. Please visit UD’s Coronavirus webpage frequently for updated information.

At the present time, UD researchers can continue their research, including laboratory and core facility activities. However, this is an evolving situation and we want researchers to be prepared for the possibility of a significant disruption should the situation warrant.

The Research Office has developed a webpage with guidance, considerations and actions you can take to prepare your research teams and facilities:

COVID-19: Reducing Impacts to UD Research

We also include a number of Frequently Asked Questions and are available to help answer research-specific questions you may have at UDResearch@udel.edu.

The safety of the University community is paramount. Protect yourself and others from illness by washing your hands with soap and water frequently; don’t touch your face; and cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as cellphones, door handles and countertops.

If students feel overwhelmed, they can contact the Center for Counseling & Student Development at (302) 831-2141 or (302) 831-1001 for after-hours emergencies, or Student Health Services at (302) 831-2226 or University Police at (302) 831-UDPD. Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program within Human Resources at (302) 831-2171.

Sincerely,

Vice Provost for Research Signature Charles G. Riordan Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Innovation

COVID-19: Funding Opportunities

COVID-19 Agency Announcements

COVID-19: UD Research Community Resources

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