OVCR Virtual Town Hall re COVID-19: Research operations

March 18, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Zoom conference

You may now access a recording of this event via this link to Box. You can also find this link on the Town Hall website.

Washington University Research Community,

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we’re taking great care to ensure the health and well-being of our entire Washington University community as we work to maintain essential research and business operations. I want to let you know about our efforts to assist you during these challenging and rapidly evolving times.

In collaboration with university leaders, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research posted guidance and FAQs to help address your questions and prepare for changes that may affect your research. You can find this information here: research.wustl.edu/covid19/.

The guidance, which will be updated as new information becomes available, covers advice on:

  • Continuity planning for research operations
  • Human subjects and clinical research, including information from the Human Research Protection Office
  • Research involving animals
  • Undergraduates involvement in research
  • Sponsored projects including information from Federal agencies, such as NIH and NSF, regarding grants and funding
  • Other key sources

A virtual Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 from 11:00 am to noon to hear from you and answer your questions about research operations. Questions may be submitted in advance here. Representatives from Washington University Emergency Management, Environmental Health & Safety, Human Research Protection Office, Sponsored Projects Accounting, Clinical Research Office, Joint Research Office for Contracts, Office of Sponsored Research Services and the Division of Comparative Medicine also will give short presentations and will be available to answer questions.

We are strongly recommending that your research group/lab develop continuity plans in case research personnel are unable to come to work or the situation here in St. Louis worsens. Advice on how to develop a continuity plan is posted on the OVCR website, and each school at Washington University may decide to make these mandatory, or may ask for different information, depending on the type of research that occurs in each school. In addition, Emergency Management is conducting workshops to help you make continuity plans to help minimize disruptions to your research, in the event that some personnel are unable to come to work. A schedule of the workshops is here, and we encourage you to register.

If you do human subjects research and/or clinical trials, new guidance has been posted on the OVCR website (link). We are recommending: screening participants by phone prior to their visit; moving as much as possible to remote access; and postponing non-essential visits.

We appreciate your understanding and attention as research guidance can change rapidly as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Also, please continue to follow updates and FAQs from Washington University on the coronavirus.wustl.edu​ website.

Please contact my Chief of Staff, Johnnie Cartwright (cartwrightj@wustl.edu) if you have questions or concerns regarding your research.

I thank you for your cooperation and support as we work to map out our path forward.

Jennifer Lodge, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research
Washington University