USU Research Transition Considerations

This document is designed to help you consider major issues involved in continuing your research program during the COVID-19 response period. The goal is to encourage best practices and research productivity while promoting safety. Please review the items below that may be relevant to your research program, taking into account that all types of research may not be reflected in this document. If you have additional concerns specific to your research activities, please contact the Office of Research. A PDF version of this page is available here.

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
Examine the functions of your research program.

  • Which essential functions must take place at a USU facility?
  • Which functions require ongoing staff support?
  • Have you reviewed USU COVID-19 policies to determine your ability to conduct field research?
  • Supplies needed to conduct your research:
    • Which supplies are most important and potentially limited?
    • Should additional stocks be ordered?
    • Should orders on supplies with limited shelf life be halted?
    • Should subscription or standing orders be adjusted?
    • What would need to happen if timely delivery is interrupted?
    • What duration of interruption would cause irreparable damage to your research?
  • Research Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
    • Which PPE may be subject to shortages (e.g., masks, gloves) in the current pandemic?
    • What are best practices for conserving limited PPE supplies while adequately protecting staff?
  • Consider what research activities you can conduct remotely.

RESEARCH PERSONNEL
Determine the best way to manage your research team and colleagues while potentially working remotely.

  • If the PI is unavailable, who should be contacted for assistance?
    • Is this clearly posted or easily accessible?
  • If someone gets sick or is otherwise unable to work, do you have plans for backup staffing?
  • Have you developed a staff management and safety plan?

REMOTE WORK AND DATA MANAGEMENT
Create plans to be able to continue to conduct parts of your research remotely. 

  • What work can be done remotely?
  • Do research personnel have access to tools and technology needed for remote work?
  • Which special IT security, access, and privacy requirements or licenses to specific software need consideration?
  • Can I access existing data remotely?
  • Are plans in place for data back up while working remotely?
  • Have you reviewed USU policies for taking equipment off-premise?

COMMUNICATIONS PLANS
Assess how you will communicate with your entire research team and collaborators.

  • Do you have a system for communicating with your research team in real-time?
  • Have you developed and communicated with your team SOPs and protocols for work during COVID-19?
  • Have you developed a communication plan with emergency contact information included?
  • What tools will you use to communicate with your research colleagues?
  • Are you ready to forward USU phone numbers to personal phones?
  • Have you coordinated with colleagues who have similar research activities to identify ways to ensure coverage of critical activities?

LABORATORY HIBERNATION 
Determine what steps you would need to take in the event of a temporary suspension of access to your research environment.

In the event of a temporary suspension of on-campus research activity, consider steps that would need to be taken for a safe and efficient return to full research activities.