This message to all faculty and staff has been approved by Dr. Gary K. Ostrander, Vice President for Research.
In keeping with Governor DeSantis’s Executive Order 20-91, and in an effort to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19, all nonessential research occurring in a space owned or secured by FSU must be ramped down as soon and as safely as possible.
Research equipment (other than computers), organisms, and samples should not be taken off-campus. Only remote research, defined as that which can be done off-campus and does not require laboratory equipment or direct human-to-human interaction, may be performed until further notice unless approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). Please note that this FSU stay-at-home mandate is not a full closure of the university; classes and other essential university business will continue to occur. It is our intent to continue the critical research missions of the university while minimizing the spread of the coronavirus. However, safety must come first.
All research laboratories and facilities should ramp down nonessential activities as quickly as possible.
We have already asked you to prepare for laboratory hibernation and have gathered information about essential personnel and activities critical to maintaining the future viability of research (e.g., those that ensure preservation of living organisms or vital data or which keep critical equipment and infrastructure safe). All official travel beyond the normal commute of essential personnel requires approval.
All research activities beyond maintenance must be approved by the OVPR. Units that have not submitted such requests to the OVPR are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, and may not continue until given approval. The following are some examples of research that may be allowed to continue:
- Projects directly related to COVID-19;
- Clinical activities with a potential of harm to participants in the case of cessation;
- Activities which, if discontinued, would pose a safety hazard;
- Activities which, if discontinued, would cause a severe financial loss, for instance of equipment, critical samples, and/or data.
Any such requests – which we expect to be rare – should include:
- A description of the research activities that must continue;
- Building and room number(s) of laboratory or other research space that will be accessed;
- A list of critical research personnel with emergency phone number and email address;
- A plan of work that essential personnel will perform and how safety will be addressed for research hazards, and sanitization and social distancing protocols to minimize potential coronavirus exposure for the duration of the shut-down.
The OVPR will make the final determination of which research activities may continue. We understand that everyone’s research is important, and during this period we urge you to devote your time to activities that may be accomplished primarily outside the laboratory. We expect that access to research computing resources will continue to be available during this time. We greatly appreciate your understanding and patience in this unique situation.
Any investigators who have excess PPE that they would be willing to donate in case of need are encouraged to click https://www.safety.fsu.edu/form/PPE_donation.php to provide information.
Please direct all questions to the OVPR.
Gary K. Ostrander