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Page last updated 17:45, 8 April 2020

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, there will be challenges in carrying out our research mission as well as our educational mission. The Vice President for Research has established this webpage, accessible from the TAMU.edu/coronavirus webpage, to provide regular updates for Texas A&M researchers. Guidance is provided in FAQ format to assist faculty and researchers on all campuses with active research programs in managing their ongoing research and planning for potential future limitations. Questions may also be submitted via the box below.

For additional information, please go to TAMU.edu/coronavirus for the most current Texas A&M University response concerning the coronavirus.

Remember all personnel should stay home if they experience any symptoms including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

 

Recent Announcements

Guidance on Essential Research - April 2, 2020

Laboratory Cleaning - March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Research Update - March 24, 2020

Questions

Essential/Non-Essential Research Activities

Research activities conducted remotely (by phone, online, etc) do not require approval.

All other “essential” research activities (conducted in person, in fields, at research sites), must be approved as an essential activity before it is exempt from the executive order. Go to the appropriate link to request an exemption:
TAMU (including HSC): https://u.tamu.edu/essential-research-request
TEES: https://it-lf-ecmf2.ads.tamu.edu/Forms/EssentialResearchRequest
AgriLife: https://agriliferesearch.tamu.edu/essential-research-activities-exemption-request/

1. Why are non-essential campus research activities suspended?
 
2. What services are considered essential within the state?
 
3. What campus research activities are considered essential?
 
4. Do research activities require approval to be designated “essential.”
 
5. What non-essential research activities are suspended?
 

Essential Personnel

1. Who are considered essential personnel as it pertains to campus research?
 
2. Do essential laboratory/facility personnel need to be formally identified?
 
3. Do primary contacts need to be identified for research laboratories/facilities?
 
4. How will the suspension of non COVID-19 research affect animal care?
 

Research Facilities/Laboratory Safety

1. Are research laboratories and facilities still open and operational? How is research affected by “shelter in place” orders issued by state, counties, cities?
 
2. What should I do to suspend non-essential research activities that cannot be conducted remotely?
 
3. Are Core Facilities open?
 
4. Are there any restrictions regarding how many individuals can be in a research laboratory space?
 
5. What types of precautions should researchers use when handling human material specimens in the research lab?
 
6. Are research laboratories and facilities that work with biohazardous materials open and operational?
 
7. I have excess PPE that could be donated to others in need. How do I donate my PPE?
 
8. Working with COVID-19 positive or suspected positive human samples
 
9. Will offices of Research Compliance & Biosafety (ORCB) and Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) be available if needed?
 
10. Will the Institutional Biosafety Committee continue to meet and review submissions?
 

Research Travel

1. Should I cancel travel plans related to research (conferences, site visits, field trips, etc.) amid the COVID-19 outbreak?
 
2. Does the current TAMU domestic travel ban for TAMU employees apply to local and regional (in state) fieldwork?
 
  1. 2.1.

    Yes, Local and regional field work is included in the current TAMU travel ban. Such fieldwork should not be completed unless an exception has been approved by the university and system administration.
    - Updated: March 17, 12:30

Proposal Submission & Award Management

1. My study may be impacted by the measures taken as part of TAMU’s COVID-19 response, which could lead to delays in completing my study by the end of the project period or end of the semester. What should I do?
 
2. Will my proposal be submitted to the sponsor by the deadline during the COVID-19 outbreak?
 
3. If the agency to which I intend to submit a proposal is closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak will my proposal be submitted by the deadline?
 
4. How can I reach my SRS contact?
 
5. Will I be able to get an extension on a proposal deadline in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak?
 
6. Where can I find COVID-19 related guidance from the National Institutes of Health in regards to proposal submission and award management?
 
7. Where can I find COVID-19 related guidance from National Science Foundation?
 
8. Can a principal investigator working remotely during self-isolation charge salary/effort on a federal grant?
 
9. What about guidance regarding travel and expenses related to COVID-19?
 
10. Will agencies consider longer no-cost time extensions if they are needed to finish a project after disruption?
 
11. Where can I find additional information on this topic?
 

Research Involving Animals

All research activities that have not been approved as essential, and cannot be carried out remotely, must be suspended. Researchers may submit a request to conduct essential animal research activities, including minimal animal maintenance activities. If not already done, investigators are strongly encouraged to immediately freeze cell lines, as well as sperm and embryos for unique animal strains.

Investigators approved to conduct essential research activities must continue to follow social distancing requirements. Investigators who are are unable, or become unable, to provide their usual level of care for their animals, should notify their animal facility staff immediately. While CMP staff will always be able to provide health care, they will not be able to conduct experimental protocols, so please plan accordingly.

Researchers conducting animal research should only continue research designated as essential.
- Updated: April 2, 20:30

1. What plans does Texas A&M have for animal care?
 
2. How do I request animal care or other assistance?
 
3. Researchers have been encouraged to plan for a "ramp down" of research activities. Now that research must be suspended, what should investigators do? [Important for ALL campuses]
 
4. What about the Animal Welfare Office (AWO) and the IACUC?
 
5. What do I do if I have other questions?
 

Research Involving Human Subjects

1. Why must some human participant research studies be paused?
 
2. Which studies must be paused?
 
3. Which studies may continue?
 
4. What if my study doesn't clearly fall into any of these categories?
 
5. May we continue to collect data and follow up with subjects by telephone when in-person data collection has been paused?
 
6. May we continue conducting telephone screening of potential subjects?
 
7. May we conduct off campus activities to collect data from participants?
 
8. Must the IRB approve amendments to the study protocol before implementing changes?
 
9. Do we need approval from the IRB for communications to study subjects explaining the pause in activities?
 
10. If I am pausing study procedures on a project reviewed by an external IRB of Record, must I notify that IRB?
 
11. Will the pause or change to the method of data collection be considered a protocol violation?
 
12. Will the IRB Office operate as usual?
 
13. What is the effect of the pause on pending and new studies?
 
14. Do I need IRB review and approval if I am working with a public health authority on COVID-19 related research?
 
15. What is the definition of a public health authority under the Common Rule?
 

Undergraduate Student Research

1. Under COVID-19 precautions, should undergraduates conducting research be allowed to continue working in the lab?
 

Graduate Student Research

1. I am a paid graduate student (GAR). Do I have to come to work?
 
3. The COVID-19 situation will affect my graduate research and/or dissertation and/or my ability to defend/conduct prelims or qualifying exams. What should I do? 
 
4. Will the COVID-19 situation affect my ability to conduct fieldwork and attend meetings/conferences?
 

Research Funding Announcements

1. Is there federal research funding available to study COVID-19?
 
2. Will SRS give priority to COVID-19 related proposals and projects?
 
3. Will funding agencies provide flexibility to support research during this crisis?