COVID-19 & Research/Creative Activities

Return to On-Campus Research and Creative Activities 

Guidelines and Instructions to Apply for Approval for On-Campus Research and Creative Activities 

During the summer of 2020, BGSU will be maintaining its remote work policy in order to minimize the number of individuals working on campus. However, starting July 1 a phased restart of on-campus research and creative activities will permit those faculty members and graduate students who require access to laboratories, studios, and other university facilities to work on campus. Note that on-campus undergraduate research and off-campus face-to-face human subjects research will not resume until the fall.

The restart of on-campus research and creative activities will be phased-in over a two week period in order to more effectively monitor the public health impacts of repopulating our laboratories, studios, and other university facilities. The decision to initiate our restart process is based on the current public health situation in Ohio. It is possible that research and creative activities will again be ramped down if this situation significantly worses. Appropriate contingencies should be for that eventuality.

Guiding Principles

  • To prioritize the physical safety and mental health of all members of the BGSU community and our community partners as we restart on-campus research and creative activities.
  • To develop clear processes and procedures for resuming research and creative activities which protect the public health and comply with federal, state, and local health directives.
  • To prioritize the needs of those in their early career stages, including probationary faculty members and graduate students.
  • To communicate with and inform the BGSU community on all of the above.

Process

The restart will occur according to the following schedule:

July 1
Repopulation of a) laboratories and studios under the direction of a probationary faculty member, and b) grant funded faculty members who require access to these facilities in order pursue their grant funded work.

July 15
Repopulation of remaining laboratories, studios, and other facilities.

Also starting July 15, off-campus field research will be permitted on a case-by-case basis after considering the public health and safety issues of the proposed field site. Details on the approval process for field research will be forthcoming.

Note that BGSU has released guidelines for the Return to Work and Workplace Assessment which align with the public health recommendations of the CDC and local health agencies. To ensure compliance with these guidelines, all faculty members wishing to restart their on-campus research and creative activities must follow a two-step approval process using this online form for Restarting On-campus Research and Creative Activities.  

Step 1:
State the particular need to use on-campus facilities for research & creative activities and include the names and contact information of all personnel who will be involved in this work. This statement will require the endorsement of your department chair/school director and college dean.

Step 2:
Work in collaboration with your department chair, school director, college dean, or Campus Operations to conduct a COVID-19 safety assessment and remediation plan of the laboratory, studio, or university facility you wish to use and answer the questions asked on the online form. Your answers must comply the guidelines stated in the Return to Work and Workplace Assessment site.*  

*These plans should involve the use of university-endorsed signage, sanitation stations, plexiglass dividers etc. which can be ordered through Campus Operations through this online Supplies and Move Request Form. However, these materials might not be readily available until a later date and appropriate contingency plans (e.g. rotating scheduling etc.) should be made to anticipate that possibility.

*Faculty members in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy, the School of Environment, Earth, and Society, and the School of Art should work with their department chair/school director to prepare their workplace assessment and remediation plan.  

*Faculty members in the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Musical Arts should work with their Dean to prepare to prepare their workplace assessment and remediation plan.  

*All other faculty members and their Department Chairs/School Directors who need guidance for the workplace assessment and remediation plan should contact Judy Amend with Campus Operations (jamend@bgsu.edu).

Communications

Summer Restart of Research & Creative Activities:  Please join me in thanking the Committee to Restart Research & Creative Activities (Jenifer Baranski, Melissa Burek, Brian Campbell, Stephanie Sickler, Charlie Kanwischer, Blessy McWan, Jeffrey Miner, Tom Mowen, Subhalakshmi Nagarajan, Jayaramen Sivaguru, and Jon Sprague) for their work in developing processes and procedures for our summer restart.  

The committee’s goal was to develop a process for restarting on-campus research and creative activities for those faculty who require access to university laboratories, studios, and other facilities, but in a way that protects the health and safety of everyone at BGSU and our surrounding community.  The committee’s work involved benchmarking the restart policies of other universities across the country and aligning them with BGSU’s policies and procedures for repopulating campus this fall.

Starting July 1 and continuing on July 15, a two-phase restart of on-campus research and creative activities will permit the return to campus of those faculty members and graduate students who require access to on-campus laboratories and studios to conduct their work.  It should be noted that the university will be maintaining its remote work policy throughout the summer so faculty members who can conduct their work remotely shall continue to do so until the fall.  In addition, on-campus undergraduate research and off-campus face-to-face human subjects research will not be permitted over the summer.  

Faculty needing to return to campus to restart their research and creative activities shall complete the online request form located on the VPREE COVID-19 Website.  This form also asks a series of questions about how a safe working environment will be maintained for those engaged in such work.  Assistance in answering these questions can be found in the Return to Work and Workplace Assessment Webpage and the Supplies and Move Request Form found on the BGSU COVID-19 website.*

As we move to restart our on-campus research and creative activities, I urge you to remain constantly aware of the health and well-being of the individuals working under your direction.  They are looking to you to make thoughtful and responsible decisions with regard to their welfare.  Finally, I remind you that the decision to initiate our restart process is based on the current public health situation in Ohio.  If that significantly changes, it is possible that we will again ramp down our activities in the interest of public safety so please make appropriate contingencies for that eventuality.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions about this process.

*Faculty members in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy, the School of Environment, Earth, and Society, and the School of Art  have already been working with their department chairs/school directors who received guidance in preparing the workplace assessment and remediation plans.  

Faculty members in the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Musical Arts have already been working their Dean who has received guidance in preparing the workplace assessment and remediation plans.  

All other faculty members and their department chairs/school directors, should contact Campus Operations (jamend@bgsu.edu) for guidance on conducting workplace assessments with their faculty.

I am writing to announce that a committee comprised of faculty, administrators, and staff began meeting last Friday to formulate plans for the safe and responsible restart of on-campus research and creative activities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic (see attached for the committee roster).   Note that in order to protect the health and safety of its faculty, students, and staff, BGSU will be continuing its “remote work” environment throughout the summer to limit the spread of this disease.  It is within this context that the committee will recommend a framework for staging out a restart of research activities that is based upon our ability to do so in a safe and responsible manner and in a way that aligns with the guidelines of the CDC and State of Ohio.

As such, our committee is evaluating restart plans received from other universities across the state and country and will be adapting them for our situation at BGSU and NW Ohio.  I will keep you updated on the progress of this work and in the meantime please feel free to reach out to me or any of the committee members with your thoughts and concerns.

In addition, please remind you faculty to attend open WebEx meeting at 3:00 on Thursday, May 14 to discuss COVID-19 research opportunities.  Please contact Libby Romanin at lromanin@bgsu.edu to receive a calendar invitation to this event.

The VPREE COVID-19 website contains information on currently available COVID-19 related grant programs from various agencies and non-profit groups. The CARES act has appropriated the following:  
 
  • National Science Foundation: $75M for the RAPID grant program
  • National Institutes of Health: $945M for coronavirus research
  • Department of Energy: $99.5M for coronavirus research
  • Nat’l Endowment for the Humanities: $75M to prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19
  • NASA: $60M to prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19
  • Hollings MEP: $50M to help small and medium sized manufacturers
  • Dept. Education: $300M for innovative learning strategies

Please contact OSPR (OSPR@bgsu.edu) for further information.

An open WebEx meeting will occur at 3:00 on Thursday, May 14 to discuss opportunities for collaborative research in these areas.  Please contact Libby Romanin at lromanin@bgsu.edu to receive a calendar invitation to this event.

As of Monday, March 23 Bowling Green State University transitioned into a remote work environment. Starting then, on-campus research was limited to the performance of critical research activities which are those that, if not continued, would cause significant harm to the project including its premature termination.  These include:

  • Activities that if discontinued would generate significant data and sample loss.
  • Activities that if discontinued would pose a safety hazard.
  • Activities that maintains critical equipment in facilities and laboratories.
  • Activities that maintains critical samples, reagents, and materials.
  • Activities that maintains animal populations.
  • Activities that maintains critically needed plant populations, tissue cultures, bacteria, archaea, and other living organisms.
  • COVID-19 related activity that has a timeline for deployment that could address the crisis.
  • Activities in support of essential human subject research, especially those needed to protect their welfare.

Requests to pursue critical research activities are available in the drop-down menu below.  Principal Investigators (supervisors) of approved critical research activities must ensure that the work is being performed in a manner that is consistent with the CDC guidelines for stopping the spread of COVID-19 including the use of cloth face coverings, frequent hand washing and the maintenance of appropriate social distancing (6-feet) between participants.  Individuals should not be on campus if sick.  

Research Opportunities and Resources

From COVID-19 Response to Equitable Recovery: A Call for Research and Action to Boost Workers’ Economic Security and Mobility 

WorkRise seeks Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) for two types of proposals:

1. Research projects utilizing existing data (including survey and administrative data; proprietary and publicly-available data; qualitative data) to generate new analysis about how to strengthen vulnerable workers’ economic stability and economic mobility;

2. Pilots and other efforts that could be put into action and/or scaled quickly to generate new data and analysis.

Examples of potential topics can be found below (see Topics of Interest). Projects that explicitly consider racial/ethnic inequities, gender disparities, geographic inequalities, and the role of systems or policies in perpetuating such inequities will be received with particular interest, as will those that distinguish between new labor market entrants and incumbent workers. Projects with potential to create new, high-quality, large-scale, longitudinal open-source datasets with the ability to disaggregate by key demographics, including race, earnings, local labor market geography, industry/occupation, skills, education, gender, and/or family structure also are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information, please refer to the RFP.

Centers for Disease Control

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Please see the “Funding for COVID-19” section on this site.

Department of Education

Education Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants

Department of Health and Human Services

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. This website contains links to COVID-related (and non-COVID-related) grant opportunities and announcements.

National Endowment for the Arts

Covid-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations

National Institutes of Health

COVID-19: Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding. This site includes links to Guidance, FAQs and Funding Opportunities Specific to COVID-19.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

COVID-19 research projects

National Science Foundation

Coronavirus Information.  This site includes NSF Community Guidance and Research Opportunities related to coronavirus

*The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many sponsors issuing special guidance regarding deadlines, reporting, etc.. The list of resources below is not intended to be comprehensive. Please consult the sponsor’s website before proceeding. As always, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research with any questions.