COVID-19 & Research/Creative Activities

Guidelines for Return to Research and Creative Activities 

For the 2020-21 academic year, BGSU faculty and students are able to conduct on-campus research and creative activities, and in exceptional cases travel to field sites, as long as they provide the appropriate Safety & Operations Plan listed below.

Face-to-face human subjects research can now occur if such work can be performed in a safe and controlled on-campus environment such as a laboratory, office, or classroom setting.  BGSU faculty members wishing to conduct, direct, or advise such research must have an approved Safety & Operations Plan for Face-to-Face Human Subjects Research.

Undergraduate and graduate students may participate in non-human subjects research and creative activities conducted in on-campus laboratories, studios, or other facilities.  BGSU faculty members wishing to conduct, direct, or advise such research must have an approved Safety & Operations Plan for On-campus Research & Creative Activities. 

In alignment with the BGSU COVID-19 travel restrictions, travel for off-campus field research will be allowed only in cases in which its cancellation would cause a research project to be prematurely terminated or otherwise cause it significant harm.  BGSU faculty members wishing to engage in off-campus field work must have an approved Safety & Operations Plan for Field Research.  


In alignment with the recently announced university travel restrictions, I am writing to announce the process for approving and engaging in non-human subjects field research.  The goal of this process is to permit essential field research to occur while protecting the safety of faculty members, students, and other research personnel who are involved in these activities, as well as the public health of the communities in which this work will be performed.  At the time of this writing, such work is restricted to faculty, graduate students, and research staff only.   The participation of undergraduate students will be permitted after the start of the fall semester when a separate announcement will be made about undergraduate research.  Please note that the decisions to restart both field and on-campus research is based on the current public health situation in Ohio and it is possible that these activities will again be ramped down if this situation significantly worsens.

As recently announced, official university travel has been restricted to only those situations deemed to be essential.  As such, travel for off-campus field work will be allowed only in cases in which cancellation of the trip would result in a research project to be prematurely terminated or otherwise cause it significant harm.  In addition, to protect the health and safety of BGSU researchers as well as the community at large, authorized travel for non-human subjects field research must comply with any travel or public health restrictions imposed by the destination to which the field work will be conducted, as well any requirements imposed by the State of Ohio upon returning to BGSU if the work is conducted out of state.  International travel will be subject to the restrictions of the US Department of State and the CDC.  As such, researchers must make themselves aware of the increased risks of traveling during this time and are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to mitigate that risk.  Field work must also comply with CDC safety guidelines in preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection such as the maintenance of personal distancing, the wearing of facial coverings, frequent hand washing, and the disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

A three-part form for the approval and safe pursuit of all non-human subjects field research is now available on the VPREE COVID-19 website.  This process involves 1) approval of the proposed field research as being essential by the department chair/school director, academic dean, and VPREE, 2) ensuring compliance with inter-state and intra-state travel restrictions including possible requirements to self-quarantine upon entering another state or when returning to Ohio, and 3) the development of a safety plan for conducting the field research.  To avoid undue delays in this process, faculty are asked to complete all three parts of this form simultaneously.  However, it is possible that the proposed field work will be determined to be non-essential and thus not allowed, even if it is in compliance with travel restrictions and CDC COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Please note that at this time, all face-to-face human subjects research remain suspended and researchers are encouraged to modify their studies to occur remotely.  

Thank you in advance for your compliance to these restrictions.

The following message pertains to those who have been approved to restart your on-campus research/creative activities. As you know, our restart process asked you to assess your laboratories and studios in creating a plan through which you and your students can work safely in compliance with CDC guidelines.   To assist you in your continued efforts to maintain and oversee a safe working environment, I am writing to inform you of  additional COVID-19 safety protocols located on the  Return to Campus for Faculty & Staff page of the BGSU website.

As you begin your return to campus, I strongly urge you to inform your students and colleagues of the safety protocols listed on this webpage including:

  1. The requirement for all personnel to complete a brief online information session to ensure awareness of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) guidelines, and
  2. The requirement to conduct a daily personal health check and to stay home if one has a temperature of over 100.4° F or is otherwise feeling ill.

Please ensure that your students and colleagues are in compliance with these and other safety protocols listed on this website.

It’s been a long time since many of you have been in your laboratories and studios and I’m sure it will feel very good to be back to work pursuing the activities you love to do.  I also have no doubt that your students, post-docs, and other colleagues will be very excited to be once again pursuing their aspirations and goals for the future.  Please accept my gratitude for your patience in enduring the last several months of remote work and my best wishes as you return to campus.

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 ( 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 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 ( 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 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

This event will be held during the weeks of November 16 and November 30, 2020. It is designed to give new faculty, researchers and administrators key insights into a wide range of current issues at NSF. NSF staff will be providing up-to-date information about the proposal and award process, specific funding opportunities and answering attendee questions.

Registration will be free of charge and opens on Thursday, October 29 at 12 p.m. EST. Each conference session will have its own Zoom registration page. Please sign up only for sessions that you are able to attend. For those who cannot attend the live conference, all recorded conference sessions will be available on-demand shortly after the event. NSF will send an email reminder to its listserv on Wednesday, October 28

Click here for more information.

Other Grant Opportunities Related to COVID-19

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

Funding Opportunities Specific to COVID-19

Active National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Funding Opportunities

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

Supporting Research on Pandemics within the Civic Innovation Challenge and Broadened NSF Support for the Challenge

Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge (CORD-19) Note: Click on the arrow below Dataset Description to read the complete description.

Innovations for Poverty Action

COVID-19-Related Funding Opportunities

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health

Russel Sage Foundation

Social science research that addresses 1) the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting recession in the U.S. or 2) systemic racial inequality and/or the recent mass protests in the U.S. 

*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.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - Virtual Meeting on COVID/SARS CoV2 Rapid Research Reports #2

Coronavirus Information Center by Elsevier

COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19)  This dataset is the most comprehensive machine-readable Coronavirus literature collection available for data and text mining to date, with over 29,000 articles.

COVID-19 Research Portal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has launched a searchable data portal to share its COVID-19 research with scientists worldwide and the general public. The portal houses a wealth of data LLNL scientists have gathered from their ongoing COVID-19 molecular design projects, particularly the computer-based “virtual” screening of interactions with SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins for drug  design purposes. The data is searchable so outside researchers can easily locate relevant data for their own work. The goal is to share these leading predictions with the research community to speed the process of scientific discovery to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cyber Safety & COVID-19

Innovations for Poverty Action - RECOVR Survey

New NIH Resource to Analyze COVID-19 Literature: The COVID-19 Portfolio Tool

PhenX Toolkit COVID-19 Protocols