COVID-19 & Research/Creative Activities

Non-human Subjects Field Research

Guidelines & Approval

The following describes the approval process for conducting all non-human subjects field research by BGSU faculty members, graduate students, and other research personnel in a manner that protects the safety of all participants of this work, including community members, during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The participation of undergraduate students in such work will not be permitted until after the start of the fall semester when a separate announcement will be made about undergraduate research. Please keep in mind that the decisions to restart both field and on-campus research at BGSU 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.

Note that in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, official university travel has been suspended except in cases that are 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. 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 non-human subjects field research is now available here. This process involves 1) approval 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.   

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).

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

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 (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

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

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

*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.