A message from Don Taylor: Research Resources for COVID-19

From: G. Don Taylor, Ph.D., P.E.
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation

Colleagues,

In effort to keep the research community informed, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has partnered with university leadership and teams across campus to provide guidance, information, and resources in order for researchers, faculty, staff, and students to make the best decisions given various circumstances.

As we continue to make plans for a variety of outcomes that will impact the research community that includes faculty, staff, students, and animals, please visit the COVID-19 Updates: Research Continuity Guidance web page that includes a broaderFAQ section in addition to other resources, like the Research Preparation Guidelines, that we hope will provide assistance and guidance as you make plans.

Animal Care
Faculty, research personnel, and animal care staff at Virginia Tech are extremely compassionate towards all animals utilized in research. Animal husbandry and care, veterinary care, and ensuring animal well-being are paramount across Virginia Tech campuses and these activities will continue without interruption during the COVID-19 emergency. Animal care staff are classified as emergency personnel and contingency plans are in place to accommodate unforeseen significant or chronic staffing challenges. Critical supplies required to maintain animal facility operations are stockpiled to address any unexpected disruption in the supply chain. Research personnel with training and experience in animal care are available to assist animal care staff if needed.

Human Subject Research
Research involving person-to-person contact or gatherings of human research participants has been paused. If human participants in a study are at risk of harm from the research stoppage, please document a plan to safely cease protocol activities and submit the plan via an amendment to the Institutional Review Board.

Environmental Health and Safety
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has partnered with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety in providing guidance on research university laboratories’ scaling down methods and taking the proper steps to disinfect labs. Please visit the Guidelines and Checklists page to review and download the COVID-19 Guidelines for Laboratory Disinfection and COVID-19 Laboratory Scaling Down Checklist.

Federally Funded Programs
Federally funded programs are being handled differently on an agency-by-agency, and sometimes project-by-project basis. Please continue to monitor the Virginia Tech research webpage for the latest information from agencies. Please also stay in touch with your sponsors to keep them informed of any delays regarding the research being conducted. You should convey the challenges that are being encountered related to COVID-19, what you are doing to mitigate those challenges, and if needed, indicate if additional time will be needed to conduct the research or if the deliverables, report requirements and/or milestones need to be adjusted. The Office of Sponsored Programs is operating to support the research community.

Please continue to visit the research FAQ page for more information on commonly asked questions. Also, remember to frequently visit the Virginia Tech COVID-19 webpage that provides additional updates and resources.

If you have further questions, please visit Research Contacts for COVID-19 questions.

I am thankful for the work we are doing together. Thank you for your continued support.