COVID-19 research and lab updates

June 16, 2020

This message was sent on behalf of Research & Innovation to subscribers of the University's ResearchNotes group email list.

Dear Colleagues,

More than 260 essential, critical or time-sensitive research and laboratory programs have been approved to resume full operations in University settings as we move through Phase II of Nevada’s reopening plan. This ramping up demonstrates the level of dedication that has always characterized our research community and enterprise, and the plans submitted demonstrate the shared commitment to maintain safe working and research environments for our faculty, staff and students. It is imperative that we adhere to social distancing, safety guidelines, disinfecting practices and the plans established in your work settings.

CONTINGENCY PLANNING TO KEEP RESEARCH MOVING: In early March we encouraged research and laboratory operations to plan for the possibility of disruption. Now, we have the opportunity to learn from the past three months and prepare to keep research going – at more than just a maintenance-only mode – should COVID-19 infection rates result in the need to ramp-down. This is the time to revisit contingency plans and implement cross-training that would allow continued operations with minimal personnel.

LAB OCCUPANCY MAPS: An online repository of building maps is now available to allow you to check the maximum occupancy of your laboratory. Please note, you must be connected to the University’s network either on campus or through remote access to view the maps. It’s a great resource and I extend my thanks to Ryan Aglietti and Chad Leonard of Environmental Health & Safety for developing this. If you see something on the maps that needs to be updated or changed, please contact Ryan or Chad.

NEW GUIDELINES FOR REACTIVTATION OF HUMAN PARTICIPANT/SUBJECT RESEARCH: The ramping up of human-subject research includes a) resuming in-person activities with existing, enrolled or screened participants, b) plans for enrollment of new participants into existing studies, and c) enrollment of new participants into new studies. The paramount concern is always the safety of the participant and the research team, and during these unprecedented times special approaches to managing ongoing research may be needed. If you need to alter research or data collection activities, including shifting to virtual or remote approaches on your active study, an amendment must be submitted to the IRB.

Research Integrity has developed further guidance, including guidance for research in clinical settings, that can be found in the FAQs on our Research Continuity website (see “What about research involving human participants?”). They also offer an informative Research Ramp-Up Checklist. If you have any questions, reach out to the Research Integrity office.

ONLINE TRAINING FOR AFFILIATES, NON-EMPLOYEES: Affiliates, contractors and non-employees working in University settings are required to complete the online General COVID-19 Training. This pertains to our research and laboratory settings to a great extent, and many have asked about this training being made available to those who do not have a NetID. With this in mind, I want to call your attention to Associate Vice President Human Resources Tim McFarling’s update that this training is now available on Canvas in a version that does not require a NetID. Links to the training are available on the Human Resources Department’s COVID-related website and on our Research Continuity website.

RESEARCH CONTINUITY: Speaking of our website, we are striving to make it a one-stop source for resources, trainings and updates that pertain to research and laboratory operations. We have made a number of recent updates and hope you can take a minute to view it.


Mridul Gautam

Vice President for Research and Innovation
Ross Hall, Room 201
(775) 327-2363