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COVID-19: Research Continuity

March 16, 2020

Faculty,

Over the coming days and weeks there is a potential for the COVID-19 pandemic to affect research on the UC Merced campus. Some areas that may be affected are disruptions to the supply chain with limited campus delivery and a slowdown of the production of reagents and consumables internationally. Travel for academic conferences, workshops and field activities have been and will continue to be impacted. With these considerations, we have identified a series of issues for your consideration and recommendations for preparedness in research laboratories. As this is a fluid situation, we have built a Research Continuity page on the Emergency Preparedness website where these recommendations will be continually updated as quickly as possible as new information is available.

While this guidance attempts to address a variety of circumstances, all faculty and researchers should discuss contingency plans with their Deans and Department Chairs, as well as with students and staff under their supervision to ensure research continuity. Should there be disruptions to operations, the University may have limited ability to assist with research continuity issues.

Researchers should be prepared for a partial or total cessation of all laboratory based research. Please review the guidance below on Laboratory preparations.

It is our intent to provide researchers with access to their space until such a time as it is deemed to be unsafe or is prohibited by state or federal directives. As outlined in a directive from the UC Office of the President, in no event should researchers take reagents, chemicals, biologics or any other laboratory equipment or materials other than laptops, data storage devices, etc., offsite (e.g., to their homes) to ensure research continuity during a curtailment.

All faculty should familiarize themselves with these guidelines. Below is a bulleted list of potential circumstances covered on the Research Continuity page.

· Immediate Measures to Reduce/Avoid Transmission

  • Supply Chain

· Laboratory preparations in case of more widespread issues that result in a campus curtailment

  • International Research and Travel
  • Field Work
  • Campus Visits
  • Human and Animal Subjects Research
  • Sponsored Projects and Funding Agencies
  • ORED Research Business Continuity

For question or concerns that are not addressed here, please contact AVC Deborah Motton at dmotton@ucmerced.edu .

Thank you,

Samuel J. Traina

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development