CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ARCHIVE

COVID-19 Impacts on FAU Research — Update #5

Mar. 31, 2020 - 2:15 p.m.

Dear Faculty,

As we continue to navigate our way through the coronavirus pandemic, I want to thank you for your patience and thank all of our staff for their understanding and support. Each day brings new information and guidance, and I wanted to take a moment to share some of the latest issues related to research with you.

In a call with the Florida State University System vice presidents for research, we learned the following:

When a health care agency calls a university and asks if they have medical-related supplies that they can donate, we are allowed to do that — but only under certain circumstances.

If a federal grant paid for the supplies and it has expired, then the materials are considered excess and can be donated. However, if an active grant paid for them, then they have to be kept in-house for research purposes. I assume that this applies to state grants as well. With corporate grants, it may be negotiable.

We have been getting calls from health care providers regarding access to 3D printers to make medical devices, such as N95 masks. As a university community, we have been very responsive to this. One of our engineers noted that 3D printers cannot make one-size fits all masks. He suggested that a better approach may be printing a mask that can have a filter inserted.

Note: If you are 3D-printing a device to be donated for use on patients, this activity should not proceed until FAU gets further guidance from legal counsel.

At the moment, access to research labs is still allowed and we appreciate your discretion in employing social distancing and staggered work schedules. Federal guidance for paying employees from grants who cannot take their work home are posted on the Division of Research web page under FAQs.

Faculty are allowed to pay technicians and temporary employees (OPS) who cannot come into work and cannot take their work home, but ONLY if that is consistent with university policy. All SUS institutions are working on a policy that will incorporate some form of emergency vacation pay, some use of saved time off or some other form of coverage. It’s evolving and I will keep you up to date.

As always, DOR is here to help. Please reach out to any of us with concerns or questions.

Visit the Covid-19 Impacts on FAU Research web page or post anonymous questions at this website: app.sli.do/. There’s no need to sign up. Just put in the event code: #SustainResearch.

Daniel C. Flynn
Vice President for Research

COVID-19 Impacts on FAU Research — Update #4

Mar. 24, 2020 - 2:30 p.m.

Dear Colleagues,

While we are all getting used to the new normal with online-everything and remote working, this might also be your opportunity to write that grant or catch up on compliance training in the weeks ahead.

Be assured that the Division of Research offices are here to help you in any way possible. If you want to hear about any of the following, please don’t hesitate to reach out:

  • Finding funding, arranging (virtual) group meetings, technical writing/editing Contact: Jeanne Viviani, jviviani@fau.edu, director, Office of Research Development
  • Submitting your funding application and progress reports Contact: Miriam Campo, campom@fau.edu, assistant vice president, Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Post-award setup Contact: Heather Saunders, heather@fau.edu, director, Office of Research Accounting
  • Compliance training and IRB/IACUC/IBC protocol preparation Contact: Elisa Gaucher, egaucher@fau.edu, assistant vice president, Office of Research Integrity
  • Research animal care during remote working Contact: Sylvia Gografe, sgografe@fau.edu, assistant vice president, Office of Comparative Medicine
  • International and global opportunities Contact: Anton Post, apost@fau.edu, associate vice president, Office of Corporate and International Relations
  • Protecting your intellectual property Contact: Dana Vouglitois, dvouglitois@fau.edu, assistant director, Office of Technology Development
  • Starting a company Contact: Rhys Williams, williamsr@fau.edu, associate vice president and managing director for FAU Tech Runway
  • Assistance available for an existing small company Contact: Sandra Marin Ruiz, smarinruiz@fau.edu, regional director, Florida Small Business Development Center at FAU.

We remain here to help you and are prepared to set up virtual meetings.

Lastly, if you would like to set up your research team now and/or have new ideas you'd like to get a team around, please do not forget our online tool "MeetSparX," which can be accessed at teamsparx.com.

If you have any questions, please contact Daniel C. Flynn (flynnd@fau.edu), vice president for research, or Karin Scarpinato, (kscarpinato@fau.edu), senior associate vice president for research.

We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope that you stay safe and healthy.

COVID-19 Impacts on FAU Research — Update #3

Mar. 23, 2020 - 5:25 p.m.

Dear Faculty,

I appreciate your patience and teamwork as we navigate how to best maintain and sustain our research enterprise during this coronavirus pandemic. The circumstances are new to us all and I greatly value your advice and questions.

The Division of Research’s number one priority is continuing to provide FAU’s researchers assistance and support during this crisis. Our administrative offices are functioning remotely. Personnel are all available during regular office hours via email and most via the Microsoft Teams application. Each unit has a remote work plan in place, including backups should staff members become sick.  

I am meeting daily with the President's Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to share information and formulate responses to issues that arise. For the most part, these matters relate to student accommodations. 

I am also meeting weekly by teleconference with my fellow vice presidents for research in the state university system (SUS). We’re talking about how we all are addressing specific research challenges during this outbreak.  

For regular updates, please refer to the division’s Covid-19 Impacts on Research website. We are archiving research-related questions there that are being posed in ELT, at the SUS and from faculty so that you can see the concerns that are being expressed.

In addition, the division has set up a site where students, faculty and staff can ask questions anonymously. If you have the same question as others on this site, hit the “like” button and those will be answered first. Visit slido.com and use the event code “SustainResearch” to post questions. 

If you have specific questions related to your research, you can contact unit leaders directly via email or video conference. If you are not sure whom to contact, email us at fau.research@fau.edu and we’ll be sure to route your question to the appropriate person. 

We are here to help you. Please let us know what we can do to make sure your research program continues to be successful. 

Many thanks,

Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research


COVID-19 Impacts on FAU Research — Update #2

Mar. 17, 2020 - 4:15 p.m.

As the university transitions to a temporary remote work, the Division of Research has taken steps to ensure there is no interruption in the research administration support services it provides. All units within the division, including research development, sponsored programs, research integrity, research finance and comparative medicine have plans in place to continue operations.

Please check the Covid-19 FAQs Related to Research for new guidance on research with human subjects, including advice on when you’re required to pause studies involving direct in-person contact and when study procedures need to be amended and approved by the IRB.

In addition, we’re adding guidelines from federal funding agencies related to the coronavirus crisis as they become available.

As changes occur, the division will update the FAQ Pages, and send out announcements as warranted. Email fau.research@fau.edu with any additional questions.


COVID-19 Impacts on FAU Research

Mar. 13, 2020

Along with the university leadership, the Division of Research continues to monitor the Coronavirus events as they unfold in relation to how they impact FAU research.

Research activities and restrictions may be affected due to that fact that students will not be returning to campus next week, and necessary limitations on community-based research. The division recommends that all principal investigators implement emergency operation plans for their individual labs and research initiatives. Please email fau.research@fau.edu for guidance, if needed.

For now, normal research administration operations continue. However, staff members from each DOR unit are preparing to work remotely, if the need arises, to support all faculty research programs. Steps are being taken to ensure that pre-award, post-ward, financial operations, compliance matters and animal use and care activities continue uninterrupted as much as possible. The division is also developing cross-training plans for worst-case scenarios, such as if multiple staff members in a single unit fall ill.

Please visit the division’s FAQs webpage on its response to the crisis. As changes occur, the division will update the pages, and send out announcements as warranted.

Email fau.research@fau.edu with any additional questions.