Research implements changes in operations

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Research implements changes in operations

Faculty and staff are invited to participate in listening sessions that begin Feb. 1 and continue through March 8.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is continuing to implement changes in research operations as it monitors the COVID-19 situation in Nebraska and beyond.

In the latest developments, a survey of personal protective equipment supplies available on campus is under way; new travel restrictions are being emphasized; and plans are being developed for internal grants for rapid-research activities dealing with the disease.

  • Personal protective equipment is a critical need for researchers and health care providers. Examples include N95 face masks, gloves, germicidal wipes, surgical gowns, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, face shields and PAPR hoods and face pieces. To help prioritize needs, the university is taking inventory of PPE availability on campus, as well as identifying groups and organizations that need such equipment. If you or your organization fit into either of these categories, you may complete a web form to help the Office of Research and Economic Development build an available inventory, as well as create a list of needs on campus and in the community. Survey participation is voluntary.

  • Travel for research purposes is being further restricted in the interests of safety of researchers and the community. Travel will be approved only if it is mission critical; there is a low risk of spreading infection, in either direction; the traveler follows appropriate social distancing guidelines; and no reasonable alternatives to travel exist. Note that following social-distancing protocol – at least 6 feet between individuals – may require taking multiple vehicles if more than one individual is traveling.

Travel decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate associate dean for research and/or department chair. This also applies to work that may occur at locations other than the researcher’s home or in university facilities. Travel will not be approved for locations in which community spread of COVID-19 has occurred. Official university travel beyond Nebraska’s borders is prohibited. Details on the travel policy can be found at the COVID-19 research planning webpage.

  • Research and Economic Development will be soliciting proposals for limited, one-time funds available for rapid-response activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details are available here.

Research and Economic Development is working with others on campus and throughout the University of Nebraska system on other contingency plans as the pandemic evolves. Husker researchers are urged to continue to monitor the COVID-19 research planning webpage website, the university’s COVID-19 website, Nebraska Today, and Research and Economic Development’s social media channels for updated policies and additional guidance.

Questions may be directed to Deb Hamernik, associate vice chancellor for research, at unlresearch@unl.edu with a copy sent to the appropriate college’s associate dean for research.