Direction For UCF Faculty On Research Laboratory Access Amid Coronavirus Concerns
From Dr. Elizabeth Klonoff, vice president for Research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies
On Wednesday, March 18, we are moving the bulk of university operations to remote access, in an effort to keep employees safe. In the area of research, the goal is to minimize or limit the number of people in a site at any given time, while allowing research that is absolutely essential or time-sensitive to continue. I am asking each of you who does research or has a lab to ask yourself whether your research MUST be conducted in a face-to-face setting at the current time.
Faculty with a laboratory need to fill out the Laboratory Access Survey immediately. The survey was released Friday, but I understand that not everyone may have seen it. Please find it here.
In that survey, you are asked to identify people critical to maintaining time-sensitive and necessary lab operations. This is not a guarantee every person will have access, but the survey will help the Office of Research create an authorization list. Only individuals identified on the authorization list will be allowed to enter your lab beginning Wednesday. It is likely that each building on campus will be limited to one entry point beginning that day. These procedures are to implement social distancing and for the safety of our faculty, staff, and students. We reserve the right to limit or stop research that is not consistent with these procedures or poses a health threat to personnel.
I ask that you take a hard look at what lab work can be done remotely and move to that by Wednesday. When considering who should get physical access, ask yourself these questions:
- Does the work have to be done right now?
- What is the minimum number of people I need in the lab to get critical work done?
For safety reasons, we envision no more than two people in any lab at any given time, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as required safety requirements. A section of the survey allows you to make that case. Remember to consider your graduate students and post-doctoral scholars as you make decisions.
I know times are difficult and it appears things change daily. Please keep checking the UCF Coronavirus website for all updated information. The Office of Research is also posting research-relevant information and sharing documents with the Provost Office to give you as many access points as possible. We also will be distributing additional information from EHS.
I know everyone believes the research he or she is doing is critical. However, in these unusual times, we need to do what is necessary to keep each other safe. Just remember that we are all human and concerned. All of our efforts are meant to help prevent the spread of this disease and keep you, students, staff and our broader community safe.
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