Updates from the Research COVID-19 Task Force: June 22-25

News for Researchers

Posted June 22, 2020 by Ashley Washburn

As UNL continues making plans for the fall semester, the Research Task Force will send regular updates to investigators on topics related to resuming research and creative activities. This message addresses topics for the week of June 22-25.

This communication is being distributed to PIs with approved research and creative activity re-opening plans as well as the associate deans for research. Please share this guidance with members of your research team as appropriate.

When can I start conducting in-person human subjects research?
The task force is working closely with the Institutional Review Board on plans for resuming in-person human subjects research. We anticipate the temporary suspension of currently approved human subjects research will be lifted July 6. Plans will be announced soon and posted on IRB’s COVID-19 resource page.

What is the policy regarding face coverings?
Employees and students are expected to wear a face covering indoors or when in close proximity to others outdoors. Make sure your team is familiar with the latest campus health guidance on physical distancing, face masks, cleaning and disinfecting practices, and more.

Are reopening plans still required for laboratory or creative spaces?
Through July 30, investigators should continue following the reopening guidelines and complete the reopening plan and checklist.

Is federal administrative relief still available?
The Office of Management and Budget’s original guidance, “Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations,” (M-20-17) expired June 17. However, OMB has issued an extension (M-20-26) through Dec. 31. Investigators are urged to review the latest updates from UNL’s Office of Sponsored Programs.

How do I request space modifications to enhance physical distancing?
Facilities and Maintenance Operations can help with modifications, including installing Plexiglass or a similar barrier at face-to-face service points, or relocating or removing furniture. Unit supervisors should complete the online request form soon to allow Facilities time to complete the work before the fall semester begins.

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