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COVID-19 Information for College of Medicine Researchers

Ramp Up Guidelines  |  Preparation of Researchers  |  PI Research Planing Tool  |  Clinical Trials Ramp Up
Human Subjects Phase III Ramp-Up  |  Required ICON course  |  Core Facilities Ramp Up  |  Ramp Up FAQ  
Ramp Down for Laboratories  |  Existing grants  |  Working remotely  |  Online learning  

Ramp Up Guidelines for Laboratories

Detailed Guidelines for Ramp Up Plan (Approved by the University's Critical Incident Management Team to start on Tuesday, May 26)

In Brief

Ramp-up will be in phases. The first phase will allow the rebuilding of the research enterprise at a measured pace, undertaken with ample caution. In this first phase, work on campus is expected to resume to 30-50%  pre-COVID-19 levels. This is to ensure that:

  • Social distancing can be achieved within the buildings.
  • Ample supplies of PPE and hygiene products are maintained.
  • The surrounding infrastructure to support experiments (core facilities, building function, purchasing, package delivery, and custodial services) are not overwhelmed and can maintain high levels of social distancing and cleanliness.

Use that time wisely for tasks that can only be done on campus.

The three main features of how we will operate are:

  1. No one should come to work with any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
  2. Work together, apart.
  3. Protect yourself and others with proper PPE and cleaning contact areas.

How the building will be prepared

  1. Entrances will still be locked to protect against unauthorized entry.
  2. Signage informing social distancing and other announcements will be prominent at entrances. Face shield reminders, hand washing reminders, and health check status reminders, will be posted near lab exits throughout the buildings.
  3. There will be hand sanitizing and face shield cleaning stations at many entrances.
  4. Large dispensers of hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant bottles will be distributed throughout the building and easily found in public spaces.
  5. Public spaces will be arranged to promote social distancing.
  6. Conference rooms will be available for breaks and eating. A maximum capacity will be posted on available rooms. No more than four people to a room. No less than 200 ft2/person. Hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant should be available in those rooms.
  7. The Java House will be configured with social distancing standing markers and face shield protection for workers. Grab-and-go orders only will be available.
  8. Alcohol-based cleaning solution in spray bottles will be available to labs and departmental conference rooms.
  9. Package delivery service has been updated to not require in-person contact.
  10. Custodial services will be configured to minimize contact with researchers. Staff will wear appropriate PPE when in research areas. Both custodial staff and research staff will be instructive to be respectful of distance. A cleaning routine SOP will be established and initiated if a COVID-19 positive faculty, staff, or trainee self reports.

How researchers will be prepared

  1. All occupants of CCOM research buildings will be required to take an orientation class on ICON. This will brief researchers on use of PPE, use of surface cleaning and hand hygiene. It will cover the density of labs and how to clean shared instrumentation. It will also include videos produced for University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics on social distancing and face shield care and use.
  2. Face shields will be distributed to everyone in the College of Medicine through the Biomedical Research Stores in EMRB. Distribution will be tracked via ID card. Face shields will be required in all public corridors and spaces and face shields will be required in all research spaces (offices/labs) when strict social distancing may be compromised.
  3. Core facilities will publish updated information on their available services and how samples will be delivered to the cores. . All samples will be handled with gloves. No customers/users will be allowed in the facility without an appointment. Only one person at a time is allowed in small instrument/lab support rooms of <150 ft2.  Please check the CCOM Information for Researchers website for core facility updates. 
  4. A maximum occupancy for each lab will be determined based on bench configuration and floor area. The overall goal is too reduce occupancy in CCOM buildings to <50% of researchers and other staff present at any one time.  We will send a separate communication will specify the maximum number of people that can occupy a research space at one time.
  5. Guidelines will be given for each investigator to outline their own Individual research group operational plan. This will be accompanied by an online research planning tool that will let us track the plans while helping investigators configure them. This operational blueprint will specify communication strategies to coordinate the people present in the lab as well as specify a cleaning routine. More information on these tools will be sent soon.
  6. A dedicated complaint/suggestion email address will be established. Questions/answers that are of general interest will be distributed in our research newsletter and updated on operational information website.

Online research planning tool for PIs

PIs need to submit a 'back to research' plan via a REDCap survey.  Our general plan and guidelines already take into account things like building configuration and PPE distribution. Those requirements have already been planned, with many aspects already in place. The remaining issues specific to a research group are available for PIs to indicate in the online survey planning tool.  PIs: After reading the general guidelines, please use the return-to-research tool and log in your plan as soon as you can.  Because you’ve all been thinking about these issues already, it should only take a few minutes to fill in the online tool.  Don’t worry if the plan changes as hopefully, it will as we evolve.  Once completed and submitted, PIs will have a PDF copy of the Lab Plan available right away.  Please keep this copy and share with your research group to being formulating an execution plan. It is also advised to share this plan with your departmental administrator(s).

Clinical Trials Ramp Up (added 6/4/20)

University of Iowa Health Care has approved moving forward with having clinical study monitors come into the hospital. The following steps will need to be followed for a monitor to come to campus. 

  • The study team should contact the monitor and explain the process for gaining entry to the hospital with particular attention to the fact that they will be required to wear a face shield at all times when in public spaces. 
  • They will need to provide the monitors with directions to the appropriate hospital entrances for visitor screening. 
  • The study team should request that the vendor arrive with a face shield. Alternatively, the study team should meet the monitor at the hospital entrance and provide a face shield that can be worn in all public spaces. 
  • Prior to arrival, the study team should then send the following information to the screening/main information desk teams: lindsey-mascher@uiowa.edujill-furgason@uiowa.edu, and robin-hennes@uiowa.edu
    • Vendor name
    • Date of arrival
    • Department Administrator
    • Department Contact (may or may not be the same as the administrator)
    • Department Contact's Phone number
  • Visitors should show up to an entrance that supports visitor screening
    • Main Entrance - off the Skyway only due to construction
    • Fountain Lobby Entrance
    • SFCH 1st Floor
    • 1st Floor PFP
    • 2nd Floor PFP Skyway from Ramp 4
  • If a vendor shows up without a face shield, call that Departmental Contact to have the department work with the vendor to obtain a face shield or turn them away as this is a requirement for all vendors.  

Human Subjects Phase III Ramp Up (added 6/17/20)

On Tuesday, June 16, the Office of the Vice President for Research released this statement that initiates the final stage for ramping up research studies with human subjects. https://covidresponse.research.uiowa.edu/news/2020/06/human-subjects-research-begins-stage-3-ramp

Several guidelines have been developed and are linked into that announcement.  For those of us conducting human subjects research with people that are coming in primarily/solely for participation in a research project, this is good news.  We can resume.

We do need to take extra care to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for study participants.  Please read all the guidelines on this page as well as those from the Office of the Vice President for Research.

To proceed, all study groups need to have a plan for how to handle human subjects and research activity to diminish the threat of COVID-19.  The plan should ensure:

  • A screening procedure is in place to ensure participants are healthy and do not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Proper PPE is provided and worn by the participant. This can be a facemask provided by the research group or brought by the participant.
  • Surfaces that are touched by participants are cleaned before and after use to the standard used routinely for patients in the hospital.

For research studies where study participants would enter the hospital, ample procedures are already in place to satisfy requirements for screening. We are providing a blanket approval for your plan up front if you agree to adhering to the steps and the linked guidelines above.  

To ensure that screening goes smoothly for participants who are entering the hospital it is important that you notify participants prior to their arrival and provide direction to the hospital entrances where screening is taking place.  Tell them to bring their own face mask, if possible.  For research subjects that have a visit that is entered into EPIC, screening will take place just as it would for one of our patients.  If you have a low risk study that does not require you to place a visit in EPIC, you must notify the screening team the day prior to the scheduled visit.  The study team will need to provide a list with the following information to the screeners.

  • Name of research subject
  • Date of arrival
  • Study Coordinator Contact 
  • Study Coordinator’s Phone number

Please send the list to jill-furgason@uiowa.edu and COVID-HCHRLaborPool@uiowa.edu. They will ensure that the Epic screeners know our patients don’t have an EPIC appointment and to check our list instead.

For those of us who have study participants that would not be entering the hospital, some type of comparable screening procedure needs to be in place to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and to ensure proper PPE is provided and worn.  The study team will need to perform the screening procedures. Also remember that many entrances are locked so a study team member may need to meet the research subject at the door to the facility.   

Finally, for those going off-campus, perhaps making house calls to visit study participants, this is allowed.  However, please format a clear and concise plan for how you will protect your research team and your study participant.

ICON Training Course

Researchers and support staff in College of Medicine buildings must complete an ICON course on the rules for hygiene and social distancing for research spaces. This course is available now.

Proposed Core Facility services during Ramp-Up

Core Facility Service Status Normal Reduced By Appointment Not Available Sample Drop-Off
Biochemistry Stores          
All services X        
           
Biomedical Informatics Service          
More information forthcoming.          
           
Biomedical Research Store         Users are required to have either a face shield and/or face mask when approaching the window. 
All services X      
           
BSL3          
All services X        
           
Comparative Pathology Laboratory          
More information forthcoming.          
           
Electron Spin Resonance Facility         By arrangement.
All services X        
           
Flow Cytometry Facility          
Aria five laser X        
14 channels (48 EMRB) X        
Analysis instrumentation (58 EMRB) X X      
Training       X  
           
Genome Editing Core         By arrangement.  
All services X        
(COVID19 projects will be given priority)          
           
High Throughput Screening Facility          
All services X        
(COVID19 projects will be given priority)          
           
IIHG Bioinformatics         No drop-ins. 
KidneySeq clinical pipeline X        
NovaSeq Post-Processing services X        
Galaxy workflows (Clinical/Research) X        
Fee-for-Service' analyses X        
Workshops and training X        
Consultation meetings     X    
Summer Internships       X  
           
IIHG Genomics         Sanger Sequencing, Real-time PCR, DNA Bioanalalysis sample submission:  Place samples in the refrigerator outside 116 EMRB on the appropriate rack.  Sample submission sheets go in the marked box.  For Real time PCR submissions, please wrap the sample submission sheet around the plate.

RNA Bioanalysis, Microarray and 10X Genomics scRNA-Seq sample submission:  Make an appointment to submit samples by contacting Genomics Division at 335-7928, 335-6736, or 335-7251 or email dna-genomeseq@uiowa.edu , mary-boes@uiowa.edu, or garry-hauser@uiowa.edu to be met at the door. 
Full Services        
   NGS   X    
   Sanger   X    
   Microarray   X X  
   10X Genomics   X X  
   qPCR X      
   Bioanalysis     X  
   Oligos X      
Self-Services        
   Qubit     X  
   Nanodrop     X  
   ddPCR     X  
   Fluidigm     X  
   10X Single Cell Controller     X  
   Blue Pippen     X  
   Covaris     X  
Hands-On Training       X
Face-to-Face Consultation     Teleconference Only  
           
Magnetic Resonance Research Facility          
More information forthcoming.          
           
Metabolic Phenotyping Core         Seahorse samples should be placed in the incubator in the wet lab. 
All services     X  
           
Metabolomics Core          
More information forthcoming.           
           
Neural Circuits and Behavior Core         By arrangement. 
Consultation Services (study design, data analysis & interpretation, grand advising, etc)      Virtual appt    
Full fee-for-service studies performed by NCBC staff   X      
Training in the operation of imaging & behavioral equipment       X  
Use of imaging equipment (only with prior training)          
    -Confocal & Light Sheet Microscopy     X    
    -Cryosectioning     X    
    -(wireless) EEG/EMG Monitoring     X    
    -Fiber Photometry     X    
    -Imaging Analysis Software     X    
    -Surgical Suite & Equipment (IACUS/OAR dependent)       X  
    -qPCR X        
Use of behavioral equipment & rooms (only with prior training)          
    -Behavior Tracking/Analysis Software (if not requiring training)     X    
    -General note for all behavioral studies: all aspects of every experiment will need to be scheduled and time slots will be more limited to ensure social distancing in the hallway around the procedural rooms (if not requiring training)     X    
         -Non-Standard Housing Studies     Virtual mtg    
         -Long-term Studies      Virtual mtg    
         -Circadian/Activity Monitoring     Virtual mtg    
         -NCBC Behavioral Procedure Rooms (PBDB Barrier)     X    
           
NMR Facility         Samples can be dropped off at the core.
All services X        
           
Protein & Crystallography Facility         Samples should be dropped off at the spot specified by the 4-600 BSB door, across from Biochem Stores.
Protein production and purification   X    
Light scattering (DLS & SLS)     X  
Light scattering (MALS)       X  
Differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF)     X    
Biolayer interferometry (BLI)     X    
Crystallization screen setup     X    
ALS Xray screening/data collection       X  
Xray data processing & structure determination X        
SAXS data collection, processing & modeling       X  
Negative stain electron microscopy     X    
Homology modeling & docking X        
           
Proteomics Core         By arrangement.
Protein Identification, from gel solution or pellet X        
Deep protein characterization (mapping and PTM) X        
Label-Free Relative protein quantification X        
Relative Quant, chemical or TMT tagging of digest, pooled   X      
Biotyper, microbe identification by MALDI X        
Multi-step Kinome enrichment     X    
Proximal labeling, APEX workflow     X    
Lyophilization X X (external)      
           
Radiation and Free Radical Research Facility          
More information forthcoming.          
           
Radiology Core Lab          
More information forthcoming.           
           
Small Animal Imaging Core         By arrangement.
IVIS Lumina S5 (Optical Imaging)   X      
Xradia (3D X-Ray)     X    
Siemens Inveon Small Animal PET/SPECT/CT     X    
Data Analysis Workstations   X      
Biodistribution Station     X    
Carestream MSFX-Pro (Optical/X-Ray)     X    
Xstrahl Small Animal Research Radiation Platform (SARRP) (Spitz)     X    
Vevo 2100 Ultrasound (Weiss)     X    
7T GE Discovery MRI (Magnotta)     X    
           
Scientific Editing & Research Communication Core         By email.
Editing X        
Consultation on writing strategy X   Virtual/Phone    
Teaching (virtual) X        
           
Tissue Procurement Core         Samples will be dropped off in the refrigerator just inside the facility door. 
Tissue procurement on consented patients   X    
Patient consenting for procurement       X
Blood collection   X      
Biobank projects X        
           
Viral Vector Core         By arrangement. 
All services X        
(COVID19 projects may be given priority)          

 

Ramp Up FAQ

Q: What can I do if I need to work closely with someone learning a new instrument or doing a procedure together that brings me within 6 ft of them for an extended period of time.
A: Both of you should wear your faceshields and clean your hands before and after that session.  You may also opt for additional protection with a 3-ply surgical facemask.

Q: Can staff gather in break rooms and other places to eat and relax?
A: Break rooms and conference rooms are small, and only a limited number of people should be there.  Err on the cautious side and stay >>6ft apart.   Clean surfaces before and after use.  Do not use these spaces for group meetings.

Q:  I left my faceshield in my office or lab, can I wear a facemask while I walk directly to that area to put it on.
A: Yes, facemasks are available at Biomed stores (EMRB).  Carry one with you for just such occasions.

Q: Are "public spaces" that require the wearing of face shields referring to indoor public spaces, and not to outdoor, open-air spaces on the medical campus?
A: You don't have to wear your face shield outside unless you are very close to other people.

Q: I am afraid of touching anything. Doors, sink handles, all of that.  Should we be cleaning these all the time?  How do I get out of the bathroom? 
A: Everyone's individual research space should have its surfaces cleaned regularly. High touch areas should have special attention, but everything cannot be cleaned all the time. People that have symptoms of COVID-19 are not to be here. If you touch a surface you think is questionable, the key thing is not to touch your face. Wearing your faceshield and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer when you reach your destination is the recommendation. 

Q: Can undergraduate workers return to the labs? 
A: As of June 1st, undergraduate biweekly employees are permitted to return to CCOM labs with restrictions. An undegraduate employee:  

  • Must be identified in your research ramp up plan and go towards your final count of researchers in your group.
  • Should be an essential part of your research efforts.
  • Should contribute a specific skill set to your research effort, preferably based on previous experience with your lab.
  • Must not be primarily engaged in training and educational experiences.
  • Must adhere to all the guidelines put forth by our office, including taking the ICON course and wearing face shields in public spaces always or in research spaces where social distancing may be momentarily compromised.

Cursory laboratory experiences for undergraduates or high school students will NOT be approved. 

Q: Is it ok to invite a visitor to campus?
A: Visitors, including minors, are not allowed at this time.  This does not include faculty recruits, service technicians or contractors. 

Q: What about animal research?
A: The Office of Animal Resources has Phase I guidelines available online.

Q: Where do I find cleaning and sanitizing supplies for the lab/office? Can I buy those with my pcard?  
A:  No. Due to national shortages, the University has established a supply chain for low-stock items and prohibited purchases on pcards, eBuy or PReq. See below for where to find commonly needed supplies. 

  • Face shields and face masks: Biomedical Research Store in 238 EMRB (For non-patient care staff)
  • N95, N95 NOISH, KN95, surgical or isolation masks: Must be ordered through the University via https://veoci.com/veoci/p/w/zfdrucs3986k?c=123041
  • Cloth face masks: We have a limited supply in L191 MERF 
  • Gloves: Biochemistry Stores on 4th Floor BSB
  • EtOH: Biochemistry Stores on 4th Floor BSB
  • Hand Sanitizer: CCOM labs and building occupants can refill existing bottles at the Biochemistry Stores in BSB at no charge. We are not able to provide bottles for labs. 
  • Disinfectant/cleaning wipes: Must be ordered through the University via https://veoci.com/veoci/p/w/zfdrucs3986k?c=123041

 

May 18 - Updates on current activities

PPE

Faceshields must be worn in CCOM buildings when:

  • In public spaces (hallways, corridors, restrooms)
  • When strict social distancing is not achievable in research spaces.

Face shields and masks can now be obtained at the Biomedical Research Store, 2nd floor EMRB.  You will need to present your University ID card to obtain a face shield. If you are not working during the BioMed Store hours (8:30 – 11:30 am, 1 – 4:30 pm), you can request a shield via email.  Send your name and University ID to the BioMed store (brs-order@uiowa.edu), and someone from your lab/department will then be able to pick up a face shield for you.

Faceshield cleaning stations are present throughout the buildings.

Starting Tuesday, May 19th, the 3-ply face masks will be distributed on a lab rather than an individual basis.  To make sure everyone has access to masks, please do not request more masks than what your lab would need in a two-week period.  The BioMed store has access to an adequate supply of masks, but cannot accommodate everyone at the point of distribution if labs request too many masks per visit. At this time, we suggest 1 box (50 masks) per lab with 5 or less members and 2 boxes (100 masks) for larger labs. N95 masks are not available at this time.

Hand Cleaning

In the next few days, there will be bottles of hand sanitizer distributed throughout the CCOM buildings.  Look for these near entrances/exits as well as other public spaces.

It turns out that plastic containers are hard to get a hold of.  If you would like a <8oz bottle that you can carry for your personal use, please bring one from home.  You can get it filled up at the hand-sanitizer filling station on the 4th floor of BSB (outside the biochemistry stores during normal business hours).

Public Space configuration

You will see some changes in the public spaces in CCOM buildings.  Tables and chairs will be sparse, allowing seating while maintaining social distancing recommendations. Next week, those spaces will also have surface disinfectant to wipe down tables before and after use.

 


Ramp Down Guidelines for Laboratories

In accordance with the Office of the Vice President for Research, new restrictions on research within College of Medicine buildings are now being implemented. We understand these restrictions may be burdensome and diminish the spirit of what research is all about. Hopefully, we can adjust to these changes quickly and effectively. It is possible that restrictions will be tightened in the short-term and researchers should prepare in case we find ourselves in a situation where only the single most critical lab person from each lab will be allowed access to campus. The purpose is to not only minimize person-to-person contact but also prepare for the possibility that many research functions may shutdown entirely in the near future. Thus, it is important to minimize all current laboratory activity and cease initiation of new experiments. Keep in mind that there will be global supply and shipping delays.  

By now investigators need to have:

  • Identified the minimum essential procedures and processes that require regular personnel attention (e.g. cell culture maintenance, animal studies).
  • Prioritized critical laboratory activities.
  • Identified all research experiments that can curtailed or delayed and get them to that point.
  • Coordinated with colleagues who have similar research activities to identify ways to ensure coverage of critical activities (eg animals, -80C freezer checks, instrument maintenance).
  • Established on-line methods of communication with your colleagues.

The Carver College of Medicine Office of Research will update researchers weekly with a summarized newsletter highlighting important information. If your attention is elsewhere and you'd like to opt-out of those communications for the next three months, please select the approprate button below. If you prefer to have up-to-date information as it becomes available, reseachers also have the option to subscribe to a daily update. 


Laboratories

  • Laboratory activity must be minimized to essential tasks only to maintain baseline activity while maintaining long-term viability. This includes tasks like maintaining essential non-commercially available animal lines or responding to veterinarian needs, maintenance of critical cell lines that cannot be preserved, finishing long-term experiments such as in vivo studies, and studies directly related to COVID-19. It does not include starting new projects, breeding new mice, and conducting experiments involving multiple people and/or multiple instruments, cores, and other resources. A general rule of thumb would be activities one would do on the weekend - those necessary time-sensitive tasks that require limited time to accomplish. 
  • Violations of this policy may be reported to the Office of Research.  
  • It is NOT intended that non-critical research/scholarly activities should stop. Activities that can be carried out remotely (planning, writing, literature review, remote data collection, data analysis, remote meetings, or online learning such as coding, statistics, etc.) should continue. Be sure lab members are well equipped to work remotely (VPN, Duo, etc.). Resources for formulating plans and tools for laboratories and/or research groups to continue work remotely for the coming days/weeks will be posted to this website. Included will be educational opportunities and other resources to enhance researching remotely as well as links to other sites across campus that have relevant information regarding COVID-19 responses.
  • Dry/office research should be conducted remotely as much as possible.
  • Staff, post/pre-doctoral fellows and other employees are permitted on premises to conduct essential functions at this time. Investigators should designate 1-2 people for conducting essential work. Consider those personnel that can manage multiple tasks involving equipment, gas or cryogen monitoring/services, high-end instrumentation, incubators, etc. When selecting key personnel, labs should consider those whose commute does not depend on public transportation. Any potentially hazardous operations will require at least two trained and qualified persons be present.
  • Any staff, post/pre-doctoral fellows and other employees who are not comfortable being charged with essential research duties are encouraged to contact the College of Medicine Office of Research confidentially to resolve the situation.

PPE outside of lab & patient care areas  

No laboratory PPE or patient care PPE should be worn in hallways or public spaces of the buildings unless the individual is currently performing a research duty that requires PPE (examples:  someone transporting animals to or from the vivarium may wear a face mask to prevent allergies).  Face shields that have been properly cleaned and disinfected may be worn in public spaces.  Gloves MUST NOT be worn in hallways or public spaces nor can they be worn when opening doors or touching elevator buttons. PLEASE DO NOT SHARE PPE.

Face shields are now available for CCOM faculty, staff, and trainees to wear while in CCOM buildings, but this should not be interpreted as a sign to ramp up research work. The restriction on research work to only essential duties is still in place and will be for awhile yet.  Face shields help reduce the risk of asymptomatic spread, as well as protect colleagues from COVID-19.  Please keep and clean face shields for reuse.  These are not disposable PPE.  Our supply for face shields is currently limited.  We can only supply for those few of us doing essential work on campus.  Please only take for yourself or one other person in the building for immediate use.  We plan to get more, so don't deprive others of their use now for fear of not having another one in the future.

If the supply of face shields have been depleted at Biochem stores in BSB (335-7927) and the Biomedical Research Store in EMRB (335-8004 or 335-8005), please contact one of the three following individuals to request more:  

Contingency planning

  • For now research space and resources are available for essential work. From national trends, it may be that in the coming days they are not. In addition, we may need to close core facilities or radically curtail their activity even below our target now. 
  • Investigators should develop a contingency plan in which they can shut down their lab completely and find the absolute minimal tasks that would need to be done in an emergency. Lets prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Building access

  • Building access is restricted and door status will replicate that of nights and weekends. Interior public corridors through College of Medicine buildings will be open. Occupants should use their badges for entry.
  • Ensure that personnel conducting essential functions have their badge or make arrangements via email with the badge office to get a replacement.
  • The hours of access between UIHC and COM buildings has changed at the 1st floor MRC/GH doors. Access is available from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. M-F. 
  • Also, with fewer people in buildings, we may be more susceptible to theft. Take extra precautions to secure equipment, computers, and high-risk materials (radioactive, biohazards, chemicals). Finally, notify colleagues of your schedule when working alone in COM research spaces. 
  • Please do not allow individuals to follow you into a building.  With fewer employees on campus, we need to maintain security at entrances. All individuals should be badging into the buildings.

Deliveries

  • Package deliveries will continue as normal with FedEx and UPS deliveries at both BSB and MEB loading docks. For outgoing shipments, please take packages to one of the two dock areas for carrier pick-up. 
  • Gas cylinder deliveries by Praxair will continue, however, their procedure and schedule will be modified. We strongly encourage laboratories not to hoard gas. Please return unused tanks and order new ones with foresight. 

Animal research

  • Please view this website for the most up-to-date information from the Office of Animal Research (OAR). 
  • All animal studies must be curtailed so OAR can maintain essential services. Any exception to these new restrictions must be approved by the Office of Research and OAR. Investigators are asked to designate the minimum number of people in their lab to attend to animals. 
  • Contact the mouse Genome Editing Core for information and scheduling of cryo-preservation of mouse lines. 

Human subjects research


Funding opportunities

DSP has created a COVID-19 Updates Related to Sponsored Projects informational page for faculty and staff.


Grant sponsors

NIH guidelines for COVID-19

  • Peer Review: Peer-review process and study sections will proceed as scheduled in an online format. They will not meet face-to-face.
  • Application Revisions: If any information in a submitted application needs to be revised in light of COVID-19, revised materials can be provided as additional post submission materials up to 14 days prior to the start of the review meeting. (One page max in a letter of explanation - in the case of the Wellstone Center, it would probably be one page per project/core).
  • Lab Closures: If research labs cannot be maintained due to institutional closures, the first step is to assess if insurance will cover the losses. Once determined, if costs are not covered by insurance, recipients may request supplemental support to recover NIH-funded resources by contacting the funding IC.
  • Research Delays: Contact the IC to discuss any delays in research progress due to COVID-19 (e.g. lower enrollment numbers, impacts of travel restrictions, delays in IRB approvals, delays due to making alternative arrangements for remote research participation, lab ramp down, staffing issues).
  • Late Applications: Late applications are allowed without prior approval if institutions are closed, research personnel are in quarantine, research personnel are involuntarily absent, or institutions are otherwise unable to submit proposals due to COVID-19. A cover letter is required to explain the delay. Approval of late applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis once received. If the FOA has expired, the institution should contact NIH to make arrangements to submit. Institutions should inform NIH of plans to submit at least 2 working days prior to the planned submission date.
  • Late Reports: Late progress reports, financial reports, final reports and inventions reports will be accepted. If a report will be late, NIH asks that the institution inform them in advance. Additional funds will not be released until the required reports are received.
  • Additional Funding: NIH plans to offer administrative supplements to cover unanticipated costs associated with COVID19 measures. Funding announcements will be forthcoming.
  • Personnel: If the UI allows us to do so, we can still charge salaries and trainee stipends to NIH grants when no work is being performed as a result of COVID-19. UI HR policies are evolving, so this needs to be monitored. NIH should be informed and documentation from the UI provided on personnel policies, impacts of COVID-19 and how long we expect the institution will be impacted.
  • Travel Expenses: Non-refundable costs associated with grant-related travel that has been cancelled due to COVID-19 may be charged to the NIH award if they would have otherwise been allowable. If vouchers have been granted for any of the travel expenses affected by COVID-19, recipients are required to use the vouchers and may not request additional support.   
  • Conference Expenses: Non-refundable costs associated with NIH supported meetings and conferences affected by COVID-19 are allowable and may be requested as an administrative supplement to the appropriate funding IC.
  • Human Subjects: There are additional announcements which I still need to review. The basics are that we shouldn’t continue any in person human subjects research unless it is necessary for the health of the patient.
  • Animal Research: Flexibilities are being put in place, to be managed by each institution’s IACUC and Office of Animal Research. There is an NIH webinar for institutional leaders implementing the animal care plan tomorrow.

Full FAQ available here


Working remotely

Having problems with remote connectivity?  Need software for your home computer?  Please check these resources before calling a Help Desk.

Resources

What level of IT access do I need? 

How do I contact a Help Desk?  

  • HCIS: 319-356-0001
  • ITS: 319-384-HELP

Software licenses for home use

  • Lasergene - Download
  • SnapGene - Download 
    Use: "Stay safe" for the group name. This license expires on June 17. 
  • Graphpad Prism - Download
    Full-featured free trial expires after 30 days.
  • ITS has a list of software links specifically provided for remote working. 

Forwarding office/lab phones

Calls can be forwarded to a campus, local, or long distance number.  Call forward all (CFA) and call forward/busy-no answer (CFBNA) can be active at the same time. CFA will override CFBNA. When CFA is canceled, CFBNA will still be in affect.

If using a local or long distance number as the call forward number, the phone number entered will need to be preceded with the number 9 so the call will transfer off campus.

To forward all calls (CFA): All calls will immediately transfer to another phone line.

  • Lift handset, hear dial tone.
  • Dial *7, hear broken dial tone.
  • Dial number to which calls are to be forwarded; hear high-pitched confirmation tone.
  • Replace handset. 
    With each incoming call, the telephone will ring a half-ring as a reminder that this feature has been set before transferring to the receiving phone number. 

To cancel CFA:

  • Lift handset; hear dial tone.
  • Dial #7; hear high-pitched confirmation tone.
  • Replace handset.

To set call forward/busy-no answer (CFBNA): Calls will forward immediately if the phone line is busy or after three rings if not answered. If the receiving phone line is busy, the office/lab phone will continue to ring.

  • Lift handset; hear dial tone.
  • Dial *8; hear broken dial tone.
  • Dial number to which calls are to be forwarded; hear high-pitched confirmation tone.
  • Replace handset.

To cancel CFBNA:

  • Lift handset; hear dial tone.
  • Dial #8; hear high-pitched confirmaton tone.
  • Replace handset.