Special Edition
From the Desk of the VPR: Coronavirus Information for Researchers — Moving to Mission-Critical Research Activities Only
Our philosophy as researchers is that we value all our faculty, staff, and students who are part of our research activities that comprise a vital part of our land-grant mission. These are very extraordinary times, and I ask each research leader to develop and implement lab shut down and continuity plans that are in the best interests of their team members. Our goal should be to survive this pandemic to continue to do research in the future. 
There are, however, essential, mission-critical activities that must be continued in order to preserve life and safety for our researchers and to meet Federal guidelines on activities involving human and animal subjects. Any animal studies underway at this time will be continued to completion of the study per Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) policies. If a study must be terminated for any reason, the IACUC must be contacted in advance for approval:  cdoerr@k-state.edu .
Animal colonies, herds, and insect colonies must be maintained according to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). A list of all current animal activities is being compiled from IACUC and the Comparative Medicine Group, and PIs will be contacted. Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs) need to be developed and implemented by faculty and directors for all animal facilities.  
Any shut down or hibernation of equipment or a laboratory must be done in accordance with Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) (see  Lab Hibernation Plan form ). Our mission-critical facilities will be secured and maintained per SOPs and regulations. COOPs should include communication plans with critical vendors for deliveries.

This list may not be all-inclusive: 
  • Any superconducting magnets will be maintained per manufacturer’s specs (e.g. NMRs, MRIs). 
  • Any inert atmosphere boxes, reactive materials, incubators, sensitive/time-sensitive samples/studies including critical cell, bacterial, plant, and algal lines, and other biological samples and specimens must be maintained according to SOPs. 
  • All maintenance of mission-critical research must be performed in accordance with CDC COVID-19 social distancing SOPs. 

- Peter
URCO Updates
The University Research Compliance Office (URCO) will continue to accept new research protocols, and modifications to existing research protocol; however, they will not be sent to the IACUC, Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), or Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review and approval until normal research operations start. URCO will hold virtual IBC, IACUC, or IRB committee meetings only when an amendment or modification is needed related to mission-critical research or changes to research that will continue during limited operations. Please contact Cheryl Doerr at cdoerr@k-state.edu  with any questions.   
Office of PreAward Services Updates
The PreAward Services staff will continue to provide normal proposal services, including submission, as well as continue to process awards and agreements and negotiate contracts to ensure the continued on-boarding of new and continuing project awards, but will be doing so through telework.
The OVPR website includes staff contact information. However, in lieu of leaving voice-mail messages for a specific staff member, you are encouraged to send a direct email to them, or to  research@k-state.edu , which is monitored by multiple individuals.

Noon-1:30 p.m.
Monday, March 16
Via Zoom

The rapidly changing environment on campus has changed the way we will be doing our regular academic “business” for some time to come. While the focus of our recent Brown Bag meetings has been on topics such as Conflict of Interest, International Travel, and the Environment for International Scholars on Campus, our attention now is naturally turning to how to keep research going and planning for a campus shut down or quarantined research team members. 

The discussion via Zoom (the way we will all be meeting for the foreseeable future so why not practice over lunch) will focus on addressing questions about our posting for researchers and how the OVPR can help you with your planning. We will also provide a way for you to email in your questions if we can’t get to your specific item.