RESTARTING RESEARCH FAQs

FAQs for Researchers

We have provided a list of frequently asked questions and answers below. This list will be updated as we receive new information and questions.

For additional guidance on restarting research on the Reynolda Campus, please visit our Guidance  for Safe Restart of Research page.

    Facilities/Support

  • Who may conduct research activities on campus?

    Approved faculty, postdocs, research staff, technicians, graduate and undergraduate students. To obtain approval, PI’s need to follow procedures in the RRG, which includes submitting a Standard Operating Procedure for your group to your chair or program director, establishing a schedule for your personnel that de-densifies your work spaces to the extent possible – coordinated with your chair, and you must have a one month supply of PPE on hand.

  • Can I work on campus if I do not need to do hands-on work in a lab?

    No, if there is no clear need for you to come to campus, you should not do so at this stage.

  • My lab does not have PPE available, what should I do?

    All laboratory personnel need a minimum of one-month supply of PPE available in the research lab. If assistance is needed to purchase PPE, please contact Environmental Health & Safety (Immanuela Onocha)

    Personnel

  • Can undergraduate students work on campus?

    Yes. Please see the specific guidance on the Guidance for Safe Restart of Research Activities page.

  • Can I hire new personnel or fill vacant positions that are paid using grant funds?

    Yes. In the short-term anyone requesting to hire needs to follow the steps outlined in HR’s email dated, Thursday, April 23, 2020 so that HR and the University leadership can track all hiring. Information about the prospective employee should be entered into the spreadsheet template; be sure to note in the comment box that the position is grant funded and send the spreadsheet to HR. Grant-funded requests do not need additional approvals so the HR team will initiate the process in Workday and the recruitment can proceed.

  • What are the guidelines on raises for employees paid from external grants?

    The University has recommended a pay increase effective July 1, 2021. Employees who are fully or partially paid by external grants to the university are also eligible to receive a raise in pay for FY 2022.

    Events and Travel

  • Can others come to campus?

    Beginning Saturday, May 1, University gate access — including the Polo Road gate — will return to normal operations. All gates will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and card access will not be required during those hours. access.

    Visitors are welcome in accordance with the following expectations:

    • Do not enter if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of social distance at all times.
    • Adhere to posted notices and the direction of university personnel.
    • Access to buildings is limited. Signs will be posted.

    Expenses

  • Can sponsored research (grant) funds be used to pay for PPE?

    If PPE is required in order to perform the objectives related to the research project then grant funds can be used. If the PPE is needed now to protect against the spread of COVID-19 then other funds should be used to purchase PPE. Contact EHS to see if university funds are available.

  • Am I allowed to make purchases and pay salaries from my D fund?

    Yes, but since D Funds are internal funds, and considered non-discretionary, restrictions apply:

    1. i) Expenditures under $500 require review by the Department Chair or Program/Center Director.
    2. ii) Expenditures over $500 require the pre-approval of the appropriate Reynolda Campus Cabinet Member or Dean. The Department Chair or Program/Center Director must submit the College Expense Request Form.
    3. iii) Any expenditure greater than $2,500 will also require Executive Vice President or Provost pre-approval.

    Summer salary paid from a D Fund would need department chair approval, and if over $500, then the Dean or Associate Provost, Keith Bonin approval. If the salary is over $2500, then the Provost or Executive Vice President would also have to approve it.

  • My grant budget includes summer salary. Can I work remotely and receive the budgeted summer salary?

    If your approved budget includes summer salary, you may charge salary and wages proportional to the actual work performed on the project. As always, you will need to certify your effort through the current reporting system, which will consist of completing/signing an online or paper form with effort allocations for fixed time periods, e.g. semesters, that is generated in Workday by your Grants Contract Manager. Availability of funding in and of itself is not justification for payment of summer salary support. Investigators must maintain detailed work records to substantiate summer effort in the event of an audit.

    Human Subjects Research

  • Can I conduct my IRB-approved study remotely instead of in person?

    Yes, but…you must file an application amendment to revise your methods. The IRB Staff and Board members are ready to process such amendments in a timely manner.  If you plan to return to in-person interactions after the COVID-19 crisis, draft your revised methods to allow for it.  By doing so, a second application amendment will not be necessary to reverse the first.

  • How can I video conference with participants enrolled my research study?

    Contact Lori Gabriel and she will ask Information Systems to add you to a special Web Ex site that is HIPAA compliant, with downloads disabled and recording retention set for 120 days.