Research FAQ's for COVID-19 Pandemic
Frequently Asked Questions regarding the status of research and the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs (RASP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Do salary reductions being implemented for non-represented employees apply to grant-funded individuals?
Salary reductions for non-represented employees with salaries above $38,000/year do apply to grant-funded individuals, as the granting agencies require that we treat all such employees the same as Kent State-funded employees. However, there is an exception to this rule for postdocs. Postdocs will not have their salaries reduced under the plan.
- During the current hiring freeze can I hire a post-doctoral fellow or a technician on my start-up funds?
Yes. If your hire was mentioned in your start up budget justification, you can proceed with submitting the position through Position control.
- Are all of the RASP offices operating during the stay-at-home order?
Yes, all offices are up and running remotely. During this time it may be more efficient to communicate with RASP personnel via email, but phones are being forwarded to home computers.
- Can I (my post-doc, graduate student, undergraduate research assistant) go to my lab or studio or office at Kent if I follow distancing precautions?
No. The university is closed to non-essential employees in order to protect the health of our community. Only in very rare cases have research duties been deemed essential, and at this point you should know if you meet the criteria for essential research. Any requests for exceptions must be approved by your chair, dean, and the VP of Research.
- When will we be allowed back to our labs/studios/offices?
At present, this is unknown. We will continue to follow guidance from the state as well as University leadership. On the assumption that restrictions will be lifted in a phased fashion (rather than all-at-once), we are designing phased approaches for returning to work/research.
- I am being told that I need to keep paying personnel on my grants, but we are not able to collect the necessary data during the stay-at-home order. I understand that no-cost extensions are an option, but I will be out of money during the no-cost extension year. Are there funds available to allow me to finish my research?
This is an issue facing all researchers across the U.S. We are monitoring correspondence from funders and will provide answers as soon as guidance is provided.
- Are the compliance committees (IRB/IACUC) still operating?
Yes, the IRB and IACUC are operating as usual, as is the Office of Research Compliance (ORC). There may be some delay, but so far most projects have not experienced a significant delay in review and approval. If your study is exempt, we recommend you review the exempt self-determination procedures located at https://www.kent.edu/research/office-research-compliance/irb-forms.
- Is research related to the pandemic being prioritized for compliance review?
We are equally prioritizing student research that needs to be conducted for course or program requirements, and new COVID-19 research, as well as current projects that need to be amended as a result of COVID-19. If you have a specific deadline or something that is time-sensitive, please let us know when submitting your proposal. You can help expedite the review of your project by providing a clearly-written application package, and we suggest reviewing our common IRB comments documents, which are cross-posted to the IRB forms and IRB help webpages. There is also an example level II/III application on the IRB help page.
- Will the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) be held this summer?
No. Due to COVID-19, the SURE program has been canceled for summer 2020. However, in an effort to support students and faculty who can work remotely, faculty have been given an opportunity to submit virtual research projects and identify students for remote/online engagement. The projects submitted must not require any on-campus presence by students.
If you have questions regarding Sponsored Programs, contact Lori Burchard at firstname.lastname@example.org; regarding compliance, contact Kevin McCreary at email@example.com; regarding commercialization, contact Steve Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org; regarding student research contact Ann Gosky at email@example.com; and regarding faculty development contact Doug Delahanty at firstname.lastname@example.org.