COVID-19 guidelines for ASU researchers

Updated: June 11 at 7:30 a.m.

As the State of Arizona eases restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, ASU Knowledge Enterprise is developing a set of policies, procedures and guidelines to increase research activity on campus while keeping the health, safety and well-being of our community as our highest priority.

Increase of research activity on campus is occurring in a measured, phased approach. For more information, review the guidelines and policies in the Research Intensification Plan.

Please consult the ASU Health Services coronavirus page for important tips on how to stay healthy and wellness resources available, as well as information on national and international protocols undertaken to help minimize the spread of illness. For updates on the services provided by Research Operations, including those provided by the Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration (ORSPA) and Office of Research Integrity and Assurance (ORIA) as well university policies, best practices and agency information related to COVID-19, visit Research Administration news.

As we transition to more on-campus research, adhere to the following guidelines while conducting remote research operations.

Reschedule any sponsored research-related travel.

University-sponsored international travel is prohibited at this time. University-sponsored domestic travel must receive approval from a dean or vice president, as well as an executive vice president.

In many cases, travel related fees — such as change or cancellation fees and trip cancellation insurance — may be an allowable expense with appropriate justification, unless the specific award or sponsor guidelines prohibits these costs. If the specific award or sponsor guidelines do not cover such fees, work with your departmental support to identify local funds to cover these costs. For more information, please visit ASU ResearchAdmin FAQs.

Stay up-to-date on proposal submission and management of sponsored projects.

The Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration and your department research administrators continue to provide proposal development and submission services.

Federal agency guidance and information regarding the management of your sponsored projects are posted in Research Administration news.

The Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) is also collecting institutional and agency responses. For more information, see COGR's guidance.

Do not conduct physical experimentation at home.

The university does not approve the use of private residence for experimental research purposes. Such work at home raises a number of health and safety, and potential building and fire code related concerns that are subject to routine health and safety inspections and mitigation measure at the university laboratories and cannot be verified in a residential setting. These potential hazards include but are not limited to occupancy rating of the building (e.g. residential vs. research), electrical hazard associated with the use of the equipment (e.g. personnel safety, overload of circuitry, etc.), presence of untrained individuals in the research area, etc., none of which have been assessed by university.

Designate emergency personnel.

It is in the best interest of all that research groups are prepared for limited access to research spaces. Designate emergency personnel in advance in case access to research spaces becomes restricted. Emergency personnel may include positions directly responsible for:

  • Building or property safety and security.

  • Research animals, specimens or equipment.
  • Information security.

  • Critical infrastructure.
  • Essential business, contractual or legal duties, such as payroll.

Plan for reduced on-campus staff.

In the event personnel cannot come to work, research group leads should discuss how to complete research activities with reduced staff. Each university research laboratory is best positioned to create its own contingency plan, which should include a communication strategy to streamline decision-making and reduce disruption to your research.

Ensure remote access to research materials and meetings.

All personnel involved in research projects should make sure they are able to access their work and information remotely. For instance, access to databases, research-related files and literature, as well as meeting software such as Zoom, should be made available to all students, staff, post-doctoral researchers and faculty. Prepare to hold meetings remotely if need be.

Keep your communication plan up to date.

If you do not have a communications plan for your research group, designate points of contact to efficiently disseminate information that impacts your work and group.

Redirect media inquiries.

As a leading research university, news media may contact you or a member of your research group for comment on the coronavirus. Unless authorized, do not give statements on behalf of ASU. Instead, all inquiries should be directed to ASU’s Strategic Communications & Media Relations staff. Media relations representatives are trained to respond to media inquiries in a timely manner.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your research, submit them to Research Admin.