Research continuity plans for the School of Medicine

All research groups were required to develop a research continuity plan and submit it to their department by Friday March 20. The research continuity plan should include the following information at a minimum, and should be shared with the research group.

  • Updated contact list for all members of your group, including employees, students, and post-docs, other trainees, visiting scientists etc. Include mobile numbers.
  • Define your “essential” and “important” functions and build your plan around them.
    • “Essential” functions are defined as:
      • Maintenance of critical reagents (cell lines, animals) and critical equipment (freezers, N2 tanks, computer clusters, other equipment) (no experiments)
      • Continuing COVID19 research
    • “Important” functions are defined as:
      • completing or winding down ongoing experiments that would be irreparable to the research project to halt (using an irreplaceable sample)
      • completing/modifying/winding down ongoing experiments that would be costly or time consuming (eg months, not days or weeks) to the research project to halt
  • Identify the indispensable, on site, personnel necessary to carry out the “essential” and “important” functions. As a guide, one should consider that 10-25% of the lab might be required, depending on the amount of “essential” and “important” functions that are needed and the size of the group. Identifying back-up “essential, on-site” personnel is now possible.
  • Ensure that your indispensable, on-site personnel can maintain recommended physical distancing (eg their work stations are at least 6 ft apart, and that appropriate hygienic routines are in place, etc).
  • Identify key services/cores that are critical to your scaled back operations

These plans should be implemented, and only essential, on-site personnel should be on campus.

There are many services that are critical to the research mission, even in this scaled back environment. Decisions on which services/cores to close or scale back should be done at the dept head level, and in consultation with leadership. 

Depending on how the COVID-19 situation evolves, we may have to stop doing the “important” functions. So make preparations on how your group would manage the “essential” functions only. 

Develop activities for those who are at home, so that they can stay engaged in the research mission (reading papers, developing experimental plans, analyzing data, writing manuscripts, writing grants, learning to use our electronic note, LabArchives). Note that personnel can arrange with their PI to take laptops, hard drives, data sticks, notebooks home (they must be returned). Protected Human Information (PHI) may not be stored on an unencrypted device. 

Laboratory equipment, supplies, samples or animals should not be removed from the laboratories. 

See guidance on the OVCR website »