Research Community Messages

3D-printed masks to be sent on for testing by Linsey Marr. Photo: Peter Means for Virginia Tech.
3D-printed masks to be sent on for testing by Linsey Marr. Photo: Peter Means for Virginia Tech.

Updated: May 12, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

Dear Research Community,

In anticipation of the Commonwealth of Virginia entering into Phase I of its multi-phased approach to lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Virginia Tech is carefully planning how to reinstitute our research activities.

Read full statement here.

Good morning colleagues,

In collaboration with our institutes and colleges, Virginia Tech’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has established a COVID-19 Rapid Response Seed Fund that seeks to provide support for Virginia Tech researchers.

Read full statement here.

Colleagues,

In the spirit of Ut Prosim, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has established a COVID-19 Rapid Response Team that seeks to identify and provide opportunities for Virginia Tech researchers to use their expertise to make an impact on the pandemic that has affected communities near and far. 

Read full statement here.

Editor’s note: The following archive of the email message that was sent April 1, 2020, at 9:49 a.m. to the research community has been updated to further clarify essential research activity.

Colleagues,

Yesterday, President Sands announced that by Friday, April 3, university operations will transition from the “reduced operations” level to the “essential operations” designation, as described in Presidential Policy Memorandum No. 309. I want to follow up with what that means for research at Virginia Tech.

Read full statement here.

This message was sent to all researchers.

Colleagues,

To protect our community against COVID-19, it is critical that our everyday actions and research activities follow all social distancing requirements that come from the governor. Social distancing helps “flatten the curve,” and we are all responsible to each other and ourselves in maintaining safe practices at this time. This may require coordination by several principal investigators in shared laboratories.

Read full statement here.

Dear Research Colleagues,

As university officials continue to monitor developments of COVID-19, we are providing important information regarding continuity of research while taking steps to ensure the health of our university community.  Below please find important information for laboratories to begin planning scale-down activities and prepare for a potential pause in research activities, as well as responses to Frequently Asked Questions.

Read full statement here.

This message was sent to research faculty and anyone who has been a principal investigator on a grant/contract/other sponsored work that is a current employee.

Colleagues,

In effort to keep the research community informed, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has partnered with university leadership and teams across campus to provide guidance, information, and resources in order for researchers, faculty, staff, and students to make the best decisions given various circumstances.

Read full statement here.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), continues to monitor the health and welfare of all animals at Virginia Tech during the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential impact on animal care and use, the IACUC is requesting that all lead Principal Investigators (PI) on IACUC protocols develop contingency plans to ensure the health and welfare of live animals on currently active protocols. The contingency plans should clearly outline steps and responsibilities of specific individuals to ensure the daily care of animals. Contingency plans should be multi-tiered to take into account changes in the operational status of Virginia Tech, reductions in availability of university animal care staff and protocol personnel, shortages of supplies required to maintain animal housing or experimental procedures, or ability to maintain personnel safety. In the event that animals cannot receive appropriate care, the contingency plan should include provisions for the humane euthanasia and disposal of animals.

Read full statement here.

This message was sent to research staff.

Colleagues,

We continue to monitor the status of the COVID-19 coronavirus as it develops across the globe.  It is prudent that we continue to make plans for a variety of outcomes that will impact the research community that includes faculty, staff, students, and animals.

This message was sent to OVPRI staff.

Colleagues,

In light of recent guidance from Virginia Tech, along with emerging evidence that COVID-19 may be transmittable before symptoms appear, OVPRI is taking steps to decrease workplace contacts and protect employees. These programs become effective ASAP and will remain in effect until further notice. As of March 17, 2020, OVPRI remains open and operational.  

Read full statement here.

This message was sent to LS1, ILSB, FBRI, and CVM investigators and research personnel.

Colleagues,

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for maintaining normal daily activities across Virginia Tech. Information and responses will likely continue to change frequently over the next several weeks. ARCD and TRACSS employees are considered essential personnel and will continue to provide daily animal observation and husbandry procedures that include the provision of feed and water, cage changing and sanitation, and observation for animal health and welfare concerns. However, unexpected circumstances may arise that require modifications to existing vivarium practices or procedures associated with prolonged staffing shortages and/or disruption in the supply chain of materials required to maintain animals, provide for personnel safety, and protect animal biosecurity.

Read full statement here.

Dear Research Colleagues,

As University officials continue to monitor developments of the worldwide coronavirus (SARS- CoV-2) and COVID-19 disease pandemic, we are providing important information specific to the continuity of research while taking steps to ensure the health of our university community. There will be regular communications from OVPRI as developments occur. Included in this communication is contact information for research-specific issues. University updates will be posted to https://vt.edu/flu/2019Coronavirus.html, as well as sent out via email as needed.

Read full statement here.

This message was sent to OVPRI staff.

Colleagues,

The health and safety of our employees and the broader community is of utmost importance at this time. In alignment with guidance from Virginia Tech leadership and our peers across the university, the Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation (OVPRI) is providing the following guidance for our employees:

  • Travel: out of state (domestic and international) travel for all university business is suspended until further notice. Please cancel travel plans immediately and request refunds or credits from service providers of any expenses for services, which will not be used or conferences that may be cancelled or not attended. Additional guidance regarding travel will be forthcoming.

  • Telework: Guidance regarding telework options can be found online here. Please discuss your needs for telework with your supervisor.

    OVPRI senior leadership is working together to assess and meet our technology needs for increased telework. The Division of IT has an excellent remote work guide that can be found online here. After reviewing that site, please fill out this survey to provide the information necessary for senior leaders to build an effective plan. 

  • Health and wellbeing: as always, it is important to maintain good hygiene and habits to protect yourself and those around you. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face. Avoid crowded environments. If you are sick, high-risk, or have returned from a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 travel notice area, self-quarantine.

Read full statement here.

 

This message was sent to research faculty and anyone who has been a principal investigator on a grant/contract/other sponsored work that is a current employee.

Colleagues,

The Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation is working with senior leadership and stakeholders across Virginia Tech, as well as peers across the Commonwealth and beyond, and with federal agencies to develop comprehensive plans and guidance regarding research operations. I know there are many questions and concerns across the community about how research will be affected by COVID-19.   

Read full statement here.

This message was sent to associate deans and institute directors.

Associate Deans and Institute Directors,

In preparation for Monday’s meeting on continuity of research operations, I wanted to make sure you are aware of our FAQs and guidance on Virginia Tech’s research website. The meeting on Monday will include conversation on both impacts on the research enterprise and on graduate studies.

Read full statement here.