The following guidance is specific to research activities on campus. This page will be updated as new information is released. Please send questions by email to: VCRI@uml.edu.
Please see Corona Virus Alerts for the most up-to-date university communications and resources related to COVID-19.
Last updated: March 26, 2020.
In accordance with Governor Baker’s “stay at home” advisory, all research activities on campus are suspended with the exception of pre-approved critical equipment maintenance, animal care and COVID-19 responsive activities.
We strongly encourage researchers to focus on activities that can be done remotely at this time. This includes focusing on proposal-, manuscript- and thesis-writing, data analysis, modeling, etc.
Building access: Only personnel approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation will have access to specified locations. Faculty and staff not on the approved Critical Research Personnel list will need to call Police Dispatch at 978-934-2398 for access to retrieve essential forgotten items or to manage safety issues in the lab.
Business units supporting research – Office of Research Administration, Office of Research Integrity, Research Support Services, Office of Technology Commercialization, Office of Industry Partnerships and Economic Development, New Venture Development and the Core Research Facilities – are available. Researchers may contact their usual contacts in these offices as needed or email: VCRI@uml.edu.
The Office of Research and Innovation has prepared a statement to provide to sponsors and collaborators that have requested a status update regarding research activities on campus: Statement Regarding Suspension of UMass Lowell On-campus Research in Response to COVID-19.
If your sponsor requires more information, please email: VCRI@uml.edu.
Please review the guidance regarding externally-funded research personnel which includes information about sponsor guidelines, graduate research assistants, research staff, etc.
UMass Lowell is committed to supporting partners and organizations and contributing as much as possible. In order to direct our efforts toward where we can be most effective and facilitate these requests (including any donations and fabrication of PPE, test swabs, and ventilator parts and support in sterilization, testing, etc.), please forward any requests and inquiries to EOC@uml.edu. The team will create a database for communication and coordination and will address each request.
UMass Lowell is working with the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Emergency Response Team and will be directing people to further information as we marshal all of our capabilities to supporting this coordinated effort. If you are interested in helping and have either expertise or equipment that may be useful, please complete this survey.
Faculty and staff will be notified via email if a package is received. You will need to go to 1499 Middlesex Street Lowell, MA 01851 to pick up the package during the Central Receiving Department’s new hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. New orders and packages should be held until normal operations resume.
Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) hazardous materials receiving and delivery will remain open as long as there is active research on campus. If you are expecting an in-process order, you should alert EH&S receiving that you are anticipating a delivery. Please refrain from creating new orders, unless absolutely essential, until normal operations on campus resume.
If you have urgent items that need to be shipped to the university, please use the 1499 Middlesex Street Lowell, MA 01851 address during the remote work directive.
Packages addressed to any other university address at this time may be returned to sender and never reach campus.
All research activities on campus are suspended with the exception of pre-approved critical facility maintenance, animal care, COVID-19 related activities. Only researchers approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, and issued an ID badge confirming their status as Critical Research Personnel, will be allowed access to campus research facilities.
Critical Research Personnel must follow these minimum safety requirements:
Effective lab shutdown should include the following:
Contact the appropriate team for matters and questions related to:
Research groups should make lab shutdown plans and implement these plans immediately such that all on-campus research is completed or put in hibernation by March 27. Steps to consider:
Campus police and Environmental Health and Safety will continue to operate as normal and maintain all critical functions, such as emergency and fire response, spill cleanup, hazardous waste collection, and radioactive package delivery. Critical Research Personnel should continue to follow the procedures outlined in the Accidents and Emergencies Policies and Procedures.
Core Research Facilities are currently closed. Only approved Critical Research Personnel are able to access the facilities for critical maintenance.
As long as there is no disruption to ORA operations, ORA staff should be able to submit proposals on time if the researcher has complied with current campus proposal submission guidelines.
Currently, all federal agencies are accepting submissions as usual. If an agency closes, they will likely will continue to accept proposals but they will likely remain pending until the agency reopens (similar to federal budget-related shutdown procedures). In the event of natural disasters, agencies typically provide flexibility in submissions; see individual agency websites for additional guidance.
Funding agencies are updating their submission guidelines as necessary. Please refer to each funding agency’s website for most recent information regarding new deadlines and resources:
For additional information and resources regarding other institutional and agency responses to COVID-19, please refer to the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) Guidance.
As long as there is no disruption to ORA operations, staff will respond to emails and monitor phone calls as normal, even if they are teleworking. Please see this site for up-to-date contact information.
Yes, even during normal operations, the sooner ORA knows about a proposal, the more time they have to help you prepare your submission.
Sponsoring agencies are actively funding research in response to COVID-19. The Office of the Research and Innovation will work to compile and share these external funding opportunities as they are announced.
In accordance with University guidance on workshops and seminars, some Research Support Services workshops have been cancelled. Others such as the NSF Career Workshop and the Enlightened Bites seminar on Effective Team Science will occur as scheduled but through virtual attendance.
In order to log into Dimensions, you must use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) to enter your UMass Lowell credentials. For more information about connecting to the VPN, refer to the remote access webpage. Once you have connected to the VPN, you should be able to access Dimensions as normal.
Please access PIVOT and SPIN as normal. You do not need to connect to the VPN for these applications.
Yes. The UMass Lowell IRB (Institutional Review Board) Office is fully functional and operating as normal. As long as there is no disruption to ORI operations, the IRB will continue business as usual (but through virtual communications).
No human subjects involved in research are permitted on campus. Those human subjects projects that have been approved to continue must immediately convert to remote procedures. These changes must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to implementation unless it is to eliminate immediate apparent hazards to the participants or researchers (see question below). Remote procedures include:
If the Principal Investigator decides to voluntarily suspend study activities, they should submit this as Reportable New Information to the IRB within 5 business days of the suspension.
If possible, you should plan for alternatives to in-person study visits (e.g., online questionnaires, phone surveys, etc.). However, these changes must be approved in advance by the IRB, unless they are necessary to eliminate immediate apparent hazards to participants. For additional guidance, please email: IRB@UML.edu.
If it is in the best interest of researchers and participants to eliminate immediate apparent hazards, the Principal Investigator may implement changes without prior IRB approval, however, this must be reported to the IRB as Reportable New Information within 5 business days of the modification.
As long as there is no disruption to ORI operations, we expect the IRB to continue to accept and review protocol submissions, even while faculty and ORI staff are working remotely. If necessary, IRB meetings will be held remotely.
The UMass Lowell Animal Care Unit will continue to provide daily care to all animals housed in the animal care facility. This includes continued veterinary medical care; assessment of animal health and well-being; provision of food, water and clean cages; and maintenance of appropriate environmental conditions. For animals housed in satellite facilities, the primary investigators are responsible for providing the necessary care. OLAW has developed a Frequently Asked Questions regarding how to prepare during a pandemic.
As long as there is no disruption to ORI operations, we expect the IACUC to continue to accept and review submissions while faculty and ORI staff are working remotely. If necessary, IACUC meetings will be held remotely. For additional guidance, please email: IACUC@uml.edu.
Please refer to the university guidance pertaining to Events and Campus Activities. You are strongly encouraged to hold lab meetings virtually using tools available on campus such as Skype for Business and Zoom.
Please refer to the university guidance pertaining to Events and Campus Activities. Email any questions to: VCRI@uml.edu.
Please follow the university guidance pertaining to travel.