Memo from Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Matthew Mench regarding research continuity during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
The Office of Research and Engagement is working remotely to support the needs of our research community and encourages faculty to continue to submit new proposals.There are already several new opportunities emerging, which ORE staff will update announcements as more come available.
We remain on a reduced status of research activity. At this point, laboratory activities should be limited to those which are necessary for student graduation, regular maintenance, and meeting required milestones for externally sponsored programs. New experimental activity that can be completed in one or two days may also occur, but long-term experiments should not be initiated. All other activity should be off-campus or conducted via Zoom meetings to maximize safety of all in the community. Research advisors should be working with students to enable remote work where possible, while assuring lab activities are, without exception, safely operated including the addition of maximum social distancing, maintaining clean surfaces, and other safe hygiene practices.
If the status does change in the future, we will work with you to enact the contingency plans for the many research groups, and involve Facilities Services, Environmental Health and Safety, and lab directors to safely reduce lab operations. ORE will update the university’s research continuity information, but updates related to the overall university information and procedures will be hosted at utk.edu/coronavirus.
Assistance for receiving perishable and urgent deliveries—In some cases, urgent or perishable deliveries have been delayed due to reduced building occupancy. Each college’s associate deans for research and center directors should provide contact information to UT Mail Services. UT Mail Services will contact these persons for these shipments who will then arrange for someone from the department to go directly to UT Mail Services to collect the delivery.
Thank you all for working together through this,
Matthew M. Mench
Interim Vice Chancellor for Research