Phased Return to Research
VCU research is in Phase III effective July 17.
VCU Reboarding Module
To support your safety and the safety of others, VCU requires that all personnel complete "Reboarding at VCU" training before returning to campus. Those with access to Talent@VCU take the training there; students and trainees access the training via Blackboard.
VCU’s Return to Research Plan
Review VCU’s Return to Research Plan. Work with your research team to consider how best your team could return to campus. Prepare a plan that incorporates capacity, safety and distancing requirements.
Each Unit’s Return to Campus Coordinator is responsible for working with Chairs and Principal Investigators to identify their plans for returning to research. Exceptions to any requirements should be coordinated through your Return to Campus Coordinator.
Review of Critical Resources Needed
Consult with service providers, clinics, cores, etc. to determine your team’s ability to access these resources. Determine whether any protocol changes need to be implemented prior to restarting your research.
Receive Approval and Safety Kit
Upon documentation of approval from your Return to Campus Coordinator, your team will receive safety kits, provided only for those personnel approved to access VCU facilities. If approved to return on a specific date and a safety kit is not available, PIs can provide similar supplies from their laboratories to allow for return.
Following the guidelines of the university-wide reopen plan, “ONE VCU: Responsible Together,” the VCU phased Return to Research will occur in a purposeful, responsible and deliberate manner.
Under VCU’s phased return to research, beginning with the lifting of the governor’s orders:
- All research that is possible to be done remotely should continue remotely, including all seminars, group meetings, etc. and
- On-campus research activities transition to a maximum of 25% total personnel capacity in Phase II, 50% - 85% capacity in Phase III (based on VPRI determination) and 100% capacity in Phase IV with physical distancing. Shift work can maintain capacity percentages while allowing more researchers to work.
Please review the materials posted below, including VP Srirama Rao’s email to members of the VCU research enterprise on the phased return to research.
- Phased Return to Research (R2R) plan
- Summary slides of phased R2R plan
- Frequently Asked Questions regarding the phased R2R (updated 8/14/2020)
- Visit the VPRI Contacts section below to request additional guidance (updated 7/16/20)
- One VCU: Responsible Together
- Request for Exception to University Requirements
- Request for Exception to DAR Space Requirements
We will continue to add new queries and information to the FAQs document. Questions not already addressed by the FAQs can be submitted to email@example.com
Email from P. Sriram Rao, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Innovation on phased Return to Research (6/3/2020)
Final recipients of the VCU COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding (5/15/20)
First 20 recipients of the VCU COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding (4/30/20)
The COVID-19 rapid research funding opportunity has closed to new submissions (4/22/20)
COVID-19 Clinical Trials Oversight Committee (updated 4/8/20)
COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity (4/3/20)
Human Subject Research - Important Additional Guidelines and Updates (3/23/20)
COVID-19 - Continued VCU guidelines for research operations (3/19/20)
Requirement to Report Critical Research Approvals (3/19/20)
VCU human subjects research - updated guidelines (3/17/20)
COVID-19 - New VCU guidelines for research operations (3/17/20)
VCU research continuity guidance to mitigate COVID-19 disruptions (3/13/20)
OVPRI Phased Return to Research Guidance
- Are you ready to return?
- Letter From the HRPP Regarding the R2R Plan
- Investigator Responsibilities to the IRB During the R2R
- Supplemental Flowchart for Investigator Responsibilities During the R2R
- Supplemental Video Guidance
- WIRB Guidance (Western IRB, WIRB, Copernicus, WIRB-Copernicus Group, WCG)
- Advarra Guidance (Including studies previously reviewed by Chesapeake, Schulman, and Quorum)
- NCI Central IRB Guidance
- HRPP COVID-19 FAQs
- E-Consent Comparison: REDCap vs. DocuSign
- Comparison of Different Methods of Obtaining Consent Signatures Remotely
- VCUHS Guidance on COVID-19 Prevention for Human Research
- Ramp-up guidance (see June 4, 2020 - Animal Research Ramp-up Guidance)
- Animal ordering (see May 29, 2020 - Animal ordering during VCU’s Return to Research initiative)
- Requests for Exception to University Requirements (see July 13, 2020 - Requests for Exception to University Requirements)
Request for Exception to DAR Space Requirements
If you have any questions, please contact Amy Chuang at 804-828-6587 or at IACUC@vcu.edu. All email communications and updates are posted at ACUP News and Updates.
Urgent animal welfare issues: contact a staff veterinarian on call immediately at 804-840-5085.
Staged Reopening - Return to Research Update for Users:
OSP is continuing to submit proposals even when staff work remotely. All new grant applications should utilize the normal RAMS-SPOT review/submission process. Federal agencies are aware of current challenges and we will share additional guidance as it becomes available.
Principal investigators are expected to continue to submit timely annual and final reports in the event of an emergency university closure, which includes work-from-home provisions. Institutional reports (non-financial) will continue to be processed and submitted by OSP staff.
If, as the PI of a grant, you anticipate that your grant deliverables will be delayed by offsite work, please contact your program officer immediately to let them know of your work plan adjustments and copy (cc) your OSP Team on the email communication. Additionally, please prepare a brief explanation of the delay for your next progress report. The explanation should outline the alternative work completed and your plan for accomplishing the original deliverables.
The Council on Governmental Relations provides researchers with its assessment at www.cogr.edu/faqs-regarding-covid-19s-impact-federal-awards
Current guidance from sponsoring agencies:
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Air Force Office of Scientific Research
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
- Department of Defense
- Department of Energy
- Department of Education
- Department of Justice
- Food and Drug Administration
- Institute of Museum and Library Services
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- National Endowment for the Arts
- Office of Management and Budget
- United States Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity
- Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Please review your funder’s guidance if your project is being impacted by COVID-19. Please contact your OSP team for more guidance and to initiate any necessary sponsor notifications or requests. (updated 3/17/20)
VCU researchers are encouraged to consider potential funding opportunities for research related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the many sources of information for external funding are:
The OVPRI Finding Funding page provides an overview of resources available to VCU researchers.
Grants.gov provides notices of funding opportunities from VCU’s major federal funding partners, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, as well as the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies. Use “COVID-19,” “coronavirus” or other related terms for your search.
Pivot combines the most comprehensive, editorially maintained database of funding opportunities worth an estimated $74 billion. Its algorithm also compiles pre-populated researcher profiles unique to VCU, and others, and matches them to current funding opportunities in the database. This allows users to search for a funding opportunity and instantly view matching faculty from inside or outside VCU. Conversely, a search for a scholar will link to matching funding opportunities. Use of a VCU.edu email address is required to access Pivot.
Please also review the section on the Office of Sponsored Funding for additional information related to funding from the NIH and NSF.
- Projects related to COVID-19 will be prioritized.
- Export controlled or controlled, unclassified information (CUI) projects cannot be handled remotely; affected researchers will be contacted by OVPRI staff.
- If you have any questions, please contact Quinton Johnson, Director, Export Compliance, firstname.lastname@example.org
OVPRI IT will be in office to respond to technical difficulties.
- Operations will continue if staff must work remotely
- Meetings may be rescheduled or held remotely
- Senior Executive Director Ivelina Metcheva will handle document signing
Staff are prepared to work remotely to continue operations
U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
Human subject research activities
- IRB approval or submission, the HRPP: ORSP@vcu.edu, 804-828-0868
- VCU IRB Coordinators (assigned in RAMS-IRB)
Clinical research program: Lisa Ballance, Executive Director for Clinical Research and Compliance, email@example.com
Animal care and research activities
- IACUC@vcu.edu, 804-828-6587
- Urgent animal welfare issues: immediately contact a staff veterinarian on call, 804-840-5085
- Paul Fawcett, Ph.D., Director of Research Infrastructure, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Sponsored Programs
- Contact your regular team partner, 804-828-6772
- Quinton Johnson, Director, Export Compliance, email@example.com
- Susan Robb, Senior Associate Vice President for Research Compliance, firstname.lastname@example.org