03-27-2020 4:15 p.m.

As we all work through this situation, the EVMS Research office and all Research staff and support are working to ensure that our Research community is informed about the latest happenings and is supported in their endeavors. As such, this page will be updated as changes or new guidance occurs and is released. Of important note:

  • Lab functions should be ramped down and kept to a minimum. Any new experimental activity beyond that date will need to be requested and approved by the EVMS Research office in consultation with the appropriate Chair or Center Director.
  • All support offices, committees, and departments related remain open and functional. This includes the IRB, IACUC, COI, IBC, Sponsored Programs, Grants Accounting, and others. There may be delays and changes in procedure for these offices, please refer to the specific section on this page, or the office or department’s specific FAQ, for up-to-date information.
  • The Core facilities may experience delays, limited service, and closures depending on the situation. Please contact the appropriate Core contact for more information.
  • For information about sponsored research and guidance from sponsors, please review the information from the Sponsored Programs office (EVMS login required). They have posted information guiding researchers, and links to many specific sponsor guidance websites.
  • NIH has released an updated guidance document about grant management, research with humans and animals and new COVID-19 funding opportunities. Please check for regular updates

Research Communications

In light of the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, research leadership is alerting you to operational guidance and requirements effective immediately. View all released guidance here.

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General Research Operations

03-19-2020 3:57 p.m.

Principal investigators should begin immediately identifying essential experiments that are at a critical stage and plan for their completion. Essential research is typically high-priority research that, if abandoned, will cause a major or irreversible negative impact on a funded project. Examples of nonessential experiments are exploratory or pilot projects, and quality control or procedural development, to name a few.

Develop a contingency plan immediately for more restricted laboratory access or a possible acute shutdown of laboratory functions. The plan will vary depending on the nature of the research. Some considerations for restricted use of laboratories are:

  • Illness of personnel and the identification of back-up personnel to perform any needed lab operations.
  • Access to needed core equipment, supplies, the protection and maintenance of sensitive equipment, cell stocks and animal models.
  • Ensure the safety of the laboratory and dispose of any chemical and/or biological waste.
  • Limit the number of individuals in the laboratory, and practice physical distancing.
  • Consider impacts of limited subject involvement in clinical studies (see the IRB guidance documents).
  • Develop a communication plan with your laboratory, clinical staff and other collaborators.

Nonessential and outside visitors to the research facilities are prohibited. Research seminars and chalk talks are suspended, and laboratory group meetings should be held remotely. Research activities in the community are discouraged.

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IRB Guidance

03-18-2020 8:30 p.m.

The EVMS Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Research Subjects’ Protections office are implementing some safety measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include temporarily reducing the need for hard copies of materials (which in turn will reduce the contact between research staff and the IRB staff) as well as issuing guidance on various measures that may impact the conduct of ongoing and new studies.

We also have outlined guidance on the need for IRB review of non-approved treatments for patients during this outbreak whether they are new clinical trials, expanded access or single-patient use.

Please know that the IRB and the office staff are committed to minimal interruption of services to assure that clinical trials can continue for the safety of the patients and that our research partners can continue to offer novel treatments, including COVID-19 trials, as needed. Our process can be adjusted so that the EVMS IRBs can review via teleconferences and staff can process items even if the ability to be in the office is compromised. DAILY BUSINESS WILL CONTINUE, INCLUDING THE PROCESSING OF STUDIES AND RELATED ITEMS SUCH AS CONTINUING REVIEWS, AMENDMENTS, ETC.

Additional IRB Guidance

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Animal Care and Use Program

03-23-2020 8:40 p.m.

The myportal.evms.edu COVID-19 Resources page (EVMS login required) contains operational information and status updates related to the Division of Comparative Medicine (CompMed) vivarium and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Please contact the respective offices directly if you are unable to access the information: Comparative_Medicine@evms.edu or IACUC@evms.edu.

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Core Facilities

03-23-2020 8:40 p.m.

Please be advised that physical access to all of EVMS’s core facilities may soon be limited to pre-approved 'essential' research activities only.  Please contact the core facility directors immediately if you foresee a need for core access and lab services for essential research.  The definition of what constitutes essential research activity is posted below. 

All EVMS Research Core Facilities are fully functional. The core facilities will remain open until the school closes. We are currently evaluating users’ needs to access the facilities in the event that the school closes. Please contact the relevant core facility directly now if you think that you will need access to specific equipment in such an event.

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Environmental Health & Safety

03-20-2020 3:21 p.m.

EVMS Environmental Health & Safety is operating under a modified work structure and will maintain mission-critical support functions, such as 1) emergency freezers, 2) respirator fit-testing, 3) Steramist decontamination services, 4) regulated waste-management services, 5) X-ray services, 6) radioisotope ordering and delivery, and 7) spill response.

  • Research employees should complete the Emergency Checklist, found on myPortal.evms.edu (EVMS login required). Follow the checklist then fill out contact information, print and post on lab door and take a copy home with you.
  • The emergency freezer program remains functional. The method to initiate it continues to be calling the EH&S pager number.
  • Respiratory fit-testing remains functional. The process to schedule a fit test is still on the Acuity website.
  • There are no changes to the Steramist decontamination services. Contact EH&S to schedule.
  • Regulated (chemical, radioactive and biological) waste collection remains functional. Use the form on MyPortal to submit a request.
  • X-ray services remain operational. There is no change to the process; email EH&S 24 hours in advance.
  • Ordering of radioactive materials remains on the BioRAFT website.
  • EVMS EH&S can be contacted at 757.446.7598 and ehs@evms.edu.

The Biosafety Manual, Chemical Hygiene Plan and Radiation Safety Manual remain on the MyPortal website.

The two services that are suspended are:

  • In-person training effective Friday, March 20, 2020, until further notice.
  • Laboratory inspections until further notice.

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Grants Accounting

03-30-2020 4:23 p.m.

We expect that EVMS Grants Accounting (GA) will be able to set-up and perform regular maintenance of sponsored project grant accounts, approve requisitions, and submit invoices, even if personnel are working remotely. Submission of reports to Sponsors will continue as scheduled.  Typically, Sponsors and Federal agencies are very flexible about deadlines under difficult circumstances beyond our control. However, if Sponsors and agencies are officially closed, reports will most likely remain in a queue, pending resumption of operations.  Additional information is posted on the Grants Accounting website and we will continue to monitor the Sponsor and Federal agency sites. EVMS Grants Accounting is working to ensure continuity of services for the research community. GA employees who are working remotely will respond to emails and voicemails. Please check the EVMS Grants Accounting page on myPortal for regular updates. Staff can be reached directly as follow:

 

Here’s the latest Guidance on Salary Support. Use this Sponsor Guidance Matrix to assist in navigating sponsors’ guidance.

Learn more about how Grants Accounting and Sponsored Programs are responding to COVID-19. See frequently asked questions Grants Accounting COVID-19 FAQs.

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Sponsored Programs

03-30-2020 4:31 p.m.

Sponsored Programs (SP) is working to ensure continuity of services for researchers.  SP staff will be working remotely and will be available via direct email to staff member and a copy of the email to OSP@evms.edu mailbox. SP will have the ability to submit and review proposals, and respond to emails.

COVID-19 Information for Sponsored Projects Administration

With the rapidly changing conditions related to the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19, new information is being released daily. Below is a summary of resources from Federal agencies and other organizations with useful information for the sponsored research community. We will continue to monitor relevant changes and update this page with additional resources whenever they become available. If you have questions about a specific funder that is not listed below, we suggest checking the funder’s website for updates.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Other Federal Government Agencies

Find additional Sponsored Programs information on myportal.evms.edu (EVMS login required).

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Summer Scholars

04-10-2020 1:33 p.m.

EVMS made the difficult decision to cancel Summer Scholars 2020 due to COVID-19. See the Summer Scholars web page for more information.

Email any questions to Dee Patel at pateldp@evms.edu.

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Essential Research

March 24, 2020 2:33 p.m.

Limited access to laboratories and core facilities will be maintained so that ‘essential’ research activities can continue with approval.

Essential research activities are defined as activities that must continue to prevent a significant, long-term impact on the course of the research.  The suspension of research that would only delay the project for the duration of the suspension doesn’t qualify as essential.  Essential Research includes:

  • Efforts to maintain critical equipment in facilities and laboratories
  • Efforts to maintain animal colonies
  • Efforts to maintain critically needed cell lines or bacteria
  • Efforts to maintain critical samples, reagents, and materials
  • Work that if interrupted would generate significant data and sample loss
  • Activities that if interrupted would pose a safety hazard
  • Activity in support of essential human subjects research
  • Clinical trial activity that if interrupted would negatively impact the health of the subjects

If your work is qualified as essential and you seek approval, please send the description of your work with a list of personnel to Office of Research.

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