COVID-19 &RESEARCH

Research and COVID-19: Important announcements and guidance

New University Guidance

Through the spring and summer months, the Iowa State research community adapted and persevered to continue to advance the university’s research mission despite the considerable challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the resumption of on-campus activities with the fall 2020 semester, researchers are asked to follow the most current research guidance outlined in the August 13, 2020 memo from Interim Vice President for Research Guru Rao, in addition to the following FAQs.

When continuing or resuming research activities in full, research faculty, staff and students are urged to follow the four healthy behaviors for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 as President Wintersteen outlined in this video:

  • Wear a face covering;
  • Maintain distance6 feet apart;
  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands often; and
  • Stay home if you are ill.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. We will update plans, policies and procedures as appropriate for the situation at hand.

FAQs Related to Research and COVID-19

The following FAQ reflects the most current information and guidance on research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics covered in the FAQ below include:

  • A Phased Approach to Resuming Normal On-Campus Research Activities
  • Human-subjects research
  • Social/Physical Distancing and Reducing Risk of Transmission While Conducting Your Research
  • Sponsored Funding, Grants, and Grant-Related Travel and Compensation
  • Continuity of Care for Research and Teaching Animals
  • Plant Research
  • Biohazards research

Because the university as a whole is planning and preparing for a return to normal on-campus activities this fall, researchers can begin outlining plans to increase their research activities, as well.

Please keep in mind the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, as does our knowledge and understanding of the virus and its effects. We will update plans, policies, and procedures as appropriate for the situation at hand.

A Phased Approach to Resuming Normal On-Campus Research Activities

As a researcher, how do I begin the process of resuming normal research activities on campus? (Updated 5.21.20)

Beginning June 1, 2020, the Iowa State research community will follow a measured and phased approach to resuming normal on-campus research activities. To begin this process, research leads/PIs are expected to carefully review and adhere to the Guide to Returning to the Workplace handbook. The handbook has been written and organized by overarching topics to provide easy-to-read and digest information on an array of topics that are relevant to resuming all work on campus.

When can research leads/PIs return to normal on-campus research activities? (Updated 5.21.20)

Following the direction of the Guide for Returning to the Workplace and Supervisor Expectations, research leads should use the Supervisor Workspace Plan to guide discussions with their team members and draft their plans regarding how they intend to organize and manage teams and workspaces occupied by faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate research assistants, or post docs under their supervision. These plans must be completed by research leads for all laboratory and research workspaces, whether they were temporarily closed or remained open as the university reduced its campus footprint during the spring semester. Completed plans must be reviewed and approved by the department chair or center director and this process may be completed at any time. In addition, the research lead must share the approved plan with the department DOGE if graduate students are involved.

What does a plan to return to normal on-campus research activities need to encompass? (Updated 5.21.20)

The health of all researchers is of paramount importance. In research projects where faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are working in a team environment, it is imperative to minimize disruptions to the academic progress of the students. It is also particularly important to safeguard the professional interests, and health and safety of all researchers through a proper assessment of risks and benefits.

In developing research workplace plans, research leads/PIs will need to perform environmental and staffing/personnel assessments with the intent of maximizing safety by ensuring:

  • Adequate supplies of necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Adequate supplies of cleaning and disinfectant products to maintain optimum hygiene of all shared spaces and surfaces in a lab or other research space;
  • Workers within the lab or other research space can maintain a minimum physical distance of 6 feet from others as much as possible. Please download and use the scheduling tool posted in the RESOURCES section of this web page to help effectively manage the staffing density of your lab or other research work space; and
  • If six feet of distancing is not possible for some tasks, complete the task with as much distance as is feasible. Work as quickly as possible, while maintaining safety standards and following standard operating procedures.

Are there any tools research leads/PIs can use in helping develop their plans for resuming normal on-campus research activities? (Updated 5.21.20)

In addition to the Guide for Returning to the Workplace handbook, Supervisor Expectations outline and Supervisor Workspace Plan document, researchers can download the scheduling tool from the RESOURCES section of this webpage to help more effectively manage staffing density to optimize physical distancing in labs and other research workplaces.

Other valuable resources include the:

What is the current guidance for research-related travel? (Updated 5.21.20)

Please continue to adhere to the most current guidance on university-related travel, which can be found on the regularly monitored and updated Travel FAQ page.

Human-subjects research

Is the IRB office operating as usual?

The IRB office and ISU IRB are operating as usual. We expect this to continue even if ISU temporarily closes. IRB staff can work remotely and IRB@iastate.edu will be monitored. IRB meetings are continuing as scheduled. If changes occur, the IRB website will be updated accordingly.

What human subjects research is permitted during the pandemic? (Updated 7.15.20)

Research that can be performed remotely is permitted (after IRB approval or determination of exemption is granted).

Face-to-face research is permitted if it meets ALL criteria associated with Iowa State’s current phase of allowable research. See “Can I interact with research subjects?” below for information about the phased approach and current phase. Researchers must carefully consider whether their research meets all phase criteria. If not, research may be redesigned to satisfy all criteria or it must be postponed until a future phase.

Can I interact with research subjects? (Updated 10.8.20)

Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) national emergency and pandemic, research activities involving human participants are subject to additional requirements in order to protect human research participants and researchers. In March 2020, Iowa State University enacted restrictions prohibiting face-to-face research activities. Only research which could be performed remotely was allowed.

Beginning July 15, 2020, Iowa State implemented a phased approach to safely resume research that requires face-to-face interactions with research participants. This phased return is a fluid process that will be determined by the current COVID-19 situation. The Office of Vice President for Research will notify the research community of significant changes (new requirements, new phases, reverting to previous phase, etc.). Researchers should prioritize the health and safety of human subjects, research staff, and individuals present at off-campus/community sites when deciding how to conduct research. Researchers should continually monitor ISU guidance for conducting human subjects research until further notice.

Phase 1.A Allowable Face-to-Face Research – Effective October 8, 2020

During Phase 1.A, face-to-face research is allowable if it satisfies all of the following criteria:

1. Research is conducted in:

  • Iowa State facilities, OR
  • Off-campus/community settings when both of the following conditions are met:

i. The research space in the off-campus/community setting maintains compliance with Iowa State’s COVID-19 risk mitigation standards for cleaning, face coverings, physical distancing; and

ii. The research team obtains documented permission to conduct research from the off-campus/community setting prior to any face-to-face visits. Permission must come from an individual authorized to grant permission on behalf of the setting. It may be documented via email, letter, or similar. Verbal permission is acceptable if the researcher documents the time/date of the verbal permission and from whom it was obtained. After receiving verbal permission, the researcher should follow up with the site in writing to document the permission. Documentation must be retained in study records.

Documented permission is NOT required when the research takes place in public outdoor settings, such as parks, public plazas, or similar settings. However, researchers must follow any applicable Iowa State policies and those of the location.

Research space is defined as the specific physical area in which face-to-face research activities between researchers and participants occurs.

2. Must comply with all Iowa State COVID-19 related policies that are based on federal and public health initiatives (e.g. physical distancing, face coverings, cleaning/disinfection, etc.). Must also comply with the COVID-19-related policies/guidelines of the off-campus (formal or informal) setting. If the policies of the off-campus setting differ from Iowa State policies, the research must comply with the stricter of the two.

3. Face-to-face procedures are minimized and limited to those NECESSARY to carry out the study. Any research procedures that can be performed using online or remote research methods must use online or remote methods. Where remote or online procedures are not an option (e.g. unreliable or biased data using remote methods; technical inabilities prevent remote data collection) or the nature of research questions restricts data collection only to face-to-face methods, then research will be allowed based upon the risk of exposure and strategies to minimize risk.

4. The number of persons in the research space at one time is limited to that which permits physical distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals.

5. ALL research methods and procedures used must present low risk of COVID-19 exposure to both researchers and participants. Low risk means that there is:

  • No direct physical contact and appropriate risk mitigation measures are applied (physical distancing, face coverings, etc.); or
  • Brief physical contact (e.g. for application of devices or collection of biospecimens) and appropriate risk mitigation measures are applied (e.g. face coverings, disinfection between visits, new PPE for each visit, etc.). “Brief” refers to physical contact of less than 15 minutes with any single participant during the course of a visit.

6. The research must not:

  • Involve procedures that are intended to or likely to increase respiratory rate due to physical exertion when face coverings cannot be worn (due to increased risk of aerosolized transmission).
  • Specifically recruit individuals who are considered at-risk for serious COVID-19-related illness in accordance with current CDC guidance.

7. A Risk Mitigation Plan covering the research is approved by the lead PI’s department chair or unit director. Guidance and templates for drafting risk mitigation plans applicable to on-campus and off-campus sites are available below.

8. The lead Principal Investigator (and Supervising Investigator) must agree to be responsible for:

  • Establishing and maintaining all initial lab and research readiness preparations and ongoing risk mitigation procedures;
  • Assuring off-campus/community setting(s) can accommodate Iowa State’s COVID-19 risk-mitigation standards;
  • Assuring documented permission from the off-campus setting is granted before the research begins in the setting; and
  • The adequate training, monitoring and supervision of any and all research assistants and their strict adherence to Iowa State COVID-19 safety protocols and approved Risk Mitigation Plan.

Below is a list of resources you will need to plan and implement face-to-face research activities:

COVID-19 Researcher Checklist (Updated 10.8.20)

COVID-19 On-Campus Research Risk Mitigation Plan Guidance (Updated 10.8.20)

COVID-19 On-Campus Research Risk Mitigation Plan Template (Updated 10.8.20)

COVID-19 Off-Campus Research Risk Mitigation Plan Guidance (New 10.8.20)

COVID-19 Off-Campus Research Risk Mitigation Plan Template (New 10.8.20)

IRB Guidance – Special Considerations During COVID-19 (Updated 10.8.20)

COVID-19 Research Participant Information Sheet (Updated 10.8.20)

COVID-19 Off-Campus Research Site Information (New 10.8.20)

COVID-19 Research Staff Screening Questions (Updated 10.8.20)

COVID-19 Participant Screening Questions and Expectations (Updated 10.8.20)

Research Space Visitor Tracking Template (Updated 10.8.20)

Have IRB approval requirements changed? (Updated 7.15.20)

IRB review and approval requirements have not changed. Prospective IRB approval or determination of exemption is required before human subjects research begins and before any changes to approved research are initiated. IRB applications must describe all study plans, including any remote procedures.

IRB review of submitted applications continues as usual. The IRB will not assess whether research falls within the current phase of allowable research. Instead, research will be approved with the condition that only activities in the current phase may proceed. This allows proactive submission and approval of future projects.

Researchers should review IRB Guidance – Special Considerations During COVID-19 for more information.

I need to modify my currently approved research for remote implementation. Is IRB approval required for this type of change? (Updated 7.15.20)

Exempt Research: If your research is exempt, IRB review is required before implementing certain types of changes. See IRB guidance Modifications to Exempt Research for details. Researchers should carefully review their IRB protocols in conjunction with this guidance.

Non-exempt Research: IRB approval is required before implementing any changes to the approved protocol, unless the change is necessary to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to participants.

When modifying an existing protocol, consider all aspects of the study. For example, changes to remote implementation may affect previously approved consent processes, plans to distribute compensation, privacy and confidentiality protections, how surveys/questionnaires are administered, etc. The application should be modified throughout to reflect all processes that will be administered remotely.

Can informed consent be obtained remotely? What about participant signatures? (Updated 7.15.20)

Informed consent should be an interactive, ongoing process between the researcher and participant that communicates information about the study in an understandable way to facilitate a participants’ voluntary choice of whether to participate. Remote methods that facilitate communication, comprehension, and voluntariness, and DO NOT present privacy risks are acceptable. For example, consent information could be:

  • Sent to participants via email followed by a phone or video call for discussion;
  • Shared as an introductory page of an online survey, and participants click “I agree” to proceed;
  • Discussed at the beginning of a videoconference interview, where consent text is shared via the screen and reviewed.

Signed consent (via handwritten or authenticated electronic signature) is NOT required for most minimal risk studies. Verbal or online consent is acceptable.

If signed consent is required (e.g., for FDA-regulated studies), participants may send scanned copies of hand-signed documents.

For research with children, researchers need to ensure a method of verifying parent consent is in place for each child. Signed documents facilitate verification, but other record-keeping methods are acceptable.

IMPORTANT: For non-exempt studies, plans to obtain informed consent (remote or in person) must be described in your IRB application and approved by the IRB. Changes from in-person to remote-consent processes require IRB approval prior to implementation.

Can study personnel work remotely on human-subjects research projects? (Updated 7.15.20)

Yes, but privacy and confidentiality of research subjects must be protected. Investigators should develop protocols and train study personnel on methods of protecting privacy and confidentiality during remote work. Advance preparation, such as removing identifiers from data sets and establishing CyBox folders to permit remote access, is also advised. Click here for additional guidance and information on privacy and confidentiality considerations for working remotely with human-subjects research.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule study visits (e.g., if a researcher or participant is ill, etc.)? (Updated 7.15.20)

If a study visit needs to be canceled, participants should be informed of the reason and that they will be contacted again when the visit can be rescheduled. These messages to subjects do not require prior Iowa State IRB approval. Visit cancellations related to COVID-19 do not need to be reported to the IRB, unless the cancellation places participants at risk (very rare).

How should I respond if a research participant reports a positive COVID-19 test after participating in my research? (Updated 10.6.20)

All Iowa State employees or students, whether research staff or research participant, must report to Iowa State using the Iowa State University Positive COVID-19 Reporting Form for Campus if they test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of a study visit.  Contact tracing will be handled in accordance with Iowa State’s established processes.

Reporting and contact tracing for research participants are not Iowa State employees or students but who test positive will be handled by the appropriate public health agency.

What are the procedures I should follow if the research was approved by a non-ISU IRB? (Updated 7.15.20)

Consult the Reviewing IRB for guidance on:

  • Any COVID-19 restrictions or requirements associated with human-subjects research;
  • Whether COVID-19 screening requires prior IRB approval;
  • Whether and how to modify an approved study to allow remote procedures; and
  • Whether and how to share information about the risk-mitigation plans and procedures required by Iowa State.

Social/Physical Distancing and Reducing Risk of Transmission While Conducting Your Research

How can I ensure physical distancing in my research work? (Updated 5.21.20)

Physical distancing is of paramount importance in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus. Please refer to these documents for the most current guidance:

What else should researchers, research groups, and labs do now to reduce the risk of spreading illness? (Updated 3.18.20)

Visit the University Human Resources (UHR) COVID-19 Employee FAQ, which has the most current information and employee-focused guidance. Refer to General Guidelines (GG) 1-6 for details on COVID-19 and its control.

In addition, please practice self-care:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissues when you cough or sneeze;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid spreading germs;
  • Improve your immune system by getting enough rest, exercising and eating a healthy diet;
  • Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with those who are sick; and
  • Instead of a handshake, use a wave or elbow bump to avoid spreading germs.

How do I promote physical distancing when conducting field studies? (Updated 5.21.20)

For field research, ensure that employees practice social distancing for all activities, including travel to and from the research field site. Stress employee safety so that a single employee is not put in a high-risk situation by working alone around equipment or animals. Institute the buddy system to ensure safety and social distancing.

How do I handle packages and deliveries safely during this time period? (Updated 3.20.20)

Effective March 23, 2020 – due to Iowa State campus closures and restrictions – all inbound campus packages (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.) will be directed to ISU Central Receiving. Postal and Parcel Services will not be involved with incoming deliveries from these companies.

Please visit the Procurement Services’ Response to COVID-19 FAQ for the most current information on incoming and outgoing shipments and mailings.

What are the university’s policies for working remotely?

If an employee feels their work can be conducted remotely, the employee must contact their direct supervisor to discuss available remote work options. For more guidance, check Supervisor Guidelines 3-5 (SUP3-SUP5) in the UHR COVID-19 Employee FAQ. University Human Resources will update with any and all new information, so referring to it on an ongoing basis will ensure you have the most current guidance and direction.

Sponsored Funding, Grants, and Grant-Related Travel and Compensation

How do I determine how a sponsor is addressing various questions related to the COVID-19 situation? (Updated 6.1.20)

A collection of sponsor specific information can be found here. In addition, the National Council of Governmental Relations has created a resource page that contains a collection of helpful information based on sponsor. That information can be found here.

My project ends shortly but I will need additional time to complete my project. Who should I contact? (Updated 6.1.20)

For industry contracts, contact industry-contracts@iastate.edu. For other research agreements, contact ospa_awards@iastate.edu. A collection of sponsor specific information regarding extensions can be found here.

We will continue to monitor updates provided by other agencies and will revise this FAQ page as those updates occur.

The sponsor on my award is undergoing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 and may have difficulty paying for my research. Who should I advise of this information? (Updated 6.1.20)

Please email spa@iastate.edu with the information. We will ensure that all parties at ISU who need to be involved in these discussions are included.

What are the university’s travel policies during COVID-19? (Updated 6.1.20)

See this comprehensive guide from the Division of Operations and Finance for updated university travel policy, reimbursement guidance for cancelled travel plans, and for information from Transportation Services.

Can COVID-19 related travel cancellation expenses be charged to sponsored awards? (Updated 6.1.20)

It depends upon the sponsor. Start with the OMB guidance and then proceed to how each agency is handling guidance. OMB guidance for charging costs to grants can be found here.

The Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) has provided additional guidance at the “4-21-20 COGR’s Federal Agency Guidance Matrix,” found here.

Check this link to see if guidance for a specific agency has been provided.

If a sponsored agency has not addressed cancellation expenses, it is recommended that these fees be charged to awards, consistent with how the university is handling these cancellation expenses. If agencies issue alternative guidance, these expenses may need to be removed.

Documentation relating to the cancellation costs charged to a grant must be attached to the transaction within Workday and held in accordance with record retention requirements.

What are the processes related to cancelled travel related to COVID-19 where the costs were related to a sponsored project? (Updated 6.1.20)

In all cancelled travel situations, the traveler or department must make a concerted effort to get expenses paid by the sponsored project refunded and the credit returned to the project, similar to other university guidance. Further guidance is available on the Division of Operations and Finance website.

  • COGR issued guidance that can be found here.
  • The National Institutes of Health has issued Notice Number NOT-OD-20-086, found here, allowing nonrefundable costs associated with grant-related travel that has been cancelled due to COVID-19 to be charged to NIH awards if the costs would have otherwise been allowable.
  • Guidance for other federal agencies has not yet been released; however, at this time, we recommend that travelers follow the same guidance provided by NIH and COGR.
  • If supported by the funding agency, in order to be allowable on the grant, documentation that the traveler has requested and been denied a refund must be retained with the transaction. Institutional policy established for COVID-19 allowing travel cancellation costs to be charged to institutional funds should also be applied to sponsored projects to ensure consistent charging practices.
  • Documentation of refund denials should be attached to the original transaction in Workday. Non-refundable expenses will be covered by the original funding source for the trip, if allowed.
  • For costs that were charged to a grant, if there are airfare or other travel expense refunds, it should be credited back to the grant.
  • Please complete an expense report/event in Workday for all remaining costs, after all credits and refunds have been requested directly, as if the trip occurred. Note in the expense report that the trip was canceled due to COVID-19.

What if I have purchased an airline ticket for travel that will occur during the travel restrictions with grant funds? (Updated 6.1.20)

Please see the information located here.

Will airfare change fees be allowed on grants? (Updated 6.1.20)

Yes, ISU will allow change fees on university funds.

  • COGR issued guidance that can be found here.
  • The National Institutes of Health has issued Notice Number NOT-OD-20-086, found here, allowing nonrefundable costs associated with grant-related travel that has been cancelled due to COVID-19 to be charged to NIH awards if the costs would have otherwise been allowable.
  • Guidance for other federal agencies has not yet been released; however, at this time, we recommend that travelers follow the same guidance provided by NIH and COGR.
  • If supported by the funding agency, in order to be allowable on the grant, documentation that the traveler has requested and been denied a refund must be retained with the transaction. Institutional policy established for COVID-19 allowing travel cancellation costs to be charged to institutional funds should also be applied to sponsored projects to ensure consistent charging practices.
  • Documentation of refund denials and the additional change fee expense should be attached to the original transaction in Workday. Non-refundable expenses will be covered by the original funding source for the trip, if allowed.
  • For costs that were charged to a grant, if there are airfare or other travel expense refunds, it should be credited back to the grant.
  • Please complete an expense report/event in Workday for all remaining costs, after all credits and refunds have been requested directly, as if the trip occurred. Note in the expense report that the trip was canceled due to COVID-19.

A PI was planning to host a sponsor-funded conference for 100 people at a nearby hotel. Co-presenters and participants are not able to attend due to travel restrictions regarding the COVID-19. If we cancel the conference, can we charge cancellation fees to the grant? (Updated 6.1.20)

The first recommended step is to contact the hotel or event venue you have contracted with and see what flexibility they will provide and what penalties there are for canceling or postponing. If you need assistance in working with the hotel, reach out to Procurement Services.

If you want to charge the cancellation fees to the grant, the PI and departmental staff will need to keep any relevant written documentation of the guidance received. In addition, if the cancellation of this conference represents a change in the scope of work, please reach out to the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration.

A postdoc in my lab left to visit family in a CDC Level 3 country and has been unable to return. The postdoc has been absent for 2 weeks now and will remain in that country for an undetermined period of time. The postdoc was working on a grant in my lab. Can I continue to charge their salary to my grant while they are out of the country? (Updated 6.1.20)

Please refer to and follow the University’s Emergency Pay Practice Policy that provides flexibility for duties. There may be visa implications or options through the benefits office. The PI/lab should document and retain information on the staff and related compensation that is charged to each award.

Further information on the Emergency Pay Practice Policy is available here.

For staff working remotely, can the effort still be charged to a sponsored project? (Updated 6.1.20)

Please refer and follow the university’s Emergency Pay Practice Policy that provides flexibility for duties. This information can be found here.

Is the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA) operating as usual? (Updated 3.20.20)

The Office of Sponsored Program Administration (OSPA) is currently working remotely and expects to provide normal service levels both pre-award and post-award, and grants@iastate.edu will be monitored. If OSPA becomes aware of changes in proposal deadlines, information will be posted on the OSPA website and distributed via that Grant Coordinator listserv.

If you need to talk to someone about a proposal submission, please click here to see our pre-award team contact information. If you have a question about a grant award, click here to find the contact information for the OSPA awards team.

Continuity of Care for Research and Teaching Animals

Is the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) office operating as usual?

The IACUC office and ISU IACUC are operating as usual. The IACUC staff can work remotely and iacuc@iastate.edu will be monitored. The IACUC meetings are continuing as scheduled. If changes occur, the IACUC website will be updated accordingly.

How will animal care proceed?

Lab Animal Resources (LAR) has continuity plans in place to provide routine care (food, water, sanitation, health checks) and routine veterinary care. LAR is stocked with essential items for animal care. Animal caretakers and Veterinarians are considered essential personnel and will continue to report to work unless they become infected with the COVID-19.

For CALS Outlying Research Farms, please consult Mark Honeyman (honeyman@iastate.edu), and for Animal Science Teaching and Research Farms, contact Ben Drescher (bdresche@iastate.edu).

What if I manage my own animals or conduct my work at an outlying facility?

Each group should have contingency plans in place for who will provide daily animal checks and what to do if this person is unable to perform them. If help is needed providing care due to illness of all caretakers and PIs, the Attending Veterinarian should be contacted to arrange for emergency backup animal care.

All farms and outlying farms have contingency plans in place for providing care for those animals. If you are conducting research at those locations, please contact the appropriate individuals at those locales to inform them of your plans.

How will I be notified if there is a change regarding plans of care for animals?

If a serious disruption of normal research activity takes place, the Executive Director of Animal Care and Attending Veterinarian will organize Webex phone calls with researchers, veterinarians and animal care personnel as needed to ensure all animals are being cared for adequately.

Will the IACUC still review my protocol? (Updated 8.17.20)

Office of Research Ethics (ORE) staff, including IACUC administrators, are working remotely and the IAUCUC will convene virtually. Protocol reviews will continue.

Will my current animal study be discontinued? (Updated 3.18.20)

Any studies that currently have animals in census in LAR facilities will continue on as planned, at the discretion of the Principal Investigator. LAR will continue to provide husbandry and veterinary care for animals in census.

I have a study using animals in the near future, will it be allowed to continue? (Updated 3.18.20)

All researchers should consider which projects and work are essential given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, and its effect on university operations. That said, LAR will continue to provide care for research animals housed in their facilities. If a study is planned, LAR will confirm that the study will continue prior to acquisition of animals. Once animals are received, LAR support will continue as normal. LAR’s mission is to support research, and there are no plans to deviate from that mission.

What if I have animal studies at farms and outlying farms? (Updated 3.18.20)

The preceding guidance is reflective of LAR operations. Researchers should follow guidance from their colleges, and CALS users should contact Ben Drescher (bdresche@iastate.edu) for Animal Science farms, and Mark Honeyman (honeyman@iastate.edu) for outlying farms.

I maintain my own animal colonies, is there anything I should do? (Updated 3.18.20)

Each group should have contingency plans in place for who will provide daily animal checks and what to do if this person is unable to perform them. If help is needed, providing care due to illness of all caretakers and PIs, the Attending Veterinarian should be contacted to arrange for emergency backup animal care.

Plant Research

How will plant care proceed? (Updated 3.18.20)

VPR greenhouses in the Molecular Biology Building and Carver CoLab are operating as usual. If you have questions, please contact Pete Lelonek at plelonek@iastate.edu.

For locally controlled greenhouses and plant growth facilities/equipment, please contact local facility managers. Employ social distancing and minimize use of the facilities as much as possible.

Biohazards research

Is the IBC office operating as usual?

The IBC office and ISU IBC are operating as usual. The IBC staff can work remotely and bphc@iastate.edu will be monitored. The IBC meetings are continuing as scheduled. If changes occur, the IBC website will be updated accordingly.

How should I handle biohazards or agents requiring high levels of containment?

Biohazards and other agents should be handled as dictated by your approved protocols. If these materials need manipulation during any disruptions in operations, handle and/or dispose of them as protocols and SOPs dictate. If you have questions, contact Environmental Health and Safety by calling (515) 294-5359 or emailing ehsinfo@iastate.edu. Admin staff monitors the ehsinfo inbox and can pass questions on to the appropriate person.