COVID-19 FAQs for NDI Faculty Research Grants

Travel   Research Timeline/Planning   Budget   Access to Labs & Facilities   Research Compliance

Travel

International travel is essential to my research. What should I do?

The University’s international travel restrictions remain in effect. Throughout the fall 2020 semester, University-related travel will be strictly limited to essential travel, regardless of whether the university is paying for it. Further details about the approval process and return to campus process are available at the Travel information page at here.nd.edu.

Research Timeline/Planning 

My research will be severely impacted by travel restrictions and other factors associated with the COVID-19, what should I do?

NDI recognizes that research which engages international collaborations may be impacted by the current situation. Access to facilities and other variables may also factor into delays. Please contact Geraldine Meehan (gmeehan@nd.edu) with any concerns regarding such delays and to discuss a no-cost extension to your award.

Budget

I received an NDI Research Collaboration Grant for which a contract needed to be signed with my international collaborators. That contract is still pending. Once signed, can the funds now be released for the research to proceed?

Funds for research which required a contract and for which the contract remained pending at the time of the emergence of COVID-19 are temporarily on hold. Those funds, however, remain dedicated to the awardee and the specific research project and will be released in accordance with University financial guidelines as soon as possible.

I received an NDI conference grant which may be affected by COVID-19 and I have already incurred expenses that may not be cancellable. Can I charge these to my award? And can I pay the travel fees and any associated costs for the collaborators that were planning on attending?

If due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you wish to cancel the conference first confer with Geraldine Meehan (gmeehan@nd.edu) and/or with the relevant Global Gateway regarding canceling/ postponing or converting the event to an online format. If there was cost-sharing with other ND units, please ensure that you also communicate with those units. With simultaneous communications and congruent responses from NDI and other co-funders, the non-refundable costs may be an allowable charge to the project. Expenses that were part of the original budget approved for the NDI grant can only be considered by NDI. Principal investigators should retain documentation of these communications and all receipts.

Should I track budgetary impacts on my research due to the coronavirus, and if so, how?

If you incur budgetary impacts due to COVID-19, you should track those expenses on a spreadsheet and keep associated receipts (if available). These can be discussed with and submitted to Geraldine Meehan at gmeehan@nd.edu

Do we cancel or adjust on-campus research-related gatherings or conferences beyond summer 2020?

All events should be postponed until at least January 1, 2021 with the understanding that further postponement may be necessary. Because the situation continues to evolve, please check your emails regularly and follow updates on coronavirus.nd.edu for up-to-date information.

Access to Labs and Facilities

The information in this section was communicated by Notre Dame Research

Notre Dame Research is working with laboratories and facilities to help support operations, ensure access to accurate information, and to address disruption to research activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Will this affect access to my research facility, laboratory, or the maintenance of critical components?

On March 27, 2020, the University of Notre Dame suspended laboratory research operations and limited campus access only to essential personnel necessary to safely maintain labs in a state of hibernation. Since this time, a small handful of laboratories have been approved to stay partially open for COVID-19 and national security research projects with rigorous physical distancing and safety protocols.

On May 18, 2020, the University announced plans for the phased reopening of research laboratories, creative arts studios, and core facilities on campus.

The current plan focuses on laboratories, studios, core facilities, and associated office spaces on campus. It is recognized that further deliberations and plans are necessary for field-based research and research involving face-to-face interactions with human subjects. The processes for reopening campus libraries, archives, museums, and performance spaces are beyond the scope of the present plan.

Given access may still be limited, please contact specific facilities to verify services offered at this time.

Research Compliance 

My research project requires IRB approval. How will this be affected by COVID-19 ?

Notre Dame Research Compliance services are currently fully functional and available. Please email compliance@nd.edu with any specific questions.

May I continue my human subjects research?

Due to the increased risk to subjects and researchers, any research procedures requiring in person contact with human subjects on the campus at Notre Dame is to be paused at this time. Each principal investigator is encouraged to consider any inherent risk to their study team and subjects, and take additional appropriate action, especially with regard to public health information and safety protocols. See the campus safety website for more information.

If your research engages human subjects in an international context, any plans that involve in-person data collection needs to be reviewed by compliance@nd.edu.

How can I minimize risk to lab personnel or subjects?

Please see the campus safety and the University Health Services websites for guidance.

How can I continue my human subjects research?

The following response was communicated by Notre Dame Research:

Any research procedures that do not require in person interaction (online data collection, data analysis, etc.) are not being limited at this time. If a study is already approved to be carried out remotely, there is no need to submit an amendment to the approved IRB protocol. If a study does not have approval for online interaction or data collection, an amendment may be submitted to continue the research online. Please contact Notre Dame Research Compliance about such changes at compliance@nd.edu.

What if I have a research-related question not answered in the FAQs?

Please contact Geraldine Meehan at gmeehan@nd.edu with additional questions.