Continuity of Research, Creative, and Scholarly Activities

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Research is committed to assisting you to the fullest extent possible under the current circumstances during this difficult time to ensure continuation of your research, creative, and scholarly activities. Our staff is teleworking, but can be reached by email or by phone at their campus number. Please contact us at or@appstate.edu or 262-7459 with specific questions. Please continue to follow the general guidelines for campus operations. 

The information below provides research-related guidance as of 6/29/2020 and contains updates in light of the North Carolina Safer At Home Phase II issued by Governor Cooper. We will continue to update this page as needed.  Please see this frequently asked questions list that may help.


General information on continuity of research, creative, and scholarly activities:

1. Faculty research, creative, and scholarly activity: Over the last several weeks, Appalachian has been ramping up allowable research and creative activity of faculty and staff through a phased plan, called Ramping up Research and Creative Activity at App State, approved by Chancellor Everts. During the first phase of this plan, called App Phase I (May 21 – June 15), a number of faculty members whose scholarly activities were time sensitive were given limited access to field sites and/or campus facilities.  We are currently in the second phase of this plan and additional projects are being greenlighted through a registration process described in the Ramping up plan. Please find additional information on our Ramping up Research and Creative Activities at App website. The majority of campus continues to operate with mostly essential personnel approved by Chancellor Everts during this time.

2. Student research, creative, and scholarly activity:
Graduate students whose projects require them to be on campus, to be at off campus research or activity sites, may be allowed to resume their activities if further delay would affect time-to-degree. Approvals may be granted in rare cases for faculty-led undergraduate research and creative activities that require on or off campus facilities or field sites. In either case, faculty mentors have to apply for approval of these activities, students must fill out return to activity certification, and complete COVID 19-specific training. More information and relevant links can be found in the Ramping up Research and Creative Activity at App plan.

3. Field work: Field work can be approved through the mechanisms described above. However, the travel freeze mandated by the UNC System in March is still in place. This mandate states that “University-sponsored in-state travel to “large*” gatherings is suspended, and all travel outside the state is suspended, unless otherwise authorized by a chancellor or provost. *Large in Phase 2 of North Carolina reopening plan is considered more than 10 people indoors and more than 25 people outside.  https://www.nc.gov/covid-19/staying-ahead-curve.

4. Research-related expenditures:
As per guidance communicated on March 24, by Paul Forte, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, research-related expenditures on active grants are deemed essential, and, therefore, can be made.  Personnel hires from grants need to be approved by the Chancellor. Please work with your department chairs, deans, and/or directors for this process.

5. Human subject research:
Procedures with human subjects conducted in-person have been paused and remain paused until further notice. Please work with Research Protections to modify and update protocols as needed. Additional guidance can be found here.

6. Vivarium update: The vivarium is opening with limited capacity. Access requires both approval of the project through the registration process described in the Ramping up plan and additional information that can be found here.

7. IACUC and IBC applications: IACUC and IBC are continuing to review applications. Please visit IACUC and IBC sites for additional guidance (COVID 19 links can be accessed through the menu items on the left of the pages).

8. Data access and management for conducting scholarship off campus:

a. Employ use of secure campus servers as a general rule while working remotely.
b. Please follow guidance provided by IT here and here.
c. Remember to back up data to secure campus servers regularly.
d. Follow mobile device security guidelines.

9. Remote access to software available only on campus computers:

a. If the university has a site license, you may be able to access these programs through UDesk. Go to UDesk click HTML Access. Accept prompt about computer lab 1 and 2. Log in with your university ID to access the virtual desktop. If the program you need is not available on the virtual desktop, please fill out a tech support ticket and request computer assistance.
b. If the program you need is only on a specific computer on campus, you may be able to access it using PulseSecure VPN and Microsoft Remote Desktop. Please  fill out a tech support ticket to make arrangements for this type of access. If a graduate student needs access, please indicate this on the ticket.

10. Research-related travel funds:

a. For questions related to travel supported by external awards, contact your Sponsored Programs grants manager.
b. For questions related to travel supported by internal awards contact the administering unit (Office of Research, respective colleges etc.).

11. Office of Research internal grant programs not currently accepting applications: Due to COVID-19 and the accompanying unforeseen funding circumstances, the following internal grant competitions administered by the Office of Research are not currently accepting applications. Active awards are not impacted, unless the research itself is subject to the current travel, employment, and campus occupancy restrictions. Please check back regularly for updates. Direct any questions related to OR-supported internal funding to grs@appstate.edu.

  • Summer Stipend for Writing A Grant (Summer SWAG)
  • Research Development Travel Grant (RDTG)

 

Additional Information specific to OR Units:

Sponsored Programs:

  1. Principal Investigators who anticipate a delay in project deliverables related to current conditions should immediately communicate work plan adjustments to their Program Officer in writing and copy the Director of Sponsored Programs (grants@appstate.edu) on this communication. Sponsored programs staff is available to assist with this communication as needed. 

  2. Sponsored Programs will monitor sponsor communications and convey guidance  to campus administration and affected PIs.

  3. International travelers who have been recalled will work with SP staff and sponsors to address interrupted activities. 

  4. US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has allowed federal agencies to adopt some flexibility in the management of federal grants.  We are tracking how the federal agencies are exercising this flexibility in the OMB Guidance for Federal Grants during COVID19 Google sheet as information is released.  

  5. See the end of this page for sponsor-specific links.

Research Protections: (IRB, IACUC, IBC, Export Controls, Intellectual Property, Conflicts of Interest):  All committee meetings will be held as scheduled and will be moved to Zoom if necessary.  Other updates will be added to https://researchprotections.appstate.edu/ as needed.

Grants Resources and Services:

  1. Internal grant funds (travel): (URC, Board of Trustees Travel, Scholarship of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion): If work plan is altered due to current ban on travel or other limitations, PI should outline and submit alternative work plan and budget to grs@appstate.edu.

  2. Internal grant funds (other): Funds from URC or Scholarship of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion grants can continue to be spent; however, current limitations of the North Carolina stay-at-home order and current campus policies must be followed. If needed, PI should outline and submit alternative work plan and budget to grs@appstate.edu.

  3. Each week we are sending out recent COVID-19 funding opportunities and new research developments including NIH, NSF, Other Federal Funding, Foundations/Corporate Funding Opportunities, and Research Development related news. If you are interested in receiving this special interest bulletin, please contact grs@appstate.edu and/or sign up for the Research Google group by clicking here and scrolling down to “Research.”

Research Design and Analysis: Contact the Director (rda@appstate.edu) with any questions regarding methodological design and statistical analyses. Meetings can be arranged by phone or Zoom. 


Institution and Agency Specific Guidelines:

Council on Government Relations (COGR)

NC DHHS

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

Fulbright Scholars - All recalled with Alumni Status

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

South Arts, Inc.