OSU colleagues,

In collaboration with the university’s COVID-19 Continuity Management Team, the Task Force for Research Continuity and Resilience and your unit leaders, we are actively planning for the gradual and staged return of on-site and field-based research activities. The resumption of activities will be aligned with higher education resumption guidelines we anticipate receiving from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Our collective goal is to ramp up OSU’s research enterprise in as safe, timely and effective a manner as possible.

We have developed research resumption guidance to advise principal investigators, deans and Research Office personnel on their roles in resuming on-site and field-based research activities. This guidance aims to support the maximum amount of research activity while prioritizing the health and safety of OSU personnel and the communities in which the university operates. These guidelines are consistent with the values (PDF) articulated by the Task Force for Research Continuity and Resilience.

Researchers interested in returning to research activities at locations other than their own home will be asked to create research activity resumption plans. These resumption plans will need to outline ways to mitigate risks posed by COVID-19, coordinate across programs to assure low density of on-site staff, and account for the possibility that activities may have to be curtailed again if the prevalence of COVID-19 in the OSU community increases in the months ahead. Deans will approve resumption plans of researchers whose activities are based in a college. I will approve plans of researchers based in a center or institute. Researchers who are primarily affiliated with a specific college/center/institute but require access to facilities associated with a different college/center/institute must work with both leadership entities and receive approval from leadership associated with both units. Until further notice, all research activities that can be carried out from home should continue to be performed remotely. 

While this guidance is subject to requirements in the governor’s forthcoming guidelines for higher education, we anticipate OSU will be able to begin a gradual and phased resumption of on-site research after June 13. While at this point we do not know whether the resumption of on-site research at OSU will be contingent on, or subject to, the county reopening plans, we have enough clarity to ask principal investigators and research groups to begin assembling research resumption plans.

Over the next several weeks and months, I ask for your continued patience and understanding as we look to gradually resume research activities. I continue to be inspired by how each of you have been able to pursue research and scholarship in creative ways while learning to teach and work remotely -- and accommodate life changes -- during these unprecedented times. Thank you for your commitment to OSU’s research enterprise and the extraordinary scholarship you pursue to serve Oregon, the nation and the world.

For an opportunity to hear from me directly and ask questions about the research resumption guidance and process, please join me and my leadership team for a zoom forum. 

Forums will be held:

Thursday May 28, 3:30-4:30pm: https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/98156433353

Tuesday June 2, 11:00am-noon: https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/96151106133


Irem Y. Tumer, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
Vice President for Research, Interim

May 26, 2020