COVID-19 and Your Research Program

Updated May 28, 2021

As part of the larger university effort to plan for the possible arrival and containment of the coronavirus COVID-19, the Vice President for Research & Innovation is committed to assisting Miami's research community. This page will be updated as the situation evolves and new information becomes available.

Return to Research Committee - Summer 2021

The Return to Research committee and the Office of Research and Innovation are providing information for faculty, staff, and students who will be using research facilities or studios during the Summer of 2021. This update incorporates new policies for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals implemented on May 19, 2021

New Guidance:

Vaccinated individuals†

Fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks indoors (offices, research laboratories, and studios) when not working alone. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to maintain social distancing indoors (offices, research laboratories, and studios).

Non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals‡

 Students, faculty, and staff who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated must wear masks and maintain six feet of physical distancing at all times indoors when not working alone in an office, research laboratory, or studio separated by six feet of distance from others. Masks are no longer required outside unless six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Continued Vigilance and Planning:

As the number of vaccinated people continues to increase, the CDC is frequently providing new guidelines on its website. All faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to obtain the vaccine. Nonetheless, faculty and staff should continue to update plans for summer activities for labs and studios and continue to adapt those plans with future updates, rules, and guidelines. In cases where federal and state guidelines differ, the most conservative guidelines will apply.

To ensure safety, all campus activities must follow:

  1. Campus Guidelines AND Healthy Together
  2. Butler county guidelines 
  3. State of Ohio guidelines
  4. Oxford City ordinances
  5. Federal guidelines (CDC)

____________________________

†Fully vaccinated is defined as an individual who is two weeks or more past receiving their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks or more past receiving a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson).

‡Non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated is defined as an individual who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine, or who is less than two weeks past receiving their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or less than two weeks past receiving a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson).

Additionally, all faculty and staff should carefully review their current lab/studio protocols and revise/edit as necessary. These protocols are available here.

Questions, concerns, or exceptions around modifications should be directed to the Return to Research Committee (Dr. Michael Crowder and Dr. Alicia Knoedler, co-chairs)

Summer 2021: On-Campus activities: The following guidelines must be followed for students, faculty, and staff returning to their research labs and studios:

Students (those F2F courses or are doing research) and staff are expected to start being on campus and returning to more normal activities over the summer. Faculty members are also encouraged to be on campus and working with their students in the research labs and studios. All people on campus are expected to follow current campus/building/lab guidelines and protocols. This includes wearing masks and maintaining six feet of physical distancing at all times indoors for non-vaccinated individuals. For laboratories and studios with non-vaccinated individuals, a 6-foot separation distance can be estimated as a requirement for 30 ft² laboratories per researcher or studio member. All members of the Miami community should continue to use CampusClear before coming to campus. Students, faculty, and staff who travels must follow University guidelines before returning to campus. The current policy can be found here

Summer 2021: Undergraduate and graduate student researchers, postdoctoral associates, or studio members: The policies from Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021 will continue to be followed during Summer 2021. This policy is:

Each faculty member or director will need to evaluate if postdoctoral associate research, graduate student research and/or undergraduate student research/work can be safely conducted in his/her lab, research facility, or studio. If a mentor/director believes that postdoctoral associate research, graduate student research and/or undergraduate student research/work can be safely conducted in the lab or studio, then the following policies must be followed:

  1. All postdoctoral associates and graduate students who will be on campus for any activities are required to sign the Healthy Together Pledge. Postdoctoral associates require research for completing their training, and graduate students require research for completing their degree requirements and should be given priority in the labs/studios.
  2. All undergraduate students who will be on campus for any activities are required to sign the Healthy Together Pledge. Undergraduate students who have externally-funded research fellowships, are working on externally-funded research projects, need to complete critical lab/studio requirements for graduation, or have required honors/research capstone projects should be given priority in the labs/studios over other undergraduate students.
  3. Before any research/work in the lab/studio is conducted, the research mentor will meet with the graduate or undergraduate student and explain all building and lab policies regarding face masks, distancing, cleaning, self-monitoring, and of course any lab-related safety issues. The mentor should also discuss safe behavior, especially for non-vaccinated individuals (no attendance at large gatherings where social distancing is not possible, wearing face masks in public places, etc.) outside of the lab to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and its introduction into the lab/studio. The student must comply with these policies. The student should be listed on all relevant room policy forms, and the mentor should resubmit these revised forms to the Chair for approval and for uploading in the Return to Research Google folder. The university's policies regarding return to research can be found here.

Summer 2021: Research/Business-related Travel: Travel restrictions will be lifted on June 1, 2021, contingent upon improving conditions related to COVID-19. Researchers should be advised that if conditions warrant the reinstatement of travel advisories, new guidance will be issued.

Continued steps for researchers

  • Monitor yourself for signs of illness and stay home if you are sick. Specifically, you should:
    • Take your temperature daily and stay home if you have a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees;
    • Stay home if you have a new continuous cough, sore throat, generalized muscle pain, loss of or change to sense of smell or taste, unusual fatigue, chills, or shortness of breath.
  • Practice social distancing. Reduce meetings, use Webex or other videoconferencing tools, work in shifts, or work remotely when possible. If personnel must share space, make sure they maintain 6 feet of distance.
  • Enhance cleaning of shared instruments and surfaces, including phones, lab equipment, benches, and doorknobs. Choose a disinfectant that is safe and appropriate for the item being cleaned.
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. This is how long it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice. (Tired of "Happy Birthday?" Try one of these songs.)
  • Use the CampusClear app before you come to campus.
All researchers can view specific guidance and resources on the topics listed below. 

Guidance

 

Many thanks to Washington University in St. Louis for allowing us to adapt their guidance for use at Miami.

Contact Us: COVID-19 and Your Research Program

Alicia Knoedler
Vice President for Research & Innovation
102 Roudebush Hall
513-529-3600
knoedler@MiamiOH.edu