CFAES Research Community

CFAES Research Community,

The message from Dr. Morley Stone sent out on March 15 stating that “PI’s should immediately begin preparing for all on-campus research to be restricted to essential activities only as soon as possible” requires additional context for CFAES research.  Specifically, what should be considered essential activities.

For our purposes, essential activities are those, if not completed, result in significant loss or delay of critical research, or significant delays in the progress of a graduate student.  A considerable amount of research conducted in CFAES coincides with the growing season, we are at or near a critical time of the year, and failure to complete activities would result in a one-year delay in progress. Such activities are essential.  Similarly, on-going research with live animals, cultures, incubations, or greenhouse activities need to continue. Research utilizing laboratory activities, surveys, monitoring, modeling, or other methods may or may not be essential depending on the impact should the work be delayed.  Estimate graduate dates for graduate students based on normal progress and then determine the impact of any delays in their research to determine if that work is essential at this time.

For any research activities that do continue, please adhere to the guidance provided by Dr. Stone:

  • Limit the number of individuals who are present in the lab, or gathered in one place, at any one time;
  • Minimize time on campus;
  • Conduct lab meetings virtually;
  • Minimize contact between persons;
  • Initiate enhanced cleaning procedures in the lab and other work areas
  • Maintain an updated log of everyone who works in the lab;
  • Perform data analysis, writing, and other tasks remotely;
  • Develop contingency plans for your lab’s research activities, taking into consideration personnel contact lists and plans, potential personnel absences and illnesses, and limited or delayed supply availability.

Some of the essential activities may require travel.   As a reminder, Dean Cathann Kress has provided the following process for approval:

Process for Requesting Approval for Mission Critical Travel:

  • Review travel and ensure that it is mission critical and has minimal health and safety risk for participants.
  • Send a request including the following to your department chair or unit director/lead:
    • Date(s) of Proposed Travel
    • Destination, to/from details
    • Traveler(s) and their OSU affiliation (faculty, staff, student, etc.)
    • Purpose of the trip noting why it is mission critical
  • The request will be reviewed by your leader and if they are in support, they will copy the requestor on an email to the dean for review/approval.
  • The Dean will reply all to communicate a decision.
  • Questions about the process should be directed to the Chief of Staff, Lori Bowman:

We will be sending out guidance for working with grantors in a separate message.

These are unique times and we must do our part to minimize the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.  We will do our best to assist you in minimizing the long-term impacts of a reduction in research activity. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

The Ohio State University
Gary M Pierzynski,
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
Director, Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
106 Agricultural Administration Building, 2120 Fyffe Rd, Columbus, OH 43210
614-688-5681 Office