As the COVID -19 situation continues to evolve, the School of Graduate Studies and Research and the Research Institute will continue to monitor the impacts relevant to IUP research and researchers. Of highest priority is the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students.
These FAQ are intended to provide updated, helpful guidelines to help researchers navigate updated procedures, regulations, and restrictions. For the most up-to-date information on the university’s response to the COVID-19 situation, please continue to
access the IUP Coronavirus Information website.
Please note that the Research Institute, the School of Graduate Studies and Research, and the Grant and Special Funds Accounting are teleworking and should be contacted via email.
HR Guidelines for Student and Staff Researchers
Program Management and Proposal Development
Active Grant Awards/Activities
IRB and IACUC Guidelines
Student Research Events
Thesis/Dissertation Research and Information
Can I continue my research?
Due to the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, we have suspended all research activities that cannot be done from home. This includes research activities that require in-person interactions with research subjects as well as field research. PIs on off-campus research projects to collect data using surveys, observations, interviews, focus groups, and other data collection methods, including research outsourced to non-IUP staff, must halt data collection immediately. This suspension includes projects conducted in the US or foreign countries. Only research activities that can be performed remotely/via telework may continue at this time.
Projects may be able to move to telephone or online formats. Any changes to projects involving human research subjects must be approved by the IRB. Visit the IRB website for guidance. Any changes to animal (vertebrate) protocols must be approved by the IACUC. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Are there any exceptions?
Per President Driscoll’s email, there may be exceptions to the social distancing mandate for activity after the Stay-At-Home Order has been lifted; exceptions are at the President’s discretion. Exceptions before the Stay-At-Home Order has been lifted may only be considered if the work has officially been deemed essential by a cognizant authority of the Pennsylvania agency funding the work. If you feel your project warrants an exception, you must work through your dean and/or division VP for guidance. Note that exceptions will only be given in rare and extenuating circumstances, and all decisions will be based on the safety and well-being of university employees, students, and the general public. Please include Hilliary Creely, Tracy Eisenhower, Ute Lowery, and Janis Nichols in this communication so they can document the exception and assist you with your project accordingly.
HR guidelines have been issued regarding students as well as part-time and full-time staff. Please refer to the guidance from IUP Human Resources, which must be followed in all circumstances.
Are students allowed (but not required) to continue to work in faculty labs?
No, students may not be working in campus labs. Research, including student research, can continue via telework.
Now that all travel has been canceled, what should PIs do about travel arrangements?
We are following Governor Wolf’s guidelines on travel, which is to suspend university-sponsored travel (with exceptions to be approved by the president) in order to minimize the opportunity for transmission of the virus.
Requests to approve essential travel, including previously approved trips, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.The purchasing departments have been provided with emergency procurement guidance and instructions for contract cancellations. Please contact our procurement staff for assistance on those matters.
Please refer to the IUP Travel Services website for the most up-to-date information.
I have a proposal where I plan to include travel. Can I still include this in the proposal?
We recommend not to plan or promise a sponsor that faculty/staff can travel within the next three to four months. If awarded and the travel situation remains restricted, we will take the necessary precautions. If the award is pending and travel is planned within the near future (three to four months), the PI should consult deans and the associate dean for Research.
Can I book future travel and accommodation?
We recommend that faculty do not confirm or purchase transportation in the next three months. For travel beyond three months, faculty are asked to only book travels that are refundable, changeable, and reasonably priced.
If booking, faculty are asked to only book travel that is refundable and changeable. Review the current Travel Office guidelines, and note the guidance to purchase “Cancel for Any Reason” travel insurance for all travel at this time.
Communications with awarding agencies/sponsors should be coordinated with the IUP Research Institute and the associate dean for Research.
How do I handle any financial impact CVOID-19 may have on my sponsored research award? Do I need to document the financial impact?
As process may vary by sponsor or award type, all PIs should reach out
to the RI post award staff who will coordinate with RI Fiscal and/or
Grants Accounting to determine what costs are allowable or unallowable
on the grant (i.e., travel change fees, conference cancellations, labor,
consulting fees, etc.), what costs will be covered elsewhere, and what
steps need to be taken to maximize grant funding. IUP budget/expense
questions should be directed to Grants Accounting.
If the above referenced changes result in the need for contractual
modifications (i.e., no cost extension, request for additional funding,
re-budgeting of grant expenses, etc.) on your grant, the RI post-award
team will work with you and SGSR on these requests/changes. Most
sponsors are allowing flexibility (e.g., see recent OMB guidance),
so please continue to contact the RI staff as you find areas where you
need to make adjustments in your project. We will assist in making
requests to the funding agencies on your behalf.
Develop and retain documentation relating to the cancellation or other costs charged to a grant in accordance with record retention requirements. Develop and retain documentation relating to research delays caused by COVID-19.Please refer the the IUP Human Resources website for hiring/payroll questions.
I have an upcoming proposal that I’m looking to submit. How will I submit if staff are teleworking?
The staff of the IUP Research Institute and the School of Graduate Studies and Research are working remotely and are available by email or cell phone. If you do not know which team member to contact, please contact Tracy Eisenhower at email@example.com.
You should still begin your new proposal in Kuali, and the system will automatically generate an email alert to the pre-award specialists. The web-based review and approval systems remain operational, and our five-working-day rule still applies. To allow for unforeseen delays or challenges, we strongly recommend contacting your pre-award specialist as soon as you identify a grant opportunity. Your pre-award specialist will help you determine an appropriate timeline based on specifics of your Request for Proposal and agency guidelines.
Have proposal submission deadlines been changed?
Please check the sponsor’s website frequently if you are planning on submitting a proposal for sponsor proposal deadlines. Internal deadlines for proposal development, review, and submission have not changed.
Should I cancel or postpone a major event that I’m coordinating?
President Driscoll has indicated that there are to be no face-to face interactions, including classes, meetings, conferences, and camps through the summer. If your event can be conducted online, confirm with the event sponsor that an online option is desired before proceeding with the transition. If an online event is not possible, events that have already been scheduled should be canceled or postponed. For an IUP event, please follow directions provided by the Digital Team on how to indicate this on the calendar.
Do the restrictions apply to externally funded projects?
Yes, if you are a PI, Co-PI, or IUP employee working on a grant or
any research activities, the COVID-19 restrictions and requirements may
impact your research activity. You must comply with any state or federal
restrictions, including stay-at-home orders.
The Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order takes precedence over any
previously issued guidance. After the Stay-at-Home Order has been
lifted, but while we are still dealing with COVID-19, if you have any
direct contact with other individuals while performing your grant
activity, you must follow all university, Pennsylvania State System,
state, and federal mandates during this time. This includes students and
Per President Driscoll’s email on Tuesday, 3/31/2020, and reiterated
in his email on 4/1/2020, there are to be no face-to-face activities
through summer 2020. This includes grant activities, whether on- or
off-campus. Additionally, only essential personnel are permitted to be
on campus during the quarantine period, and this restriction applies to
faculty offices, labs, and other space.
I’m concerned about my project; how should I approach my funding agency?
We understand that this will likely cause delays and challenges in
completing research projects, and we are here to assist you in
identifying solutions and/or communicating with your funding agency. If
you encounter challenges, please reach out to Ute Lowery (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Janis Nichols (email@example.com) for assistance. We will also so document this in the project file.
What if my project is an essential activity or warrants an exception?
If your grant-funded research has officially been deemed an essential
activity/work to provide life-sustaining business and government
services in Pennsylvania, please submit documentation to your dean so
that a request for an exception may be considered (though not
guaranteed). Please include Hilliary Creely, Tracy Eisenhower, Ute
Lowery, and Janis Nichols in this communication so we can document any
exception granted and assist you with your project accordingly.
I have a sub-awardee, Professional Service Agreement, or other partnership that is vital to my project. Should I provide them with any information?
Please work with the RI Post-Award team, and keep in contact with the sub-recipients on your projects and keep them apprised of any changes that you are anticipating in your research. Please keep in mind that IUP/IUPRI policies and procedures, as well as the Prime Sponsors CODIV-19 guidance, flow down to the subawards. The IUP Research Institute, in conjunction with the associate dean for Research, can provide a letter that can be sent to your partners should you want to provide them with information about our status.
How are funding sponsors responding to the pandemic?
PIs and research administration staff should feel assured that sponsors of our research have been responsive to the changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, NSF,
NIH, and NEH continue
to update their communications and guidance for researchers that allow for flexibility in award management functions and continue to accept applications to programs. PIs should work with the pre-award team at the Research Institute to proactively
consider specific changes to their projects.
Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources from the Council on Governmental Relations.
NASA’s guidance as to how the Agency is implementing the OMB guidance (M-20-17). This site also contains an FAQ that provides additional clarifications.
Guidance issued by OMB in regards to Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations.
The National Science Foundation has issued Important Notice No. 146 to the Community Regarding COVID-19. NSF has also issued additional guidance on NSF’s implementation of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum (M-20-17),
titled “Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations.” NSF has implemented flexibilities authorized by OMB from specific administrative,
financial management, and audit requirements contained in 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards without compromising accountability requirements.
US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, has issued Guidance to Award Recipients Impacted by COVID-19:
Short Term Relief for Various Administrative, Financial Management, and Audit Requirements.
My project was approved by the IRB, or I am applying for IRB approval. What do I need to think about?
Any IRB-approved studies that are currently recruiting and/or interacting with subjects in a face-to-face mode (e.g., face-to-face interviews; subjects being asked to come to a lab/room on campus) are paused until further notice.
Approved studies that are currently recruiting or engaging participants in a non-face-to-face mode (e.g., Qualtrics survey, Skype/Zoom/phone interviews) and can be done from home are allowed to continue at this time.
If your approved study includes face-to-face interaction, we encourage you to switch your mode of interaction to a non-face-to-face option. You must submit a change request for IRB review via IRBManager. Please note that this change may require updates to your informed consent and other recruitment materials, and these updated materials must be included in your change request.
Please see the IUP IRB website for more information.
The IRB Office is open (remotely) and continuing business as usual. All inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All site approvals/any other documents should be submitted via IRBManager and not mailed to SGSR.
My project was approved by IACUC, or I am applying for IACUC approval. What do I need to think about?
The IACUC will continue its normal function as much as is possible during this period of adjustment. The IACUC asks investigators to
remember that the switch to online-only instruction does not release faculty from their other responsibilities, including supervision and maintenance of their research animals.
be especially mindful of the need to continue routine animal care and surveillance. Many of us rely upon students for animal care, and it is essential that investigators remain vigilant to ensure that all animal care is being completed according
consider carefully the research activities they choose to undertake during this period of limited personnel availability and travel restrictions.
consult with external collaborators and/or research sites to ensure that coordination of external research remains possible.
don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed—from fellow investigators, the IACUC, the NSM Dean’s Office, or the SGSR.
In order to celebrate the hard work of our students and their research endeavors, the 2020 IUP Scholars Forum has been moved to an online format.
This format will allow participants to upload their digital posters and presentations to be posted with their project abstracts while sharing their research with the IUP community and beyond.
Further instructions to participants will be forthcoming. Stay tuned to your email and the Scholars Forum website for updates!
The Undergraduate Summer Opportunity for Applying Research (U-SOAR) program will still run this summer in a totally online capacity! While many universities have canceled their summer research programs, IUP is proud to announce that U-SOAR is still taking place. This re-tooled program continues to support undergraduate research and now includes a monetary stipend for all participants, five virtual events for professional development during the summer, and a poster session to present your research at the beginning of the fall semester. Check out the U-SOAR website for more information.
Apply via the Application in InfoReady Review. Applications are due Friday, May 1, at 4:30 p.m.
Please review the following information, specific to graduate students who are working on their thesis/dissertation.
Are graduation deadlines changing?
No, the existing deadlines remain in effect.
We understand that unique circumstances may make it difficult for
anticipated May 2020 graduates to meet these deadlines, and we will
handle requests for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Such requests
should be sent in consultation with your faculty
thesis/dissertation advisor to the associate dean for Research (email@example.com).
Can I continue my research and/or data collection?
Students in the data-collection phase of their research should follow
the guidance of their faculty thesis/dissertation advisors and, where
applicable, the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human
Subjects (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care
and Use Committee (IACUC). Your data collection must comply with all
ethical research standards, in addition to the Governor’s Stay-at-Home
Data collection may not include face-to-face contact with
research subjects at this time. Refer to
the IRB website for more information. After consulting with your faculty advisor, email IRBfirstname.lastname@example.org (for human subjects projects) or email@example.com (for animal research) with questions.
Can I defend my thesis/dissertation as scheduled?
We encourage you to continue with your original timeline, as much as possible, but they should not occur in-person. All defenses are to be conducted via appropriate electronic distance communication platforms (Zoom, Skype, etc.) at this time.
How can I route my signature page?
If you have already obtained ink signatures on your signature page, please scan (or high-resolution photograph) the completed page and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The subject header should be “[NAME OF THE STUDENT] Signature Page.” Please save the originals, but do not them at this point.
In lieu of paper signature pages with ink signatures, the following will be accepted:
Thesis/Dissertation chair will initiate an email to the
entire thesis/dissertation committee using only official university
email addresses (do not cc any SGSR personnel). In this email,
the chair will state the following: “In lieu of ink
signatures, this email is to document that we hereby approve the
thesis/dissertation of [Student Name], candidate for the degree of
[Doctor of/Master of PROGRAM].”
The chair will “sign” (please be sure signature line includes
name, title, and department—for most faculty, this is their standard
email signature line).
Each member of the committee will “reply all” to affirm their
acceptance of the thesis/dissertation with their signature (simply your
name, title, and department—for most faculty, this is their standard
email signature line).
Once each member has replied in the affirmative to the email, the chair will forward the entire email approval string to email@example.com as a
single email message. The subject header should be the “[NAME OF THE STUDENT] Signature Page.”
The signature page in the actual thesis/dissertation should
be modified by the student to say “Signature on file” on the line above
each committee members’ name and rank, and also on the line above Dr.
Randy Martin’s name and title. The date that
your committee approved your defense should appear on the
corresponding date lines next to each of your committee members’
signature lines. Leave the date line empty next to Dr. Randy Martin’s
signature line because you will not know what date
your thesis or dissertation will be approved by Dr. Martin.
How do I submit my publication agreement?
In lieu of paper publication agreements, students may download the
agreement, sign it, scan/photograph it, and email the signed agreement
to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject header should be “[NAME OF THE STUDENT] Publication Agreement.”