COVID-19 Research-Related Frequently Asked Questions
Updated June 22, 2020
FAQs will be updated when new information becomes available in the following categories:
Is there a mechanism in place to identify my lab is working on COVID-19 research or is planning to start COVID-19 research activities?
Please contact the Office of Research at firstname.lastname@example.org to disclose this work.
How do I find out about COVID-19 research funding opportunities?
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, federal agencies are directing emergency and supplemental funding toward priorities that align with their missions and meet a range of needs related to COVID-19 infection and impact in the United States.
KU Research Pre-Award Services sends a weekly email highlighting new funding opportunities to investigators who have opted in to receive such notices. You can explore an archive of those notices — both current and expired — on the COVID-19 Funding Opportunities webpage.
Questions about developing a submission? Contact the KU Research Development team: Carol Burdsal, director, email@example.com, or Doug Bornemann, assistant director, firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals from KU-Lawrence applicants must be reviewed and approved by authorized pre-award staff before submission. If you are planning submissions to these funding opportunities, please contact your preferred research center or email@example.com for assistance.
To aid in global response to the pandemic, may I share COVID-19 research data or preprints before submitting to journals for consideration?
In many cases, yes. Wellcome Trust is promoting an open data policy for COVID-19 research results to ensure that the World Health Organization has rapid access to emerging findings that could aid the global response. More than 125 scientific journals, societies, publishers, research councils and universities have signed the Wellcome Trust Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies in support of this endeavor. With respect to signatories on the statement, authors can rest assured that sharing data or preprints ahead of submission will not pre-empt publication in those journals. Check to see if your journal or publisher of interest is a signatory.
How do I treat time-sensitive data collection for peer-reviewed manuscripts that have a limited timeline to address reviewers' criticisms?
It will be important to contact the journal, as it is anticipated that most journals will provide some flexibility on the deadlines that they've previously set due to the current global health crisis.
If I receive a notice from my sponsor requesting information about the impact of COVID-19 on my work, what should I do?
If you receive any communication from your sponsor regarding the impact of COVID-19 and the Office of Research is not already copied, please forward those notices to Alicia Reed and work with Post-Award on any sponsor response. Office of Research will assist you in communicating the impact to the sponsor.
My research has been disrupted due to reduction in research operations. How can I communicate this to my sponsor?
Please contact the Office of Research for help. Post-Award grant management staff are available to assist you with communications to your sponsor regarding disruptions in work, and to request actions. We want to be involved with communications to your sponsor. If you already have an award, please contact Post-Award at pas@kuedu.
How will deliveries be handled for buildings that have not yet reopened?
KU Procurement is continuing to work to meet the needs of campus. Details about select vendors that can accommodate home deliveries can be found on the KU Procurement website. Please contact your building manager for details about building-specific delivery plans for items that support essential research in buildings that have not yet reopened. If you don’t know who manages your building, contact Craig Alexander, senior director of financial services and interim chief procurement officer.
Is the Office of Research operating as usual?
The Office of Research is currently working remotely and expects to provide normal service levels.
PIs should continue to request assistance for proposal preparation and review as early as possible; Pre-Award support is expected to continue as normal. Given the increased reliance on remote working and electronic communications, increased time should be provided for proposal review and submission to avoid delays related to slow systems or outages. Contact Pre-Award or your research center to initiate proposal preparation or to ask sponsor-specific questions.
For project-specific communications and questions for sponsors, please contact Post-Award.
Please see Financial Impacts sections for financial contacts.
What if I am unable to submit my grant on time due to COVID-19?
Most federal agencies, including NIH and NSF, do not grant prior approval for late submissions; however, there are existing policies that address extenuating circumstances. If you find yourself unable to submit your grant on time due to COVID-19, please contact Pre-Award or your research center to discuss your situation.
For additional COVID-19-related guidance on proposals and awards from specific sponsors, please refer to this summary of agency guidance and your sponsors’ websites.
With research operations just starting to ramp up from critical research operations only, what occurs in terms of the timeline? Will automatic no-cost extensions be applied?
This would be a sponsor-by-sponsor decision. We do not have guidance currently from all sponsors. Work should continue remotely to the extent possible. We will work to assist PIs in requesting additional time for work performance. Some Federal sponsors have pointed to their automatic 12-month no-cost extension, but you should talk with your Post-Award staff regarding specifics for your industry award. Please contact Post-Award with questions about requesting additional time or a change in deadlines for reporting.
Research operations are ramping up beyond essential functions; will staff, students and postdocs continue to be paid if they are unable to work?
In March 2020, the Cost Accounting Policy was updated to allow salary and fringe for all employees (student, staff and faculty) to continue to be charged to a sponsored project, unless the sponsor has explicitly disallowed this charge. If this salary support was not allowable on the sponsored project, the Office of Research worked with the PI and their administrative unit(s) to determine available support to sustain these vital research personnel. Starting with the pay period ending July 11, 2020 (earning start date of June 28, 2020), payment for student, staff and faculty employees who are unable to work on the sponsored project is not an allowable expense. Appointment to an alternative funding source related to work available for the individual to perform or issuance of a non-reappointment to the individual may be appropriate depending on the employee’s situation. Please contact Alicia Reed with questions on project impacts or Julie Thornton about Human Resource questions on the specific situation.
I am advising fellows (or other stipend recipients). What can I do to support them?
It is advisable, at this time, for fellows to keep track of the grant-related activities they are engaging in as well as their time invested. Consider preparing a guide for fellows or other stipend recipients with the intended learning opportunities and other grant-related experiences. If these procedures have been modified in light of COVID-19, include a listing of these modifications. Schedule regular meetings using remote technology (e.g., Zoom) to provide input and monitor progress. Please note that if training or fellowship plans are changing, this should be reported to the sponsor. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in communicating this change in planned program.
My sponsored project end date is near, but I still have funds available to expend. What can I do to spend these funds?
Current project purchasing should only be done to support project activities, including personal protective equipment necessary to safely perform project activities. If your sponsored project work has been disrupted by the reduction in research operations, you need to work with Post-Award to alert your sponsor of the need for a carryforward or a no-cost extension (NCE) to complete the work and expend the funds. Please note that an NCE is not an appropriate request if you do not have work left to complete. Many sponsors are allowing flexibilities for NCE, carryforward and closeout procedures. See agency guidance and contact email@example.com for assistance in communicating with your sponsor.
Where can I find sponsor guidance on COVID-19?
Please refer to the following guidance for current information regarding COVID-19, including sponsor guidance. Some sponsors have not yet posted guidance. This page will continue to be updated, but please also check your sponsors’ websites for new information.
- Department of Defense (DOD)
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy (DOE)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- National Endowment of the Arts (NEA)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Industry-Sponsored Research
- PIs with industry-sponsored research are encouraged to directly contact their sponsor for information. Please copy firstname.lastname@example.org on communications.
- Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
- Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations | March 19, 2020
- Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Added March 9, 2020
- Presentation: Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus | Added April 8, 2020
- Recording: Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus | Added April 8, 2020
- Memo M-20-18: Managing Federal Contract Performance Issues Associated with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Added April 10, 2020
- Memo M-20-20: OMB Memo M-20-20: Re-purposing Existing Federal Financial Assistance Programs and Awards to Support the Emergency Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Added April 10, 2020
- M-20-21: Implementation Guidance for Supplemental Funding Provided in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | Added April 13, 2020
- Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU)
- Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
I need to resume some field work that is essential for my research. What is the process?
You must complete this form and submit it to your department chair or center director. They will review your safety plan and let you know when it is approved. They should send the approved plan to email@example.com. Approval of the safety plan also gives you approval for essential travel in connection with the field work (which must conform to the most recent travel policy). Your chair/director should notify the appropriate SSC of the travel approval so that travel expenses can be approved.
I have an immediate need to undertake travel that is essential for my research. How do I get this approved, and who should be notified?
Your department chair or center director must approve essential travel for your research, and this approval will require that you have proposed a travel safety plan that your chair has accepted. Travel must comply with the current travel policy. Your chair must notify the Office of Research and the appropriate SSC so travel expenses can be approved.
I am concerned that decreased research operations will affect my human subject work.
- All human subjects research that involves face-to-face engagement with human subjects must be discontinued unless the study can be modified to eliminate face-to-face interactions. Any such modifications or interruptions of studies must be reviewed and approved by the Human Research Protection Program. Contact HRPP if this applies to you.
- See also NIH guidance: Guidance for NIH-funded Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Studies Affected by COVID-19.
- If you halt ongoing human subjects research for any reason:
- Document the interruption. You can submit a Report of New Information (RNI) in eCompliance to document discontinuation of your study, even if there will be no impact on human subjects. An RNI is always required if there are changes that increase risk to participants and cannot be addressed with a modification (MOD).
- Consider the need to communicate with participants and local facilitators about changes in procedures. In some cases, additional consent may be required.
- If your study is funded, contact-Post Award.
- Ensure continuity of data security as you transition to remote work. Changes in your data security plan may need to be updated in a modification to your HRPP protocol. See below for additional information about accessing sensitive data remotely.
I am concerned that decreased research operations will affect my animal work.
The Animal Care Unit will continue to operate under an Emergency Operations Plan and will continue to provide care to all animals housed in and overseen by the ACU. See previous guidance from KU Research and the Animal Care Unit.
If a student or a researcher needs to access a data set from home in order to keep working on a project, how do we address privacy requirements, if the data set contains sensitive or private information?
If the researcher does not have secure access to the data set (e.g., remote access via VPN or other means), then the data set should not be accessed, or analysis of risk should be considered. Researchers should work with their IT departments to explore whether a secure remote access option is viable for their project and appropriate for the type of data.
Researchers should document the time they were unable to work on the data set for the purpose of determining if they later need to request a no-cost time extension. All data access and handling should be based on a set data management plan developed specifically for the research taking place and based on data security best practices.
What do I need to think about when shifting in-person activities to virtual or remote methods?
First, research teams are encouraged to pull together and review their currently approved procedures. Think about items such as data security and timeline shifts that you might need to make in your data analytic plans. Contemplate how remote methods of interacting with participants and handling data can be incorporated into your study and how your processes will need to change. Review every aspect of your study, including the recruitment process, the consent process, interactions with participants, the collection of data, transfer to secure storage and data analysis.
Audio or video meetings: Think through how you will maintain privacy and confidentiality in audio or video “spaces” versus meeting with participants in a closed room, where it is obvious that others are not present and accidental interloping is more easily controlled. You might develop a script to confirm to participants who is present on the researcher’s side, to ask if there are others present on the participant’s side, and in group meetings with participants, advise attendees to disconnect or “step out” of the conference if non-participants enter their local space.
If a session will be recorded, be sure to announce that in your introduction and as you start and stop the recording. Remember that this may be a new technique for the attendees as well as the researchers. Take time to communicate your respect for your participants’ privacy and concern for their comfort with the medium.
Data security: Consider the security conditions of staff working remotely, data transfer and storage protocols, and appropriate security provisions for working with data from remote locations. At a minimum, your data security plan will likely need to be amended. Revisions or additions to consent and recruitment materials and your described procedures may also need to be approved through HRPP.
My changes to remote methods will be very simple. Is it necessary to submit a modification to my approved study?
Yes. You need to submit a modification in eCompliance and receive approval prior to implementing changes to accommodate restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
What is the expected turnaround time for my modification to be reviewed?
The good news is that HRPP staff are prioritizing modifications to accommodate your new remote procedures. Approvals have been swift, in most cases within a couple of days, if modifications are clear and complete. If you have questions about what might be an appropriate solution, HRPP staff are happy to discuss with you before you submit.
Tip: To ensure HRPP staff recognize your submission as a COVID-19-related modification, be sure to write it in the modification summary, question #3 when completing the modification form.
If I have only a small number of participants in rural Kansas counties, would it be safe for me to meet them individually at different times, keeping social distancing?
Because we are under stay-at-home orders in Kansas and KU has halted in-person human subject interaction, it would absolutely not be appropriate to meet face-to-face with those subjects.
If I'm working with participants outside of Kansas located in states where stay-at-home orders are not in place, is it appropriate to continue to meet with them if social distancing procedures are in place?
There are a couple of aspects to this question. Currently, KU-sponsored travel, including research-related travel, is prohibited, even in Kansas and Missouri.
Whether stay-at-home orders in your research locations are imposed is not necessarily an indicator of the level of risk in travelling there. Such travel needs very serious consideration. The risks to you and your team going to the remote site and to the local community when you return must be weighed.
Overall, the KU pause on in-person interactions with research participants applies, with the possible exception of COVID-19 research. Any exceptions need to be considered by the Office of Research and/or Provost's Office and may need to be referred to HRPP.
Do you have any guidance for continuing human subjects research that does not involve in-person activity?
Even if your study does not rely on face-to-face interaction, you may find your procedures and data security plans need to be modified as a result of moving your research team outside of campus.
Has the university explored a Zoom for healthcare license, which is used for telehealth and is HIPAA-compliant?
A limited number of Zoom Telehealth host licenses are available for checkout from the Office of Research by PIs who have been approved to collect certain sensitive human data via teleconferencing. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
How should remote participant payments be handled?
If you have human subjects participants who were informed that they would receive some kind of compensation in consideration for their participation (e.g., a focus group, an interview, or activities in an ongoing study), check the procedures that you specified in the original approved protocol to see at what point would they receive payment. Some studies are set up such that there is an incremental payment based on extent of participation. We want to make sure that is honored.
What recommendations do you have for providing protective counseling measures in remote interviews, such as, for example, if my participant disclosed suicidal thoughts?
If there is a potential that a participant might disclose that they are a threat to themselves or others, then HRPP recommends that you have a list of resources readily available so that you could quickly connect a participant who is in need. A pre-made list of resources is an excellent tool to have on hand and will continue to be useful when you resume in-person interactions.
If you do not currently have such a list, attach your proposed resource list to a modification in eCompliance to have it approved.
What recommendations do you have for crafting a plan for researchers currently working on proposals to submit to the HRPP toward the end of the semester?
Because we have little knowledge of how long these restrictions will last, researchers will want to build in flexibility in order to reduce modifications when restrictions are lifted. For instance, we know of researchers who have just received a new award and others who are looking at forecasting for the month(s) ahead who are faced with these considerations.
We are encouraging researchers to think through two paths of opportunity so that they are prepared whether or not restrictions are lifted. Describe procedures under optimal operating conditions, including face-to-face interactions and/or access to data that is not currently possible, and have an alternate route to accommodate remote interactions with participants and study team members working remotely.
Let’s look, for example, at an intervention study where researchers are interacting with students. In addition to the researcher’s optimal procedures, she can include conditional language for remote procedures, such as, “If restrictions are in place that prevent face-to-face human subjects interactions, we plan to…” and include provisions such as obtaining assent of the child, using Zoom, with an adult present with the child. Or, if the researcher’s participants were adults, consider how she would still obtain informed consent, and document as required. Aim to protect issues of privacy and keep the process simple, transparent and respectful.
How do I ensure I have adequate data security?
Issues of data collection, storage and management are critical in the transition to remote work for all projects handling human subjects data. Consult remote.ku.edu for IT guidance about working remotely and securely, but do not stop there. The IT guidance is general and may not adequately cover working with your “Category 1” sensitive human subjects data or challenges of accessing large data stores on secure KU file storage that are not generally available off-campus.
Be sure to consult your departmental IT technicians and IT security directly for assistance in choosing appropriate secure methods and for implementation by your team to maintain that security. Your data security plan should be described in your HRPP protocol. It is a best practice to check in with team members periodically to confirm that the data security plan is being used consistently.
Multisite projects may take some planning and coordination, but appropriate data security plans can — with coordination among colleagues and associated IT personnel — ensure proper protections so that the research team can move forward with data collection. Collaboration is key as each site location may have different characteristics and local restrictions to consider.
Please note that when an external collaborator will be “engaged” with human subjects research reviewed by KU-Lawrence HRPP, an Inter-institutional Authorization Agreement or an Individual Investigator Agreement (together, “reliance agreements”) will need to be in place prior to the external members engaging in the research.
Given the shelter-in-place orders in Kansas City and Lawrence, what are the guidelines for using mail delivery systems such as UPS pickup/dropoff to mail study devices from investigators’ personal homes to participants?
If the method by which you plan to deliver materials to or receive materials from participants will shift from your approved protocol, be sure to submit a modification. HRPP staff would be happy to talk to you about ways to modify your protocol.
Mail: If you find you now need to mail a survey or a measure to a participant to complete, plan how you will ensure that privacy and confidentiality are maintained and exposure of identifiable information is avoided or limited. For example, you might use coding in lieu of participant names on your forms so that data could be sent and returned in a de-identified manner.
Regarding the safety of using mail and shipping services in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to refer to U.S. federal and private carrier guidance available online and consider it in light of your specific population and materials to be transferred. Take steps to minimize risks of virus exposure through shipping to recipients on either end.
What are the landmarks that you all will be looking for to determine when current guidelines around clinical research will be relaxed or lifted? Is there discussion about the shift to resuming or ramping up previous research activities?
The short answer is that the current guidelines will not change as long as we're under stay-at-home orders in this region.
The ramp-up question is a really good one. Right now there are so many unknowns about how long this will continue and the overall fiscal impact on the university, it's difficult for us to make any plans as to how we might help. The Office of Research will remain abreast of the changing conditions, watching agency guidelines and opportunities, observing state and local responses, and providing guidance as to how the evolving status quo affects KU research.
As far as ramping back up for human subjects research, HRPP supports researchers in building flexibility when submitting modifications. For example, you can specifically frame changes as alternative, interim procedures that may revert to original procedures once KU-imposed research restrictions are lifted. That way you are already planning for returning to face-to-face and, unless other circumstances change, will not need to submit another modification to resume in-person interactions.
What are some recommendations regarding student research trajectories, particularly for students who are just beginning to build their research program? Given continuing shelter-in-place orders, should conversations about graduate student research shift to feasibility of projects using remote-style data collection?
Absolutely. Students and advisors should consider planning for how their research programs could continue under current restrictions and evolving public health conditions.
It's a healthy time to have discussions with students about how to build a programmatic line of inquiry, including options for various methodologies that may not always involve human subjects inquiry along the way. For instance, a hybrid project with the possibility of including in-person interactions later in the project might be proposed. A systematic literature review could be undertaken. It might be that there's a new set of lessons to be learned about how to support high quality rigorous and very safe responsible inquiry, using alternative methods from face-to-face.
May undergraduate students participate in research once my building reopens and my lab is approved to reactivate?
Participation of undergraduates in on-campus research is permissible but requires special consideration and approval. Please refer to these principles of undergraduate research involvement during COVID-19 and contact your chair or center director for approval.
Who needs to approve on-campus participation of undergraduates in my research?
Your department chair or center director must approve their participation and will need you to demonstrate your adherence to theprinciples of undergraduate research involvement during COVID-19.
I am required to perform my research from home as a result of COVID-19. Would I be able to charge supplies related to telework (e.g., office furniture, laptop, printer, office supplies, etc.) to my sponsored project?
These types of expenses are considered administrative costs (indirect costs), and generally are not appropriate as a direct cost unless specifically approved by the sponsor. It is allowable to purchase this on PI accounts (906 funds) if it is necessary to do your work.
Please refer to the KU Cost Accounting Policy for details on allowability of administrative supplies and furniture.
How can I charge or recover my travel or other costs?
See information below on travel.
Can I pay payroll costs on my sponsored projects if the personnel cannot work due to COVID-19 impacts?
In March 2020, the Cost Accounting Policy was updated to allow salary and fringe for all employees (student, staff and faculty) to continue to be charged to a sponsored project, unless the sponsor has explicitly disallowed this charge. If this salary support was not allowable on the sponsored project, the Office of Research worked with the PI and their administrative unit(s) to determine support to sustain these vital research personnel. Starting with the pay period ending July 11, 202 (earning start date of June 28, 2020), payment for student, staff and faculty employees who are unable to work on the sponsored project is not an allowable expense. Appointment to an alternative funding source related to work available for the individual to perform or issuance of a non-reappointment to the individual may be appropriate depending on the employee’s situation. Please contact Alicia Reed with questions on project impacts or Julie Thornton about Human Resource questions on the specific situation.
This aligns with Office of Budget Management and NIH guidelines and allows consistent treatment for research personnel based on institutional policy. Case-by-case determinations will be made should these costs not be allowed as sponsored cost expenses; please contact Alicia Reed with questions on allowability.
Even if a Graduate Research Assistant cannot work on my project due to COVID-19 impacts, can their tuition still be paid on my sponsored project?
Yes, their tuition can still be paid on the project, if it is an allowable expense on the project and the sponsor has not explicitly denied these expenses.
Will spending deadlines for internal awards or accounts, which would usually need to be expended by the end of the fiscal year, be extended to account for inability to spend during this time of reduced operation? Will carryforward be allowed on these accounts?
If you have an award from the Office of Research, we will extend the timeline for spending those funds. For other kinds of internal funding, such as startup funds, we anticipate flexibility will be extended, but you need to discuss with the department that administers these funds to discuss an extension.
How can we track COVID-19 leave for salaried individuals?
KU Non-Federal Covered leave, provided by the university to continue paying employees unable to work due to COVID-19 impacts, ends on June 27, 2020, and will no longer be available as a leave type in the HR/Pay system.
What do I do with deposits/checks?
Drop off checks/deposits at Youngberg Hall as instructed below:
- Drop box will be available at the front doors of Youngberg Hall Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. Please do not leave deliveries if the box is not available.
- Include invoice number, funding and any other documentation for the deposit, business as usual (BAU).
- For additional questions about deposits, contact email@example.com.
Where do I send participant advance reconciliations?
Drop off participant reconciliations to Youngberg as instructed below:
- Drop box will be available at the front doors of Youngberg Hall Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. Please do not leave deliveries if the box is not available.
- Include invoice number, funding and any other required participant documentation for the reconciliation requirements (BAU).
What do I do if my KUCR p-cards expire?
- UMB Bank automatically mails new p-cards to Youngberg Hall 30 days prior to expiration.
- KUCR p-card administrator Kevin Teel will contact the cardholder and confirm mailing address.
- KUCR will notify cardholder when the card is mailed.
What do I do if I need to apply for a KUCR p-card?
What do I do for Greenphire participant debit cards?
Where do I send non-sponsored project contracts?
Business as usual. KUCR countersignatures will be electronic (Adobe Sign).
Is mail monitored in Youngberg Hall for invoices and checks?
- U.S. Postal Service will deliver mail to Youngberg Hall Monday through Friday, as usual. Mail will be sorted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Invoices will be processed as normal, with checks deposited on Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Campus mail is temporarily suspended. Please do not send time-sensitive correspondence via campus mail until delivery resumes.
- Returned checks will be forwarded to a current mailing address. Staff will contact departments for additional information.
- FedEx and UPS packages are being delivered as usual. The Youngberg Hall facility manager is available to accept those deliveries.
- Outgoing mail from Youngberg Hall may still be placed in the Lineage mailbox as usual but is picked up once a week on Thursday afternoon.
- For checks marked for pickup, the requestor will be contacted and arrangements will be made for pickup on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon.
When will outgoing mail from Youngberg Hall occur?
Outgoing mail from Youngberg Hall will occur on Thursdays at 1:45 p.m.
Will someone be available at the main Office of Research phone line?
The main KU Office of Research phone line (785-864-3441) will be monitored as usual. Please see the KU Research Staff webpage for direct-line contact information. KU Research staff will be working remotely and are available to answer your questions.
Can I have office supplies delivered to my home?
KU Procurement has provided details about the home-delivery ordering process for Staples and other suppliers.
Can I book travel?
Most travel at this time is considered nonessential. Travel for conferences, professional development, speaking engagements and other activities not part of an employee's core job function is considered nonessential. Essential travel includes travel absolutely necessary to fulfill one's core or primary job function and/or provide crucial support to the university, such as essential research or lab work. All essential travel must be approved in advance.
University-sponsored domestic travel may resume provided it is:
- Domestic travel – no international destinations
- Conducted via automobile – for ongoing concerns, no air travel will be considered at this time
- To an area not listed as high-risk as determined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Travelers must register their university travel plans in advance through the Shared Service Center form or through their unit’s travel request form. During travel, individuals will be expected to follow recommended personal protective actions such as social distancing and wearing face masks when in public settings. Upon their return, travelers who have visited high-risk areas – whether for personal reasons or for unapproved university related travel – will be expected to self-isolate and monitor their conditions in accordance with KDHE guidelines.
- Domestic travelers coming to KU from a high-risk area as defined by KDHE are required to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival and before taking part in university activities or using university spaces.
- International travelers arriving from areas identified as Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Level 4 by the U.S. Department of State are required to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival and before taking part in university activities or using university spaces.
- I booked a flight/trip that is now canceled. Will I still be reimbursed?
- If on a KU or KUCR p-card, reimbursement/payment will be processed business as usual (BAU) with all required receipt documentation.
- If on a personal card, reimbursement/payment will be processed BAU with all required receipt documentation.
- Will I get reimbursed for additional cancellation fees levied?
- If on a KU or KUCR p-card, reimbursement/payment will be processed BAU with required receipt documentation.
- If on a personal card, reimbursement/payment will be processed BAU with required receipt documentation. Additional documentation is required for travel on sponsored project funds.
- Is travel insurance allowed?
- No. Traditional travel insurance does not cover situations like COVID-19.
- Book through Concur Travel to avoid losing travel credit and potentially having the flexibility to shift credits on canceled trips to another business traveler.
- What happens if my trip is canceled and only “refund” option is a travel credit?
- If on a KU or KUCR p-card, reimbursement/payment will be processed BAU with receipt documentation. Travel credit will need to be tracked by the departments and used on future business travel. Additional information on sponsored project-funded travel
- If on a personal card, reimbursement/payment will be processed BAU with receipt documentation. Travel credit will need to be tracked by departments and used on future business travel. Additional information on sponsored project-funded travel
- What if I have a travel credit but do not have any business travel planned to use that credit prior to its expiration date?
- Work with the company that issued the credit to determine whether a name change on the credit is available under the circumstances.
- Travelers who wish to use credit for personal travel must reimburse the University of Kansas or KU Center for Research for the full amount of the travel expense credit. Limitation may apply on sponsored project funding. Please contact KUCR Accounting Services. Reimbursement will be treated as a reduction of expense for the department.
- When reconciling a p-card for a trip now canceled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, do I code COVID19?
- You can code the expense as COVID19 for CF1. Any subsequent refund would need to be coded COVID19 for CF1 as well.
- If trip is canceled and no refund is issued prior to reconciliation, you should code to COVID19 CF1.
- If reconciliation is already complete and no refund is given, submit a JRC to reclass the travel expense to include COVID19 CF1.
How do I contact IT support with questions or concerns about how to access IT resources necessary for my research?
Visit the Technology Service Center (TSC) website.
- The homepage includes a searchable table that includes every unit/department that is supported by a TSC group, along with phone numbers and email addresses.
- Each TSC has its own page listed at the top of the page (e.g., Admin&Ops, College, Engineering, Research, etc.). These pages include the manager and team members' pictures and contact info.
- If you're part of a non-TSC research unit, please contact your local IT support team.
What if I need IT assistance with working, teaching and learning from home?
KU IT has created a one-stop site — remote.ku.edu — for all things related to IT for remote working, teaching and learning.
- The site includes separate sections tailored for faculty, staff and students.
- If you're having difficulty with internet access at home, visit the Access page for information about local service providers offering special discounts and subsidies during the COVID-19 emergency.
Can the KU Anywhere VPN be expanded to access all electronic journals?
IT is working to get a virtual desktop set up on campus to connect remotely for access to certain journals. KU IT and KU Libraries continue to discuss whether a better alternative is possible. In other cases, IT is working on a case-by-case solution. Find information about accessing KU Libraries resources remotely.
My undergraduate research assistant needs to have VPN access to perform research. Can the policy for undergraduate use of VPN be expanded?
IT is allowing undergraduate VPN access. If you have any undergraduates who need VPN access, submit a request to IT support.
How is the Center for Research Computing (CRC) functioning during this situation?
Most of the work done in the CRC can be done remotely. There might be delays if any activity requires physical presence in the CRC, such as physical management of the servers and systems. However, in most cases CRC users will experience business-as-usual functionality. CRC staff are available for support remotely during this time.
How is the CRC managing bandwidth on the login nodes to the cluster, as there seems to be times when the login nodes are sluggish, likely due to higher than normal usage?
This can happen whether or not VPN is used to log in, and reflects high usage of the CRC. Likely, many researchers are working remotely on data analysis. Whether you're logging in from VPN or not, contact the CRC by email if you are experiencing sustained problems with sluggish log in.
What happens if there is a hardware problem at the CRC?
This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the severity of the issue and what steps are needed, plans would be made to come to the CRC to fix the problem, observing social distancing.
Will new computer nodes still be available for purchase in the CRC?
Currently purchases are on hold, but if you have specific needs, please reach out to the CRC.
What can I do to help with bandwidth and connectivity issues?
IT encourages users to be connected to the VPN only while conducting activities that require it, and to disconnect the VPN connection when not using it.
Can I connect to the VPN at a time when bandwidth use is lower?
The highest traffic is between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
What can be done to increase speed of teaching through virtual labs?
IT is aware of this issue and is working on a solution.