Dear Faculty and Researchers in Academic and Research Units:
Following on from the operational guidance from the University System of Georgia and the approved Institute research ramp down plan, please use the following information to guide your faculty in their research activities. As a reminder, this ramp down plan does not apply to the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). GTRI personnel should follow current guidance from your leadership.
All on-campus research laboratories will be restricted to only essential activities by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, where possible. For the purposes of these circumstances, “essential activities” are defined as:
• Activity that if discontinued would generate significant data and sample loss.
• Activity that if discontinued would pose a safety hazard.
• Activity that maintains critical equipment in facilities and laboratories.
• Activity that maintains critical samples and animal populations.
• COVID-19 related activity that has a timeline for deployment that could address the current crisis.
• Activity that has US government-mandated security and access requirements, cannot be performed remotely, and whose activity is deemed critical by the US government.
• Activities specifically requested by a US Government sponsor to continue during this time.
• Clinical trial activity that if discontinued would negatively impact the patient's care.
• Activity necessary for delivery of remote instruction.
Any researcher or PI requesting to designate a particular activity as “essential” must seek the approval of their dean through their school chair. Researchers assigned to an IRI (specifically, GTMI, IBB, IEN, and RBI), should direct requests to Raheem Beyah, Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research, through their IRI director. Additionally, if a particular lab cannot fully ramp down activities by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, a limited exception must be approved through this same process. These requests must be received by noon on Thursday, March 19. My office will work with the deans and associate deans for research about processing these requests.
As a reminder, faculty members cannot and should not require graduate research assistants to come to campus, unless the student is designated as essential personnel per the above described process. Students are asked to stay away from campus for the rest of the semester. This is not the decision of the individual faculty member.
Please stay healthy and safe. Take care of yourself and your families.
Chaouki T. Abdallah
Executive Vice President for Research