Campus Research Restart
Campus Research Restart – August 13th , 2020 Update
OVCR Operational Information
Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois and the City of Chicago Protecting Chicago COVID-19 recovery plans began on July 6th, allowing a limited capacity restart of some human subjects research studies previously placed on hold.
OVCR and the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) evaluated and communicated strategies to reactivate our human subjects research portfolio and established a COVID-19 Research Recovery Committee to help investigators and Deans prioritize IRB-approved studies for reopening. An OVCR review committee is meeting weekly, co-chaired by AVCR Jon Klein and CCTS PI Robin Mermelstein with faculty from most colleges and representatives from the Faculty Senate Research and Executive Committees. Online requests for review began on Monday, June 22. As of August 13th, a total of 263 human subjects research protocols have applied to re-start research activities. A total of 247 protocols have been approved to restart; 9 have been delayed, 7 are pending review.
All studies that require contact (<6-foot distance) between investigators or staff and research subjects must use appropriate PPE for these planned contacts. This includes ensuring the availability of an adequate supply of PPE to conduct the research, staff training in donning and doffing PPE safely, including the use of surgical masks, gowns and gloves, and when appropriate, face shields and/or fit-tested N95 masks.
Faculty investigators whose protocols were approved for restart are being notified by email that they may resume activities contingent upon:
- An approved BioRAFT registration;
- a site or building that has been opened for faculty and staff activities by their Dean or Director;
- Appropriate disinfection, signage, physical and temporal spacing of subjects to promote 6-foot physical distancing, masks, and in-place sanitizer or handwashing capability nearby.
- If the study is to be conducted outside of UI Health clinical care delivery sites, there must also be a plan for screening research subjects for COVID19 symptoms or exposure, for tracking attendance on site by subjects, and for ensuring appropriate PPE and sanitizer are available for subjects.
Please visit the Human Subjects Research Restart FAQs page for additional information.
OVCR Offices of Sponsored Programs (OSP), Research Development Services and Postdoctoral Research, and the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) continue to provide all regular services. Similarly, all other compliance areas (conflict of interest/affiliation, export control, IACUC and IBC, and research integrity) continue to be fully operational.
BRL is operating at regular levels of services and capacity for new projects and orders. Building safety, entrance and health requirements for working in the facilities are posted at entrances. We continue to work with EHSO, the COM and the Department for Microbiology and Immunology to establish and open a BRL-affiliated BSL3 facility for SARS/COV-2 pathogen studies. The SARS/COV-2 BSL3 facility will be available shortly for appropriately trained researchers.
RRC cores have reopened for all projects, although we caution that most shared service facilities are operating at slightly lower capacity to provide services due to new guidelines for physical distancing, staffing and PPE. Some sample drop-offs and protocols may vary in order to lower risk of COVID-19 transmission for staff and researchers. Procedures for trained users of RRC instrumentation will be available in each facility. The Research Informatics Core will continue at its regular capacity. Any questions for BRL and RRC services should be sent to Dr. Jeff Fortman and/or the individual RRC Core Directors, respectively.
As of 8.13.20, OSP has accepted funding for 49 awards related to COVID-19 studies or recovery opportunities, executed 33 data use, collaborative and non-disclosure agreements that are COVID-19-related, and has submitted or is preparing to submit 128 COVID-19-related proposals.
As of 08.13.20, the IBC received 8 new COVID-19-related protocols and 12 modifications for review. The ACC received 2 new COVID-19-related protocols and 6 modifications for review.
As of 8.11.20, OPRS and our IRBs have approved 40 of 50 COVID-19-related protocols received; two have been withdrawn. These include 7 approved clinical trials and a significant number of Registries and secondary analyses related to COVID-19. The IRBs have approved or are in process of review for 121 amendments, and prompt reports and submissions secondary to COVID-19 aims, and has approved 93 of 97 received exemptions and determinations; 4 are pending approval.
OVCR Operational Information
Latest Update: 08/13/2020 - Information provided on July 14, 2020 remains current
- Effective July 15th, facility orientations and in-person training of research staff will be reinstated but at reduced capacity to comply with occupancy limits. Training will be individualized and targeted to specific handling and sample collection techniques required by staff to conduct their research project. Please contact the appropriate member of the BRL veterinary staff to schedule your orientation or training session. Due to the potential high volume of requests, it may take slightly longer than usual to schedule so please plan accordingly. (Updated: July 14, 2020)
Latest Update: 08/13/2020 - Information provided on March 25, 2020 remains current
Updated FAQs: (March 25, 2020)
- How should I communicate with OACIB?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recommended social distancing, OACIB is operating remotely and will continue until further notice. During this time, general questions and concerns, and protocols and protocol modifications should be sent to email@example.com with the subject line appropriately completed. A member of the OACIB staff will respond to the inquiry and/or acknowledge receipt of the submission. Do not submit questions or documents to a specific employee during this time.
- Will my submission be reviewed?
Please note that during this time of remote operation, OACIB will triage submissions in order to accommodate projects with active ongoing animal experiments. The highest priority will be given to protocols undergoing triennial renewal and in “Just in Time” as well as modifications to protocols in which animals are currently being used in an experimental study. New protocols and/or modifications requesting to conduct new experiments will be considered a lower priority as research staff are not to initiate new studies at this time. As a result, protocols and modifications categorized as low priority may experience a delay in the review process compared to previous submissions. The intent, however, will be to review all submissions in as timely a manner as possible during this unprecedented time.
Latest Update: 08/13/2020 - Information provided on June 22, 2020 remains current
- COVID-19 OSP Information (Updated: June 22, 2020)
Research Development Services
Research Development Services is providing frequent updates on new funding opportunities and announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Latest Update: 08/13/2020 - Information provided on June 3, 2020 remains current
As of June 8th, Research Resources Center (RRC) cores will begin to work on all projects and services as well as open shared equipment schedules. There will be new guidelines issued by each core due to COVID19 for the use of shared equipment, sample drop off, etc. We expect delays for new projects and services due to the collection of backlogs, and we kindly ask for your patience and understanding during this transition time. Please reference each core’s new user guidelines before requesting services, projects, or scheduling equipment. All questions or inquiries must be sent over email and/or scheduled over phone call/video conference call. ( Updated: June 3, 2020)
Messages to the Research Community
August 13, 2020 OVCR Operational Updates July 7, 2020 OVCR Weekly Operational Updates June 22, 2020 Human Subjects Research Restart June 19, 2020 OVCR Weekly Operational Updates June 5, 2020 OVCR Weekly Operational Updates May 26, 2020 UIC Return to Work – Phase 3 Recovery – Information for Employees and Managers May 21, 2020 Restore Illinois Phase 3 UIC Campus Operations May 21, 2020 OVCR Weekly Operational Updates April 30, 2020 COVID-19 Requirements for Safely Conducting Research on Campus April 27, 2020 OVCR and OVCAS Research Update and Future Considerations March 20, 2020, 5:25pm COVID-19 Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Update March 19, 2020 4;25pm COVID-19 Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Update March 16, 2020 COVID-19 VCR Message to UIC Research Community