Research Restart

At this time, PIs need to ensure their projects are audit-proof and verify that all effort on the project is for funded research/projects and not staff/student retention. In some cases, COVID-19 mitigation allowances (consistent with our institution policy) were made for Spring.

* If you have concerns about the ability of your funded project/research to move forward, please contact the appropriate Research Support and Shared Services Team member.

* If you are thinking of using funds in a manner not originally budgeted in your initial scope of work, please contact the appropriate Research Support and Shared Services Team member.

* If you are needing support in re-imagining your research work in the absence of in-person field opportunities, please contact the appropriate Research Support and Shared Services Team member

* We are here to help! Contact:

** ADR Sara Chavarria to discuss options for updates to project design

** Margo Sallet for financial concerns, scope of work changes, expense allowability, compliance.

** Anna Bounds for IRB/Human Subjects concerns or amendments

Please Note: We are carefully following the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance, which currently requires that employee effort only be allocated for activities in the accepted scope of work and want to make sure you are prepared for any scenarios per your awarding agency.

The Research Support Team are currently developing the plans and support necessary to safely restart our research program. These will follow the University of Arizona Guiding Principles, Research, Innovation & Impact’s (RII) research restart processes, and will form a key strand of the excellent work being led by Carl Liaupsin and the College of Education Re-entry Committee. The process will continue to evolve with COVID-19 trends.

This site provides guidance on the College of Education’s(COE) Implementation of RII's Research Restart Plan, which facilitates phased restarting or commencing of research that has been paused in light of the COVID19 pandemic.  To minimize mass emails, this site will be the primary means of communicating research restart guidance and policies within COE.  Please check frequently for updates (last updated June 30, 2020).

COE implementation is led by COE Assistant Dean for Research (ADR) Sara Chavarria.

Of immediate note:

1-No approval is needed for research conducted in a 100% remote environment (off-campus, no face-to-face interaction, no travel, etc.).

2-Researchers with labs can submit research re-entry checklists if you follow the safety guidelines but must submit a COE Research Restart Plan and agreements.

Note: Both university and external conditions related to the pandemic are changing rapidly. Many UA policies and guidance relevant to research restart are currently in draft form, and are always subject to change (e.g. PPE and hygiene training, protocols, and provisioning; travel restrictions and authorizations; campus research facility reopening schedules such as labs, libraries, and museums). 

Clarification of terminology: 
* We define funded as all ‘externally funded projects’ (NSF, DOE, foundations, etc.) whether research or programmatic in nature.

* We define research as all research projects, whether funded or unfunded, being conducted by faculty, staff, or students.

* We define fieldwork as any scenario in which our researchers are at an agency/organization or school site.

* We define labs as any project designated shared workspace in which research activities are taking place per funded projects and in which staff, researchers, and students work on said project. This does not include offices.

COE researchers seeking approval to restart, modify, or commence research that has been paused or deferred in light of COVID-19 must do the following:

*Out of state or overnight travel require completion of steps 1 & 2*

  1. COE plan template: Develop written documents/plans for COVID-19-related research safety protocols (the RII checklist in step 2 will ask for verification that these have been created).
    1. Follow the RII field research guidelines and the COE guidelines for re-entering research in our college. COE guidelines address fieldwork, lab prep, IRB, grad student research, Safety and PPE protocols, etc.
    2. Note 1: the COE Plan can be amended as you do more in-person work.
    3. Note 2: Check with your Department Head, Director, or Graduate Advisor on whether there are any unit-level requirements or guidance for restarting research (in addition to those provided by COE and RII).
  2. Submit your COE Plan to the GMT or Zach Sbragia.
  3. RII Research Restart Checklist: Once all of your safety protocols are in place, you have shared and submitted your research plan, and you have been told it is good, you can submit the RII checklist (administered via a Qualtrics survey--see guidance below before initiating).

Other forms you might need: See Guidance on COE Forms section

  1. Research Restart Agreement Form: Have all project personnel complete and sign this form if they are going to be participating in in-person work. This will be kept by the PI for records and does not need to be submitted to the College.
  2. IRB compliance information: if working with human subjects per a research project.
  3. Travel Authorization Form: for travel that requires overnight.
  4. COVID 19 Workplace Risk Management Protocols for Credit-bearing Experiential Learning Activities Form: for field placements and field research involving UG and graduate students.
  5. Assumption of Risk and Release Form: For staff and researchers. See Guidance on COE Forms section.
  6. Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office: If working with Native American nations please contact staff in the Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office.
  • COE Research Restart Plan: This form gathers an outline of your safety protocols per your research/program work and will help in expediting ADR review.  The PI must keep this on file but submit the plan to the ADR via emailThis plan can be updated as IRB or other factors influence and redirect the work being conducted.
  • COE Research Restart Agreement: This form is for all members of your lab or field team to individually fill out. The agreement asks them to confirm that they are aware of your safety protocols (as outlined in your plan) and that they have filed all necessary forms as necessary. The PI is responsible for filing these.
  • COVID 19 Workplace Risk Management Protocols for Credit-bearing Experiential Learning Activities Form: This form should be filed by any student conducting research in field settings (schools, organizations, interviewing). This form is tied to course. For graduate students conducting dissertation/master research, please list your independent study, dissertation hours, or research hours course. If you are not getting course credit per a grant or research work, please use the UArizona Assumption of Risk and Release Form.
  • UArizona Assumption of Risk and Release form: This form should be used in cases where staff are engaging in field experiences and must be made aware of risks tied to COVID-19. The form can be designed to be specific to the project. To request this form, please contact ADR Sara Chavarria. For guidance on how to use this form, please go to: Assumption of Risk and Release Agreements
  • UArizona Travel form: For field work related travel that will take you out of state or require extended overnight stays, you will need to file this form to gain permission to conduct the travel. It will go through your dept head, dean, and provost.
  • Partner Agency Cooperative Agreements: Some sort of communication must be filed pertaining to an agreement to conduct field work at your host organization. This can be in the form of an email (submit a screen shot or email attachment to your plan) or in the form of an agency agreement your host organization asked you to sign.
  • Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office: If working with Native American nations please contact staff in the Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office.

Plan your responses before submitting and fill out your COE Research Restart Form. Researchers are advised to plan responses to the RII checklist prior to opening the Qualtrics survey. Once the survey is started, it cannot be restarted from the same IP address before completion and submission, and it is not possible to back up to previous pages to revise responses. The RII website contains links to pdf and docx versions of the checklist (they may be slightly out of date as the Qualtrics survey continues to be edited). You can send your ‘practice checklist (pdf or docx versions) to the ADR to review.

For student-led research: Consult with your advisor before submitting. Please follow the COE Research Restart guidance. COE ADR will also confirm that your advisor is aware and supportive of your application prior to approval.

Be judicious in selecting "No" vs. "N/A" for items on the checklist. 

  • Select N/A only if the question is not applicable to your research context. For example, the question block on "holding a research team meeting to discuss safely commencing work" is irrelevant for projects with only one researcher.
  • If a question is possibly relevant, but you cannot confidently answer yes at the time of submission, answer "No."  For example, on the question block on "establishing cleaning and disinfection routines for all unique resources and environments," answer "No" if you have not yet been able to acquire necessary supplies, signage, etc. The ADR will follow up with you to understand the rationale for the No response, and approval could be granted conditional on addressing those items prior to commencing). 
  • For general guidance on safely restarting workplace activities, see the College of Public Health's Workplace Reopening Guide. Further resources, including guidance adapted for a variety of field settings, are in development and will be forthcoming on the RII Research Restart website. 
  • For assistance with determining appropriate materials for face coverings and other PPE needs in your research, contact Research Laboratory & Safety Services,
  • For assistance with placing orders for needed PPE or sanitation supplies, contact the COE Building/Space Manager, Michelle Tellez.  
  • For guidance on COVID-19 related human subjects research (HSR) considerations, see the Checklist & Guidance Documents Section of the RII Research Restart Website.
  • For other research-related considerations, please review the guidance and FAQs on the RII Research Restart website and on this website (the COE Research Restart website). If your question is still not answered and you need further assistance, contact COE ADR Sara Chavarria.
  • For non-research related questions about COVID19 and campus reopening, consult with your Department Head or Director.

A Note about School and youth based research challenges

A key challenge the College of Education is facing is the significant proportion of our research which is school based, youth based, or working with vulnerable members of our community.   In March, responses to the COE research mitigation surveys completed at the beginning of the pandemic highlighted that for a number of our faculty and students, restarting research was contingent on schools re-opening and being able to conduct face-to-face research. With schools across the country continuing to wrestle with how they will operate this academic year, we are asking that over the next few weeks you continue to take a moment to revisit your research plans for Fall 2020 and to consider how these ever-fluid changes to school operations might impact your research, and how we can help you mitigate the impact.

Some helpful questions to think about include:

  • Can I adapt my research methodology to reduce or eliminate the need for school-based face to face interaction and still obtain the data I need?  Including electronic data collection or the use of video conferencing software.
  • Am I able to pause the research for a further semester, while schools navigate these changes and settle into a new routine?
  • Will I need to adapt any instruments, or conduct new recruitment and consenting process if previously consented participants have opted for online or hybrid learning rather than face-to-face?

We will be providing more detail and resources to support you through this process in coming weeks, but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us about any questions you may have, and to access support on processes such as restarting human subject research or making amendments to existing IRB protocols.