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The Office of Undergraduate Research is open, but our staff members are teleworking. We are available for student advising and meetings using Zoom, Google Hangouts, or by phone. Please continue to use our contact form to set up an appointment or email to contact our staff. We are here for you!

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Covid-19 Research Conduct Resources

Covid-19 Research Conduct Resources

For a complete inventory of WVU's Covid-19 research guidelines, please visit the WVU Research Office website here: 

Per the February 5, 2021 Guidance for Research from the WVU Research Office (RO) -Based on guidance from our colleagues overseeing face to face human subjects work in clinical trials, the Research Office is authorizing the resumption of face to face non-clinical human subjects research starting Monday, February 8th. Efforts with previously approved return to research plans can resume at that date, please notify the RO that your work has resumed. If you wish to start new activities, however,  please follow the process outlined at the website below: possible, continued remote activities should be considered unless in-person visits are required.

Per the December 14, 2020 Guidance for Research from the WVU Research Office (RO) -
In light of the Covid-19 surge in WV and the increasing pressure on the availability of hospital beds, the WVU Research Office has re-considered the dispensations we authorized for close-proximity research activities between researchers. After surveying PIs, we determined that 25% of labs would be negatively impacted. That information in combination with our observation that to-date, we have not had a confirmed transmission via this channel, the RO will NOT change the current guidance on close-proximity activity. We are aware however that our current safety procedures have not been tested in the current high infection rate environment and are thus reminding you to be vigilant and most cautious.
We remind you that as a condition of your previously approved dispensation for close proximity activities (less than 6 ft separation), you agreed:
  • to the mandated use of both eye (preferably a face shield) and respiratory (a surgical mask) protection for yourself and those under your supervision, when engaged in critical activities conducted at separations closer than 6 ft.;
  • that you would ensure that all of your approved close proximity students, staff and postdocs are informed of the enhanced risk, the potential for quarantine if exposed during the activities, and the requirement that they use approved eye and respiratory protection when engaged in the activities;
  • that you would ensure that your laboratory has an adequate supply of face shields and surgical masks available for all participants in these higher risk activities, with the possible substitution of goggles in the event that face shields are incompatible with the activity.
The RO greatly appreciates your continued compliance with these mandated expectations and will withdraw dispensations for any labs found in violation.

You may also choose to require your supervisees to take advantage of the free COVID testing offered by WVU and Mon County. For both the WVU and community testing
  • No appointment is required.
  • This is walk-in testing; free parking will be available in Short Term Lots 4 and 9
  • Wear a mask and practice physical distancing.
  • Bring identification (driver's license or proof of address).
Per the November 5, 2020 (updated 11/13/20) Guidance for Undergraduate (UG) and Graduate Student Researchers Post Thanksgiving Holiday - 
UG Researchers: After Thanksgiving break, the modality for all UG courses will be remote, thus we encourage faculty supervisors to transition UG lab and studio-based on campus workers to remote work, if at all possible. It is to be expected that there will be some exceptions based on what is best for the student’s research and scholarship plans, however the expectation is that exceptions will be rare.

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs): The Research Office position is to maintain research post-break at the same level as during the semester. We believe that the majority of on-site GRAs are probably exclusively working on their dissertation research and that the change in course modality makes little difference for them. In most cases it is anticipated that graduate research assistants will continue to perform their duties as they have been doing throughout the semester. They should check with their research advisor as to specifics with respect to continued progress toward degree and fulfillment of grant-funded assistantship expectations.

In both cases, returning student researchers and scholars will be subject to COVID testing upon return to campus. This is distinct from the return to campus for Spring 2021 testing (stay tuned for additional information). All researchers remaining in Morgantown over the Thanksgiving break do not have to do anything beyond the usual guidance to mask up and avoid large gatherings. Names of returning student researchers and their 800 numbers should be forwarded to the relevant College’s Associate Dean for Research so that return COVID testing can be scheduled. Note that all individuals, i.e., students, staff and faculty, traveling out of state are required to self-isolate for 5 days upon returning to Morgantown before coming back to campus. That requirement is unchanged.

The Eberly College Research Office has created a form for Eberly student researchers returning for research and scholarship activity after the Thanksgiving break and for a potential COVID test appointment. Returning Eberly student researchers should input their information at the following link:

Per the September 10, 2020 WVU Research Office Info Letter/EmailIn spite of changes to on-site instruction for undergraduates,  there are no anticipated changes to the Fall 2020 guidance for on-site Research and Scholarship. Undergraduates can continue to work on-site for research activities as long as it is within a PI's lab, associated with an award and at the discretion of their PI/faculty supervisor. The participant can be tied to the research by course credit, pay, or as a volunteer.

We ask all research and lab supervisors to check that all on-site researchers comply with the daily wellness check guidance and display their green access pass before starting work. Please reach out to the Research Office with any questions, concerns or suggestions you have.

Social Distancing

Faculty who will supervise graduate students, staff and undergraduates in-person in the fall semester are required to submit a plan to their colleges as to how they will maintain the required 200 sq. ft per person minimum in labs, studios, offices and other shared spaces; manage PPE availability; and will need to acknowledge their understanding of their responsibilities by signing the research supervisor pledge available here: Principal Investigator and Faculty Pledge (Those faculty who completed summer plans are exempt from the above, unless they need to submit plan modifications).

All research group discussions and group interactions should still be conducted virtually. The newly available Covid-19 training module replaces the previously required pledge for graduate students, undergraduates and staff conducting research on-site; thus, the latter is no longer necessary. 

Shoulder to Shoulder Research Exemption

A number of research training and activities can only be conducted when individuals are closer than the preferred 6 ft separation. The WVU Research Office, APLU, and the WVU Public Health Working group and have created a plan that would allow for “shoulder to shoulder” training or research with additional precautions.

The Vice President for Research's office will approve each request on a case by case basis. The link to the qualtrics request form is here: Request for Approval of Close Proximity Training and Laboratory Activities

PIs and lab supervisors will receive an email approval or denial within 2 business days of the request and the  Vice President for Research's office  will cc the department chair and PIs/lab supervisors on those responses.

NOTE: If one of the two individuals (trainer or trainee) test positive for COVID-19, the other may be subject to quarantine even though appropriate PPE was worn.

Additional Resources

Return to Research Summer Guidelines

Research Guidelines for Fall 2020

Research Guidelines for Fall 2020 Matrix

Updated Recommendations for HSC Clinical Research

Non-HSC Human Subject Research

COVID-19 Shared Research Facilities Procedures

COVID-19 Syllabus Statement

Undergraduate Research & COVID Example Syllabus Language (see below)
Faculty research mentors have been informed of the “Research Guidance for Fall 2020” guidelines developed by the WVU Research Office. Faculty research mentors, members of their research group, and undergraduate researchers must abide by ALL of the guidelines detailed in the links below. Note that these guidelines do not negate in-person undergraduate research assuming the proper precautions (e.g., PPE, masks, space, etc.) are met. More specifically, (i) undergraduate researchers must not displace graduate researchers and (ii) faculty research space must accommodate the 200 sq feet per person space guidelines as set forth by the WVU Research Office. Space guidelines could be met by having enough space to fit all researchers or by having a rotating research schedule. In addition, if COVID-19 conditions worsen over the course of the Fall 2020 semester, the university may require students to continue their research projects virtually for the remainder of the semester. Faculty research mentors were asked to plan for this possibility prior to approving the undergraduate for research. On a case-by-case basis, the WVU Research Office may approve research training/activities that require individuals to be closer than the recommended 6-foot separation. Faculty research mentors must complete and submit the form below to request this approval.