What is OSP doing to assess the impact of COVID-19 on sponsored projects and to communicate with faculty and project personnel?
OSP is closely monitoring sponsor/agency guidance regarding COVID-19’s impact on sponsored projects including the operations of sponsor agencies, extension of proposal deadlines, and performance on active awards. OSP will share sponsor or proposal/project-specific updates with faculty and project personnel supported by the sponsored project who might be affected. Broader sponsor updates and guidance will be shared with the research community via the OSP website and via email.
What guidance and updates have sponsor agencies shared to date?
Due to the evolving nature of the situation, sponsors are still formulating guidance. Some sponsors have proactively extended proposal deadlines for specific opportunities and others have suggested a willingness to consider an extension, on a case-by-case basis, for investigators unable to meet a proposal deadline due to COVID-19-related disruptions. Faculty and project personnel should contact their OSP projects officer for assistance if a COVID-19-related extension of a proposal submission deadline is needed.
How might COVID-19 impact my sponsored research project?
It depends on the nature of the project. The most evident example is where the scope of work involves international travel that is affected by US Department of State and NYU travel restrictions. Major sponsors, including NSF and NIH, are developing guidance to inform whether sponsored project-related travel canceled due to COVID-19 can be charged to the associated awards. Regarding whether or not sponsored project-related travel is advisable, sponsors are directing faculty to their institution for guidance. NYU guidance applies and can be found here.
What if I or member(s) of my team are unable to work on sponsored project(s) either in lab or remotely?
As in the case of any disruption to research and other sponsored activities, OSP will coordinate with faculty and project personnel supported by sponsored awards, their local department administrators and the Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) unit to confirm and inform:
Is OSP still available to assist me now that NYU has moved to conducting administrative and business operations remotely?
OSP will continue to support the academic mission by ensuring the ongoing function of sponsored programs in a remote capacity, providing support to the research community for proposal submissions and awards and contract processing, subject to the availability of sponsor electronic portals and communication mechanisms.
Any sponsors (NYS, NYC) requiring a wet ink signature will be provided with an electronically signed version of the proposal/award documents with a letter confirming NYU’s closure and with wet ink-signed documents to follow upon NYU’s reopening. All OSP-supported systems, including Cayuse 424, Cayuse SP, and the OSP Wiki will remain operational and accessible remotely to OSP staff and the NYU research community.
If you have a specific question or issue related to the impact of COVID-19 on your sponsored project proposal or award, please contact: email@example.com.
If you have questions about the impact of COVID-19 on institutionally funded seed awards (MEGA, URCF), contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I still need to submit conflict of commitment and conflict of interest disclosures as well as research certifications for proposed sponsored projects now that NYU is conducting administrative and business operations remotely?
Yes. All COI systems and resources are accessible outside the NYU network. The Office of Conflict of Interest remains available to provide assistance to administrators and faculty to ensure conflict disclosures are submitted and reviewed timely in accordance with federal regulations, sponsor requirements, and NYU policy.
Effective immediately, all in-person research interactions with human subjects must be suspended if that research is approved under the auspices of the NYU Washington Square IRB.
This policy is being enacted under the advisement of the New York State Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which strongly recommend that all persons, whether healthy or sick, should stay at home. The NYU IRB deems person-to-person contact between researchers and their participants to be an unnecessary risk to human subjects.
This suspension does not apply to research activities that are carried out online, over the phone, or through other means that do not require in-person interaction with participants.
NYU investigators whose research employs in-person interaction and who are able to redesign their study designs to eliminate in-person interactions are encouraged to do so. If such study designs have not yet been approved by the IRB, investigators should submit an amendment to their IRB approval as soon as possible. Such amendments will be reviewed as quickly as possible.
If needed, investigators whose research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, or other funding agencies will be provided with assistance in reporting this research disruption to their agencies.
The ban on in-person research activities will be lifted as soon as the NYU IRB, based on guidance from government health agencies, determines it safe for in-person interactions to occur.
Researchers who believe that risks to the participants would be increased by the disruption of study protocols should contact the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS), New York University, (212) 998-4808 or email@example.com.
The NYU IRB is monitoring the COVID-19 epidemic and is aware that it may impact some investigators’ ability to carry out study procedures as described in their IRB-approved protocols. We recognize that this might result in protocol deviations and/or protocol amendments.
Our federal-wide assurance with the DHHS requires the institution, researchers, and the Institutional Review Board to follow written procedures to ensure:
In the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, such changes to the protocol that do not require prior IRB approval will most likely be for studies in which subjects may receive direct benefits or that requires multiple interactions with subjects scheduled to receive the interactions. For instance, a clinical trial evaluating the effects of a mental health intervention may need to alter the method or the timing of the delivery of the intervention, or cease the delivery of the intervention altogether, if a clinic closes or it is in the best interest of the subject(s) to not travel to a clinic.
If you need to make a change to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to subjects, it is permissible to make the change before NYU IRB review and approval. Such safety-related changes may include procedures to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19 through adopting recognized health and safety measures or altering the delivery of study interventions that may directly benefit subjects.
A modification submitted via Cayuse IRB citing all changes is required within five business days of enacting the change. This modification should note the timing of, the reason for, and the status of the changes. It must contain sufficient detail for the IRB to assess the risk associated with the changes.
To not require prior IRB approval, changes must be necessary to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to the subjects. For instance, moving data collection from in-person to online for a study with one point of data collection would not eliminate immediate risks. Changes to these studies would require prior IRB approval via a modification submission in Cayuse IRB.
The NYU IRB encourages investigators to prepare for any disruptions or changes to their research by anticipating possible amendments and submitting them to the NYU IRB, even if they ultimately will not be implemented.
We encourage faculty and staff to make plans for possible disruption and to prepare communications to research collaborators and participants. Please contact the NYU IRB office if you are unsure if a change requires IRB approval or have any questions about this guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OVR will continue providing humane care and use of animals through veterinary oversight and assure compliance with applicable federal and state regulations. OVR Animal Technicians will remain on site to provide animal care and technical assistance while normal University operations are suspended.
The University’s Animal Welfare Committee (UAWC) shall continue to review protocols related to the use of animals in research. Any necessary meetings will be conducted via Zoom, WebEx, or Skype. Until further notice, New Scientist Orientations and steps associated with new user clearance, including facility tours, will be postponed.
UAWC-related questions or concerns should be directed to: email@example.com
Questions related to animal or supply orders should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions related to billing should be directed to: email@example.com
Questions related to OVR should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
EHS will continue to support the NYU community; however some of our non-critical functions are being curtailed.
EHS Research & Laboratory Safety plans to maintain essential services to support the NYU community. While our highest priority is protecting your health and safety, we also remain committed to the University’s research operations. Beginning Monday, March 23, some lower-priority services will be curtailed (e.g., less frequent waste pick-ups) and we will scale back providing daily on-site support.
This does not mean R&LS will not maintain a presence on campus. We will continue to operate per normal schedule and will be onsite for regulatory inspections until those agencies decide to cease their operations. We have already taken measures to reschedule in-person training and reduce inspections to minimize the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission. We will continue to prioritize EHS-related services to the University community and adhere to the directives of the state Department of Health and the Office of the Governor.
R&LS provides services in the following areas:
Guidelines for laboratory planning and activities to commence should COVID-19 disrupt a sizable portion of campus and the University sends notification that normal operations are or shall be suspended:
The Office of the Vice Provost for Research is announcing a new internal funding opportunity aimed at jump-starting COVID-19-related research projects. The deadline is April 13, 2020, and NYU teams can apply for up to $10,000 per project. The start date for these new projects is immediate upon award notification. To start your application, visit COVID-19 Research Catalyst Grants.
Any research group that plans to conduct research with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), which can be performed safely at Biosafety Level 1 or 2, must obtain Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approval prior to beginning any such research. As part of the IBC review process, a full risk assessment would be conducted to ensure worker safety and agent containment.
Yes, all IBC registrations will continue their regular four-week review process. Committee meetings will be held by conference call. For more information on the IBC, please visit the IBC website or contact email@example.com.
Current CDC and NYU requirements indicate that work with or culturing of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) must be performed at Biosafety Level 3. NYU does not currently have a BSL-3 facility and therefore the use of this agent is not permitted.
Laboratories using radioactive materials and other controlled substances should place these materials in their designated secure storage location as approved by EHS. A hazard categorized laboratory emergency planning checklist should include specific guidance related to biospecimens, compressed gases, radioactive materials, biological agents, chemical agents and electronics.
Consider the following in regards to your laboratory or facility and address each item with specifics (locations, supplies, contact persons, alternate locations).
If the University sends notification that normal operations are or shall be suspended, review your laboratory emergency shut down procedures, gather necessary supplies, make arrangements for storage of hazardous materials; review powering down procedures for electrical equipment.
Please ensure you have all necessary items on hand or orders placed to continue preservation of research, have the following items in supply: