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Ensuring Research Continuity at FSU during COVID-19

  •  Can I continue my IRB-approved human subjects research?

    As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread in the United States, researchers should evaluate their study protocols for the subject risk accordingly. Contacts with subjects in your study may have originally been low risk or classified as no more than the minimal risk encountered in practice. With uncertainty about COVID-19 exposure, routine contacts with subjects may no longer pose minimal risk. They also do not constitute a risk encountered in practice. Risks associated with COVID-19 exposure do not only include the most serious risk of sequela from the virus, but the impact that exposure has on day-to-day life.

    As such, studies involving face-to-face interaction with participants are to be postponed until further notice, effective March 24, 2020. Research that is done online or through remote interactions (e.g., by phone, QuestionPro, SurveyMonkey, Zoom, or other means) that has already been approved to use these measures may continue. If you wish to transition your research protocol to remote interaction from direct contact, then an application modification will need to be submitted and reviewed by the IRB.

    Temporary enrollment holds do not need to be reported to the IRB, however you may need to notify subjects already enrolled, study investigators or study sponsors. If you are planning human subjects research, you should take this into account when completing your application.

  •  Will research protocols continue to be reviewed by the IRB during this time?

    Yes.  However, IRB application reviews rely upon faculty volunteers. Since most faculty are working hard to move their courses/teaching online, protocol reviews may be delayed.

  •  How will the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) be affected during this time?

    The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) expects to be able to submit proposals, even if personnel are working from home. Funding agencies (Sponsors) may be flexible about deadlines under difficult circumstances beyond our control. However, if agencies are officially closed, proposals will likely remain in queue, pending resumption of agency operations. Continue charging grants as normal, including effort reporting.

  •  Who do I contact with additional questions regarding research?
    • Contact your College Dean’s office with lab-specific questions.
    • Contact the IRB with questions regarding human subjects research: [email protected]
    • Contact ORSP with questions about research grants or other research-related questions: [email protected]
  •  OPTIONAL COVID-19: Back to Campus (Fall 2020) CITI Training Available
    Complimentary course to train staff, students, and faculty on COVID-19 safety for their return to campus and research. These modules are OPTIONAL for researchers to complete and are available until March 1, 2021. 
  •  Public Access Data Files Resource
    If you are looking for other alternatives to face-face research for your scholarly work, or for your student research projects, there are many robust public access data files available. The IRB, in conjunction with FLITE, has established a resource to view different databases that are available at:
  •  Notice: Foreign Entities Targeting COVID-19 Research Organizations

    During the ongoing national health emergency, the FBI encourages research institutions and investigators to remain vigilant for any attempts by organizations or individuals, whether foreign or domestic, to unlawfully obtain and remove sensitive research, including but not limited to research related to COVID-19, and including that funded by the U.S. Government.  The FBI also encourages these same entities to proactively review existing safeguards, including cyber security, in order to ensure this research remains protected.  For further guidance or to report any unusual or suspicious activity associated with research security, please contact your appropriate security representative or Special Agent Richard Foran, FBI Detroit, at (313) 965-6059.

    Public Service Announcement from FBI & CISA