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Research and COVID-19


For information relating to UNC community standards and its roadmap for returning in Fall 2020, please visit Carolina Together. This page is a resource for faculty, students, and staff in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience regarding research during COVID-19.

Steps Required for Resumption of Lab Operations & Research



  1. Everyone is required to complete the EHS Protecting the Carolina Community from COVID and Department’s HS Reopening Training. The Group Resumption of Lab Operations (see #2) will require signed confirmation with dates that both were completed by all lab members, including PIs, other faculty, postdocs, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students.
  2. The College of Arts and Sciences requires submission and review of lab reopening plans, which our Department has modified slightly for internal use. This document should be completed: CAS Template Revised for Psychology and Neuroscience [DOCX] and emailed to reopeningplanspn@gmail.com for review. **All human subjects labs are required to complete and submit this template, regardless of the status of their human subjects research and whether their lab activities are in person or remote. This will allow the Department to have a current census of human subjects research and related activities as well as to track those changes consistent with the <50% occupancy established by OVCR.** If you are not doing any Human Subjects research, then the Group Resumption of Lab Operations may be your final step in this process. Once you submit your plan and receive an email notification indicating that your plan meets at least minimum criterion, then you may resume lab re-opening/re-entry.
  3. If you are also planning to do Human Subjects research, then the next step is to submit your IRB submissions for new studies and/or modifications to ongoing/paused studies. You should do your IRB submissions **only after you receive an email indicating that your Group Resumption Plan meets at least minimum criteria**. These should adhere to the guidance, including any COVID-related modifications as described in the Department Training and using any updated guidance as provided by IRB and OHRE website.
  4. If your human subjects research involves any **in person** activities with participants, OVCR requires an additional layer of Department-level review. Once you receive IRB approval for your new study and/or any modifications to ongoing/paused studies, you will complete a brief Qualtrics survey (**link to be added when complete**) that will be routed to our local IRB for review and certification. We will send the link to the Qualtrics survey when finalized. For now, please progress with Steps 1, 2, and 3.

Only after you have completed these steps, can you proceed with HS research.

Helpful Hints for Submitting Your Lab Re-Opening Plans


As noted above and in the Department Training, all human subjects labs are required to complete and submit this template [DOCX], regardless of the status of their human subjects research and whether their lab activities are in person or remote. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of faculty. If the plan meets the minimal guidelines for lab reopening as described in the Department Training, the PI and Program Director will receive an email indicating that the lab may proceed with re-opening/re-entry (as relevant) using the proposed plan. If further information is needed, the plan will be returned to the PI for modifications and subsequent review.

General Guidelines for review include:

  1. Have you completed all sections of the document before submitting for review?
  2. Does the demographic section include a specific, current count, rather than a range or projections (i.e., if/when you add someone, you will submit a Modification with changes to demographics and signatures)?
  3. Does your social distancing plan meet at least the minimal requirements, as described in the Department Training (i.e., 1 person/200 sq ft; if more than that, plan to maintain > 6 ft social distance; if cannot maintain > 6 ft of social distance, alternative plan).
  4. Does your sanitizing plan meet at least the minimal requirements, as described in the Department Training (i.e., protocols/log for hand sanitizing/washing and cleaning work stations/equipment).
  5. Does your plan regarding masks meet at least the minimal requirements, as described in the Department Training (i.e., use of/policy re: OVCR approved masks, brown paper bags for storage).
  6. Does the number of  signatures match the demographic count for the lab?
  7. Do all signatures include the dates each individual completed the EHS and Department Trainings?

Personal Protective Equipment


Limited Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available to faculty, students, and staff who are conducting research in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience.

One designated person from your laboratory should pick up supplies while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Please take only what you need with good faith that we will have more coming. This Google document includes our current supplies and count, as well as a place for you or a member of your lab to sign-out supplies. This will allow you to see what is remaining before heading to Davie Hall, as well as a central place to provide updates when new supplies come in. Supplies are held in Davie 202, which is unlocked.

The College is moving toward centralized orders for PPE, including for human subjects research. The Department’s procedures will be updated here when finalized.

Resources


Program Reopening Plans


Our doctoral programs have determined and outlined plans for its faculty, students, and staff and reopening of their laboratories. Please review your doctoral program’s reopening plan below. Please note that the Developmental Psychology Program plans to work remotely and has not outlined their reopening plans yet.