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ULAR Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Template to Develop Individual Animal Research Laboratory Contingency Plan

Please complete and return to Carolyn Reneski,, by Friday March 13th at 5pm.

ULAR Contingency Planning for Researchers and Research Teams

The Office of Research & Innovation is actively planning for continuity of our services to the University's research community in the event of COVID-19 induced disruptions. 

The objectives of our research contingency planning are to minimize potential disruption by:

  • reducing the risk of transmission among the research community members, 
  • protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications,
  • maintaining research operations and research support services
  • providing guidance to the university research community

The Office of Research & Innovation, including the ULAR staff, are actively working on measures to minimize disruption to research activities that involve research utilizing animals and our ULAR facilities. They are:

  • In case of campus closure, we are working to ensure building access for critical personnel, including research staff;
  • In case of mass transit interruptions/closure, we are developing alternate transportation opportunities for ULAR staff, as well as investigating lodging opportunities for ULAR staff;
  • Working with University facilities to try to insure continued building maintenance;
  • If needed, facilitating remote IACUC meetings to address needed amendments, etc.;
  • Working with HR to clarify sick leave policies during a potential disruption.

Individuals and groups within the research community should also start planning for a number of potential scenarios that could disrupt research operations. Planning for these uncertainties is much easier done prior to an emergency. These scenarios include but are not limited to:

Contingency Plan Template for Individual Laboratories using animals

To facilitate planning, a Contingency Plans for Individual Animal Research Laboratories Template [DOC] is available to guide individual laboratories in developing contingency plans. Please complete and return to Carolyn Reneski,, by Friday March 13th at 5pm.

Up to date contact information is critical

To help us better serve the research community in the case of COVID-19 induced disruptions, we ask that all groups update their BIORAFT profiles to accurately reflect your research team. If needed, ULAR will be using the information in this system to reach out to you.

Researchers unable to make it to campus to perform planned animal care/experiments

It is possible that researchers will become ill and may be unable to carry out their planned research activities, alternatively researchers need to say home to care for ill family members and loved ones as well as may be unable to get to campus due to transportation disruptions.

Most importantly, to minimize the risk to others, sick personnel (temperature >100.7F, shortness of breath, cough), including graduate and postdoctoral trainees working in laboratories, should stay home;

Research teams should stay in close communication with each other and support each other’s work through any disruption;

Contact ULAR team (see below) whenever needed so that they can help you manage this disruption.

Shortage of critical supplies

Researchers should identify these supplies and order them as soon as possible

There is a worldwide shortage of masks, some veterinary medications, other experimental drugs, and cleaning supplies.

IACUC Protocol planning

While there is considerable uncertainty at this time, researchers nevertheless should take time to consider scenarios for when it is appropriate to delay planned experiments and delay ordering animals for studies that might run for weeks/months after a surgery and/or experimental manipulation is done. Our IACUC and ULAR teams are happy to provide assistance with this. 

In closing, we greatly appreciate your partnership in this contingency planning. We will make sure that we keep the research community informed as we understand the effect of the COVID-19 on our shared research activities.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the ULAR staff:

Rick Huneke
Andrea McCurry
Emily Reimold
Faith Witherspoon
Luci Villar