Last updated: May 5, 2020

This website provides updates on the status of UC Santa Barbara research support operations. The University is following guidance issued by the CDC, California Department of Public Health, and Santa Barbara County Public Health. Additionally, more information and updates can be found on the UC Santa Barbara COVID-19 website.

Also see Guidance for Proposals and Awards During COVID-19 and
Research Productivity Resources During COVID-19

Research Town Hall (May 12)

Shutdown of All On-Campus Research

On-campus research is not permitted at this time (see Vice Chancellor for Research Joe Incandela’s March 18 memo). Under no condition is research equipment, chemicals, materials etc. to be taken off-campus. Only remote research, defined as that which can be done remotely and does not require laboratory equipment and supplies, may be performed until further notice.

Exceptions to continue on-campus research: Requests to allow COVID-19 studies or the continuation of ongoing essential experiments must be submitted via this Shutdown Exemption Request for Essential Research. These requests will be reviewed by the relevant Deans together with the Vice Chancellor for Research.  Only those research activities directly serving the global effort to battle COVID-19 or those for which stoppage would cause a great loss of prior effort will be considered.  Expect very few exceptions to be granted.

Exceptions to continue on-campus critical maintenance: Long-term viability of some laboratories during a shutdown requires the maintenance of essential animal lines, instruments, cryogen stocks, etc. Each laboratory (or group of laboratories) with such needs must have an approved plan in place clearly spelling out why and what continued tasks are necessary and identify a minimum number of essential personnel who will be responsible for this critical maintenance. Plans must be coordinated with relevant department heads up through the Dean's Office to the Office of Research. Plans must include protocols for safety, hygiene, sanitization and social distancing in all stages of the maintenance task. Keep in mind that any potentially hazardous maintenance operation will require at least two trained essential research personnel. Only people working on research covered by one of the two exceptions above will be allowed to continue their work on campus.

Mitigating Impact On Our Researchers: The shutdown of on-campus research will create unanticipated delays, which can be cause for significant anxiety for many, and especially junior, researchers. While there is no way to escape the loss of time, every effort is being made to assure that these actions will not damage careers or lead to excessive financial hardship. We ask that all PIs work to find ways to continue to fund their researchers and staff even those they are now forced to work remotely.  We have pulled together Guidance for Proposals and Awards during COVID-19 to help them in their efforts. Of interest to PIs concerned about the impact of the shutdown on tenure and promotion, Alison Butler, AVC for Academic Personnel, recently sent a memo outlining the process by which one requests an extension of the Tenure/SOE/8-year limit clock.

The Office of Research is working remotely but is fully operational and continuously updating its website with agency guidance regarding continuation of salaries for researchers.

   Updates from VCR Incandela

Message from the Vice Chancellor for Research (3/18/20): “Over the past week, the COVID-19 pandemic has reached serious levels of infection in many parts of the country including California. It is now in our county, our town, and very likely on campus, though we do not see it yet. Intuition tells us that we do not have to move quickly, but for this pandemic, hesitation has proved to be very costly. Waiting for definitive evidence of many confirmed infections puts our community in very serious danger. This lesson has been learned repeatedly across the globe. Data at hand show that decisive and comprehensive policies widely adopted early to minimize sharing of spaces lead to a significant reduction in loss of life. The difference can be as large as a factor of 10. It is our goal to make that difference.”

Memos from VCR