University Addresses Research Continuity

With changing circumstances regarding the impact of COVID-19 on university operations, Mason’s research community has formulated guidelines for the continuation of research activity. These guidelines are available at

The guidelines stress the importance of planning for research continuity by close communication with chairs, associate deans, or directors; practicing social distancing and avoidance of clinical settings; and diligence in monitoring research team members and participants for symptoms of a respiratory illness (cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath) or contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.

Aurali Dade, Mason’s associate vice president for research and innovation and executive director, Institute for a Sustainable Earth, stressed that all faculty should be preparing a plan for their research in the event that further disruptions occur. 

If they believe they have critical research that would need to continue even if the community faces a widespread COVID-19 communal transmission, they should provide the information described on the website in an e-mail to Michele Schwietz, associate dean for research, who will share that information with Mason’s Office of Research. 

Dade reminds faculty that critical research is defined as:

  • Procedures and processes that require regular personnel attention (e.g. cell culture maintenance, animal studies).
  • Procedures and processes that if delayed would cause significant issues with your ability to complete the research or deliver the proposed outcomes (e.g. time series data collection such as environmental sampling that would invalidate a study if not collected within a certain time window).

CHSS faculty members with questions regarding research are encouraged to contact Michele Schwietz.