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Required JSG Information for Research Phase 3 Restart
May 21, 2020
In alignment with the Guidelines and Principles documents produced by the Vice President for Research, the PI Information for Research Phase 3 Restart form must be completed and submitted to the Associate Dean for Research and your unit leader as the first step in Research Phase 3 reopening at the Jackson School. Before filling out these forms, please look over all of the context-providing materials at the UT COVID-19 Research FAQ.
Please keep in mind that any new activity must be phased in gradually so that population density and safe practices can be monitored to ensure the health and safety of personnel. Resumption of work will therefore occur slowly, over several phases of increasing density. Do not resume projects that cannot be stopped again on short notice if required.
PIs with active exemptions will maintain this active status, but must complete the Research Phase 3 reopening form.
When assembling your personnel plans, please remember the Jackson School’s position that no one should be pressured to work on campus or in the field if they are uncomfortable doing so and that there should be no disciplinary or retaliatory action taken against anyone who prefers not to return to campus due to concerns about infection.
If you want to resume or continue working on your research on site, you must submit a request. Download the request form and after filling it out, send a copy to your unit head and Associate Dean for Research David Mohrig (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Workforce Number and Allowable Workforce Management Policies:
- PIs may use shift work as a way to increase social distancing among their researchers, but they must adhere to the following overarching policies:
- Labs cannot operate 24/7. Labs must be closed from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. daily to allow custodial services to work uninterrupted. All researchers must vacate both labs and offices during these hours.
- The sum of a PI’s researchers working across all shifts cannot exceed the target Workforce Number for a given Research Phase. For instance, the target Workforce Number during Research Phase 3 is 30-40% of the total lab workforce. JSG may adjust these percentages further for individual PIs in order to balance the Workforce Number across the school’s portfolio.
- Time must be built into work schedules to allow researchers to disinfect high-touch surfaces in the research space before, during and after their work shifts.
Guidelines for Workforce Number Management: Each Research Phase has a Workforce Number that defines the number of unique individual researchers (faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff) performing research on-site at UT. Here we describe allowable and prohibited methods for managing workforce number.
Allowable method for workforce management:
- If necessary to accommodate all interested researchers, the UT Health and Wellness Working Group recommends splitting workers into two cohorts that work on rotating schedules of two weeks. In this two-week cohort model, Cohort A works on site for 14 days, then works from home for 14 days while Cohort B works on site. This 14-day remote work period slows the spread of the virus by enabling each cohort to self-isolate while monitoring themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. PIs may use this 2-week cohort model to manage their workforce. However, the total number of unique individuals on site during a given 2-week period cannot exceed the Workforce Number defined for each Research Phase.
Prohibited methods for workforce management:
- A cohort model with an interval of less than two weeks.
- Using daily shift work to exceed the target Workforce Number for a given Research Phase. PIs may use shift work to increase social distancing among researchers, but the sum of a PI’s researchers working across daily shifts cannot exceed the target workforce number for that Research Phase. For instance, the target Workforce Number during Research Phase 3 is 30-40% of the total lab workforce. JSG may adjust these percentages further for individual PIs in order to balance Workforce Number across the school’s portfolio.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We appreciate that the reopening guidelines require significant time and that properly following them may result in your research progressing more slowly than you may want. However, these guidelines and principles are required and failure to follow these directions explicitly may result in the closure of all JSG research labs.