» COVID-19 Research Continuity

Chapman is rapidly responding to the changing COVID-19 pandemic throughout it’s many units and services. All activities of the Office of Research continue and any changes in operations will be communicated here and on the Chapman Coronavirus website.  For any questions not covered on this website for Research Continuity, please visit the FAQs for Research Continuity. Also, feel free to reach out to the contacts below or the Office of Research at (officeofresearch@chapman.edu)

Tom Piechota, Vice President for Research, piechota@chapman.edu, 714-628-2897

Jill Borland, Director of Sponsored Projects Service, jborland@chapman.edu, 714-628-7383

Michael Briggs, Director of Research Integrity, mibriggs@chapman.edu, 714-628-7201

Lawrence Lau, Director of Industry Alliance and Commercialization, lalau@chapman.edu, 714-628-2875

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Essential Research and Personnel

Essential Research

Essential research activities are limited to research that cannot go unattended or neglected as this would lead to an unrecoverable loss of data. Any requests for continuation of such a project (i.e., it can not be suspended in a reasonable amount of time) should be submitted to the College/School Dean who will share with the Provost and Vice President for Research.  The health and safety of those involved in essential research activities should be considered as to limit these activities and time spent on campus if needed.

Essential Research Personnel

The continuation of essential research activities will require essential research personnel which includes:

  1. The faculty and/or research staff who are necessary to ensure the ongoing viability of research that includes not easily replaceable perishable research materials. Not easily replaceable perishable research materials could include primary cell lines or long-term experiments for which there would be considerable cost and/or time associated with requiring the experiment to end. (An example would be a continual, ongoing one-month experiment that requires regular measurements or maintenance, without which all previous data would be lost)
  2. Responsible for maintenance of equipment that, if not done, could result in damage to equipment or extraordinary cost — for example, cryogen fill on NMR spectrometers.
  3. Researchers working on experiments that have a small window for completion — for example, research that relies on the ability to make specific measurements only a few times a year.

Note that graduate students are not mandated to serve as essential research personnel. The decision whether to report to campus lies with the graduate student, not with their faculty supervisor/faculty chair.

  • PIs should minimize their reliance on graduate student employees to maintain their research and assign them remote work to the fullest extent possible.
  • Graduate students who are not research employees and are working exclusively on their own thesis or dissertation research on campus must be conducting essential research, as defined above, and should be anticipating defending in spring or summer 2020.

Undergraduate students are not permitted as essential research personnel.

Paying Research Personnel

Personnel charges will continue to post to sponsored projects (internal and external awards) as they were originally allocated through ERCRs and/or hiring documents.  Sponsored Projects Services will evaluate each sponsor’s allowability of personnel charges where the effort was not expended.  If allowable, the personnel charges will remain on the sponsored project budget. If unallowable, SPS will work with each department to identify the appropriate alternative funding source and transfer those personnel charges accordingly.

All non-essential research personnel should report their time according to HR guidance for Fully Remote being sure to mark time worked as they regularly would and time they are unable to work as [Paid Time Non Work] in the time reporting system.

Sponsored Activities

Sponsored Projects Services will be able to submit proposals when staff are working remotely. Our experience is that federal agencies are flexible about deadlines under difficult circumstances that are beyond our control. We are monitoring any changes in offices of the federal agencies and if agencies are officially closed, proposals will most likely remain in a queue, pending resumption of agency operations – as has been the case during federal budget-related shutdowns. Information will be updated regularly.

For existing grant funded activities (externally and internally funded) where activities are delayed due to a campus closure or disruption in activities, you will need to work with Sponsored Projects Services if an extension is needed from the sponsor. If you have any questions related to existing projects, allowable expenditures, need for extensions, or anything else related to your sponsored activities, contact Sponsored Projects Services at sps@chapman.edu or Jill Borland (Director of Sponsored Projects Services) at jborland@chapman.edu, 714-628-7383.

Sponsor Information Sites

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

  • Managing Federal Contract Performance Issues Associated with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (M-20-18
  • Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (M-20-17) 
  • Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (M-20-11)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • NSF Implementation of OMB Memorandum M-20-17, entitled, “Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations” dated March 19, 2020 (03/23/20)
  • Impact on Existing Deadline Dates (3/17/2020)
  • Coronavirus Information
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposers and Awardees (NSF 20-053)
  • NSF Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (NSF 20-052)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the NSF Dear Colleague Letter on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (NSF 20-052) (03/17/2020)

Department of Energy

  • Updated DOE Travel Guidance (03/15/2020)
  • Memorandum for Applicants and Awardees - Accommodating Interruptions from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (03/13/2020)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • Assistant Administrator for Procurement Message on Coronavirus (03/10/2020) 

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)

Department of State Travel Advisories


Remote Research

Resources are available for all students, post-docs, staff, and faculty involved in research projects that can be conducted remotely. These are included at the Working Remotely and Faculty/GTAs websites as part of the Chapman Coronavirus Updates and Resources. In addition, the Leatherby Libraries Remote Resources has information for access to materials and services. Examples of remotely researching activities include literature reviews, analysis of existing datasets, writing new papers of research results, development of new proposals, writing the background sections of theses, computational work, meetings, discussions, etc. Specific questions for tools for working remotely can be directed to workingremotely@chapman.edu

Working Remotely
This page provides written instruction, video tutorials, and other resources to assist Staff and Faculty for working remotely.

Human Subjects Research

Given the directives from the Orange County Health Care Agency, research activities involving in-person interactions with subjects shall be suspended until further notice. The only exceptions are if canceling or postponing the activities would either (A) increase the risk to the subject’s safety or wellbeing or (B) deprive the subject of a potential direct benefit. This is being done to protect research subjects.

Researchers should assess the risk to the subject’s safety or wellbeing and whether there is a need to change the study procedures to remote participation or pause the activity given the situation. Remember that substantial protocol changes must be approved in advance by the IRB as a Modification to the study, unless they are necessary to eliminate immediate apparent hazards to participants. (e.g., temporary suspension of interviews or modifying face-to-face interview to online or phone interviews would not require modification). Complete information can be found at the FAQs for COVID-19 Research Continuity 

If you have any questions about whether any of these options are possible and approvable, contact Michael Briggs (Director of Research Integrity, mibriggs@chapman.edu, 714-628-7201). The IRB will be prioritizing and expediting these modifications.

Animal Research and Vivarium Operations

Until further notice, Vivarium operations have been reduced to essential activities to maintain the welfare and safety of animals. Only staff, faculty, or others deemed as essential personnel are permitted to enter or work in the vivarium.  If you have any questions on animal welfare in the vivarium, please contact Vanessa Salvary (salvary@chapman.edu, (714) 516-5504).

IACUC Administration is fully operational; however, we are practicing social distancing by working remotely. In light of this, there may be delays in response and turnaround times as we dedicate efforts to addressing animal welfare issues related to the COVID-19 response – your patience during this challenging time is appreciated. If you have any questions regarding approved protocols, please contact Bruce Kennedy at brkennedy@chapman.edu.

PHS has also issued an important notice regarding PHS sponsored activity under OLAW assurance.  The purpose of this Notice is to inform institutions of flexibilities provided in the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

COVID-19 Research Funding Opportunities

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program Applications to Address 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Heath Need (NOT-TR-20-011) – varying application due dates; see notice for full details (FOA expires 07/10/2021)
  • Notice of Special Interest: NIEHS Worker Training Program Coronavirus and Infectious Disease Response Training (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (NOT-ES-20-014)  - applications due by 04/24/2020
  • Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Repurposing Existing Therapeutics to Address the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (NOT-TR-20-012) – varying application due dates; see notice for full details (FOA expires 10/17/2020)
  • Partnerships for Countermeasures against Select Pathogens (R01 Clinical Trials Not Allowed) (RFA-AI-20-028) – open through 06/29/2020
  • Availability of Administrative Supplements and Revision Supplements on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (NOT-HL-20-757) – application window is 03/17/2020-10/05/2020 
  • Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) Regarding the Availability of Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (NOT-AI-20-030) – application window is 02/06/2020-02/06/2021 NOT-AI-20-030, “Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) regarding the Availability of Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)” will be rescinded as of 04/08/2020 . NOT-AI-20-030 will be replaced by NOT-AI-20-034 for NIAID competitive revisions and NOT-GM-20-025 for NIGMS competitive revisions.
  • Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) Regarding the Availability of Emergency Competitive Revisions for Research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (NOT-AI-20-034) – application window is 03/25/2020-03/25/2021
  • Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) Regarding the Availability of Administrative Supplements and Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (NOT-DA-20-047) – open through 03/31/2021
  • Emergency Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Awards (Emergency Supplement - Clinical Trial Optional) (PA-20-135) - Emergency Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) issued by the respective ICs will specify the activity codes under which recipients can apply.
  • Per NOT-OD-20-086 and NOT-OD-20-087 - If unanticipated costs are identified due to impacts of COVID-19 and unobligated balances are not available to rebudget, recipients may request administrative supplements from the funding ICs [ PA-18-591Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)]

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • Dear Colleague Letter: Provisioning Advance Cyberinfrastructure to Further Research on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    NSF 20-055 Rapid Proposals
  • Dear Colleague Letter on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    NSF 20-052 Rapid Proposals

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

State of California

Chapman COVD-19 Research Experts

Dr. Hesham El-Askary – Schmid Science and Technology

Dr. El-Askary and scientists are monitoring the emissions (Nitrogen oxides) which are indicators of human activities. These include fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning for selected COVID-19 hotspot regions: East Asia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa. This research shows how these regions are responding to this global situation 1) before the outbreaks of Wuhan; 2) during the outbreaks of Wuhan; and 3) after the outbreak in Wuhan.

More information...

Dr. Steven Gjerstad – Economic Science Institute and Dr. Andrea Molle – Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Political Science

Drs Gjerstad and Molle have published a note that considers whether age is an independent factor that contributes to COVID-19 mortalities, or whether comorbidity factors such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension are the major contributors to mortality. These morbidity factors increase rapidly with age, but otherwise healthy people appear to have low mortality at all ages for COVID-19 cases.

Claudine JaenichenWilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of Art

Professor Jaenichen is part of the Design Network for Emergency Management (dnem.org) that launched a survey to collect data to benchmark the effectiveness of information and visual communication distributed to the public on COVID-19. They plan to assess the data and analyze if the messaging supports the various intended performance tasks. They also see an opportunity to apply evidence-based design to improve the quality and consistency of messaging with a high-level of understanding public cognitive responses. In addition, she  was asked to work with FEMA to complete a comprehensive literature review and launch a national design campaign to clarify the definition and actionable items for “shelter-in-place.” She is still working on the project and the information we are living is already altering how we think about sheltering and the degrees of confusion.

Dr. Jerika Lam – School of Pharmacy

Dr. Lam, an infectious disease pharmacist, is a member of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation COVID-19 Task Force. This group holds webinars every Friday morning where task force members provide the national and international members weekly updates about the coronavirus, particularly about preventive and management strategies of COVID-19 from an interdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals (medicine, pharmacy and nursing) in different healthcare settings. She is the only infectious diseases pharmacist on the task force and provides updates about drug treatments and management strategies against COVID-19.

Dr. Pete Simi – Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Sociology

Dr. Pete Simi and his research group are working on a couple COVID-19 related projects as part of their larger study of white supremacists groups: 1) Based on a long-term study of online activity among white supremacists and their use of different social media platforms (e.g., Telegram), we are now specifically examining white supremacists’ discussions of COVID-19 including advocacy for spreading the virus and using it as a biological weapon of mass destruction; and 2) the research group is also in communication with the Orange County Human Relations Commission regarding hate crimes and hate incidents related to COVID-19 and will be monitoring the nature and prevalence of this problem both locally and nation-wide.

COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Funding

Applications Due Friday, April 3
More Information