This message has been distributed to all UT employees with Principal Investigator (PI) status, as well as all UT graduate students and postdocs.
Dear PI Colleagues, Graduate Students, and Postdocs,
Two of UT’s core values are Learning and Discovery, which is why so many of you have been asking, understandably, if and when the university would be able to allow undergraduates to resume on-campus research this semester. Their contribution to our research enterprise is critically important, and the hands-on experience they gain can shape their future academic and professional paths. Thank you for your patience as we’ve worked to devise a plan that will support undergraduate Learning and Discovery in the safest way possible.
The Fall 2020 Planning Executive Committee, in conjunction with campus health experts, has agreed to resume undergraduate on-campus research beginning in early October. The details of this plan are still being finalized, in part because it will rely heavily on regular proactive community testing among undergraduate researchers. The information I provided in my August 28 email still applies, particularly that all decisions will be made through your college, school, or unit (CSU), and each CSU will have discretion when choosing to permit undergraduates into campus research spaces. We will announce plans once logistics are finalized.
And a reminder from last week’s email: with the resumption of human subjects research, we are increasing our workforce density cap from 30-40% to 50%, effective September 23. This increase in workforce density applies for all on-campus research allowed under Research Level 3, not only human subjects research. Please note, again, that all other Research Level 3 policies remain in place, including strict adherence to shift and cohort schedules as well as maintaining 6' separation at all times and adhering to a density of 1 person per 200 sq ft of research space.
I will send a follow-up email as soon as undergraduate research details are finalized and an October date is selected. In the meantime, please talk with your associate dean for research if you have questions, suggestions, or concerns. We want to hear them.
Alison R. Preston, Ph.D. Interim Vice President for Research
This communication is from Principal Investigators – Official. View this email online.