Suspension of Non-essential Research Activities for Lawrence and Edwards Campus

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Friday, March 20, 2020, 4:57 p.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff

A message from Chancellor Douglas A. Girod, Provost Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, and Vice Chancellor for Research Simon Atkinson


As concerns about COVID-19 intensify, we are ramping up measures to protect our community by suspending all non-essential research activities on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. We understand that this will significantly disrupt your current projects, but this is an unprecedented situation that requires us and our peer institutions to take this action. The following steps are to be implemented:

  • Beginning Monday, March 23, all non-essential research activities that require personnel to be on campus are to be suspended.
  • Essential research activities are those that must continue to prevent a significant long-term impact on the course of your research, not activities whose suspension would merely delay the project for the duration of the suspension. Essential activities thus include:
    • Critical, long-term studies that would have to be repeated if interrupted or if time-sensitive data collection were to be impacted.
    • Caring for animals or plants housed in your facilities.
    • Work required to prevent damage to equipment that cannot be shut down temporarily.
  • Campus buildings will be locked today, Friday, March 20. Researchers who normally have card or key access to buildings will retain access as normal, but building services will be limited and only personnel designated by the PI as necessary to conduct essential operations should access the building. Arrangements are being made to ensure that essential supplies can be delivered, but ordering should be limited only to these essentials.
  • All other on-premises laboratory research is to be discontinued. Exceptions must be discussed with supervisors. When possible, researchers should sustain current projects by working at home. The only expansion of lab-reliant research allowed at this time is work related to COVID-19. 
  • All human subjects research that involves face-to-face engagement with human subjects must be discontinued unless the study can be modified to eliminate face-to-face interactions. Any such modifications or interruptions of studies must be reviewed and approved by the Human Research Protection Program. Contact HRPP if this applies to you.
  • If you have concerns about a funded project, please review the FAQs referenced below. If you still have concerns, please contact Alicia Reed at

You can find additional guidance and FAQs on the Office of Research coronavirus response webpage. The steps you’ve taken to craft research contingency plans in recent days should ease the transition.

We will re-evaluate every two weeks, but we anticipate these measures could remain in place for an extended time. We appreciate your restraint and cooperation as we all do our part to keep our community safe.


Doug, Barb and Simon

Douglas A. Girod

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Simon Atkinson
Vice Chancellor for Research