To Brown Researchers: Ramping Down Research Activities to Reduce Exposure

March 16, 2020

Dear Brown Research Community,

We are writing to share an important update on research activities at Brown as we monitor the situation with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Research is central to our mission, and the health and safety of our research community is a top priority. For this reason, the same principles to limit exposure that have been communicated to the campus must be applied also to Brown’s research activities.

Principal Investigators and laboratory leaders should begin immediately preparing for all non-critical, on-campus research to be restricted only to essential activities by 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 18. Critical work includes maintenance of certain equipment, maintenance of critical samples and care of animals, and work whose interruption would result in irretrievable or unrecoverable loss of data or samples, or loss of time for an ongoing experiment that could not be recovered within a reasonable period.

Requests for extensions for non-critical activities should be sent to [email protected], and extensions will be granted to restrict non-essential activities no later than 5 p.m. Friday, March 20.

Please note that the March 13, 2020 email you received from the Brown Center for Animal Resources and Education has details about COVID-19 emergency planning and requests important information regarding needed lab personnel for animal husbandry. Please review the email and respond with the information requested.

All human subject research activities must be conducted remotely effective Monday, March 16. In particular, research participants are no longer permitted to travel to campus, and Brown personnel cannot travel to participants' homes.
Many of the country’s leading research institutions are taking this same extraordinary step of ramping down on-campus research activities, including laboratory and certain human subjects research. We are taking this step to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and to promote public health more broadly.

Staff and graduate students will continue to be paid during this temporary pause in on-campus research activity. We are preparing a further communication pertinent to graduate students.

Please continue to regularly check for information. Updates from federal funding agencies on a variety of topics, including salary/stipend costs on grants, travel, and working with human subjects also can be found on the OVPR resource page. Researchers working with human subjects should check the HRPP/IRB page for updated information.

We hope that this temporary pause in on-campus research activity will not be protracted. The situation will be assessed and re-evaluated regularly, and we will update Brown researchers with any changes.

Thank you for your dedication to research at Brown in these challenging circumstances.


Richard M. Locke
Provost and Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Jill Pipher​
Vice President for Research and Professor of Mathematics