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University of Denver

Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Dear Colleagues,

As concerns about COVID-19 heighten, we are intensifying measures to protect University of Denver students, faculty and staff, as well as the greater DU community. As such, the Office of the Provost and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is currently working with our research institutes, colleges and schools, and laboratories to identify critical laboratory operations and staff to implement the measure outlined below.

Human Subjects Research

In the interest of prioritizing public health, effective immediately DU is temporarily suspending all in-person human subjects data collection taking place on or off campus. Studies or study procedures involving face-to-face interaction with participants that have no direct significant therapeutic benefit (FDA regulated drug or device) must be paused or modified. This human subjects research should be postponed or transitioned to remote functioning (i.e., substitution of telephone, web conferencing, and secure electronic communication to conduct data collection procedures). Standard allowances from the IRB regarding moving human subjects’ research to remote formats can be found on DU’s COVID-19 webpage under the research FAQs. Note that amendments are not required for all changes. Following CDC guidelines, at this time the temporary restriction is in effect through May 10th (resuming May 11th). You will be notified when you can resume modified or normal activities, including if the restrictions are lifted in advance of May 11th. Requests for exceptions can be sent to the interim associate provost for research at

Non-Human Subject Research Labs on Campus

All labs on campus conducting research that does not involve human subjects, should seriously consider minimizing the amount of time that people are in the laboratories and focus on projects where there is a critical risk of disruption, loss of life or animal care requirements. We suggest that you limit the number of people in the laboratory at one time (e.g. 2 to 3) so that CDC recommendations can be followed (6-10 feet social distancing, consistent personal hygiene and regular maintenance of shared space, expecting disruptions in university cleaning) and consider postponing or transferring to remote formats all elective activities or experiments that are not time-sensitive. Please move staff to work remotely wherever possible. Please note that should we be directed to shelter in place, additional restrictions will be implemented, and those could be required to be implemented with very little notice.

All of us are facing unexpected challenges, decisions and questions, many of which are unprecedented. As such, guidance and details are emerging in real time. We are here to help you navigate what these changes mean for your research by providing the resources and opportunities below:

  • Updated research-specific FAQs. Campus COVID-19 resources are also being updated regularly, and can be found on the Research FAQ portion of the DU COVID-19 webpage.
  • Your questions are important. If your research-related questions have not been answered in the above FAQs or by your supervisor, please submit your question here. We will respond directly, by adding to our FAQs, or by including in our upcoming town hall.
  • Mark your calendar. We will host a virtual Research Town Hall for faculty, staff, and researchers Thursday, April 2, from noon – 1 p.m. Please put this Zoom Invitation information on your calendar. Staff from Sponsored Programs, Research Integrity & Education, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) will be present to respond to your questions. We encourage you to submit questions by Tuesday, March 31 at 5 p.m. here.

Please know that campus leadership and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is doing everything possible to provide guidance, resources, and support to assist every member of our campus during this challenging time. We appreciate your patience and understanding.


Corinne Lengsfeld
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Kimberly Bender
Interim Associate Provost for Research