Plan for Phased Continuity of the Research Enterprise

A message from the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

I am writing to share with you the University’s Plan for Phased Continuity of the Research Enterprise, and to provide an update regarding the submission and approval of research and scholarly activity requests. The attached plan, which has been approved by the university, has been prepared by the COVID-19 Research Continuity Task force. It aligns with the Governor’s plan to gradually restart Maine’s economy and the UMS/UMaine plans under consideration to ramp up operations as safely and as controlled as possible.  The task force, in developing the plan, has worked closely with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), University Police, Safety Management, and Facilities Management, and has also taken into consideration inputs received from the faculty and university leadership. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the task force, as well as all the other stakeholders who have contributed to this effort.

Given that the Chancellor’s extension of the work from home directive extends through June 30, 2020, we must continue to stress that research that can be done remotely should continue to be done remotely, as we gradually expand the number of people on-campus or for on-site activity, while maintaining physical distancing and other risk reduction procedures. Moreover, before conducting home lab experiments that require lab safety controls, please contact your supervisor to discuss opportunities to conduct those labs on campus, potential deferral or other options.  Further, all work conducted by everyone associated with UMaine and UMM must be conducted in accordance with guidance available on the UMS Health Advisory site and comply with guidance provided by UMS Safety Management which can be found on the Safety Management website.

As described in the attached plan, Phase 2, which is characterized as a limited increase in on-site activity, is to start on June 1, and in alignment with the Governor’s reopening Stage 2 plan to gradually restart Maine’s economy.  Research & Scholarly Activity requests will continue to be submitted using the request form which has been in place since March 24th, however all requests must now include a Hierarchy of Controls (HOC) Task Assessment (Excel) and a signed Hierarchy of Controls Checklist (Word). Requests will be sent to the applicable College or Center and the Research Continuity Task force for the respective review and recommendation regarding approval.  Requests approved by OVPRDGS will be forwarded to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for coordination with safety and facility management support for return to work requests; you may be contacted by one or more of these offices if more information is needed. Notices of approval and other communications will be provided by my office, through Tammy Crosby (

As a reminder, COVID-19 Research Guidelines are available at the links below:

The response to COVID-19 continues to be a rapidly evolving situation even at this stage of the pandemic and this guidance is subject to change. Please be sure to regularly review available Research Guidelines at the above links. Also, please continue to regularly check the UMS Information page ( and the UMaine Information page (

Thank-you for your patience during this time of uncertainty and for all that you do in service to our University, the State and beyond.

Best wishes and stay safe,
Kody Varahramyan