Research and Fieldwork

On-Campus Research and Fieldwork during Phase 3 of the Plan for Phased Continuity of the Research Enterprise (starting August 1, 2020)

What research is allowed on-campus and in the field?

Currently on-campus and fieldwork research and scholarly activity is limited to work that cannot be done remotely and is able to be done safely. We continue to require submission of your not-previously submitted research and scholarly activity for approval using the request form which has been in place since March 24th. No previously approved research and scholarly activity needs to be resubmitted. Also, facilities and labs with approved reopening plans do not need to submit projects for approval, but must track and maintain records of their research activity internally, as described in the Plan for Phased Continuity of the Research Enterprise.

What is the Plan for Phased Continuity of the Research Enterprise?

The phased plan to re-open research at UMaine is based on federal, state and UMaine system guidance, and the scientific evidence around COVID19 infection control. The phases outlined align with the current State of Maine phased reopening plans. In the event of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, or changes to state or UMS guidelines, these phases can be reverted back to an earlier phase (as appropriate given public health concerns). The complete plan is available online.

How do I get approval to conduct my research and scholarly activity?

Research and scholarly activity which involves activity on the University of Maine’s Orono or Machias campuses, its other facilities in the state, and/or activity in the field, requires approval at this time, unless the facility or lab has an approved reopening plan. These requests should continue to be submitted using the request form which has been in place since March 24th.  The request form requires a justification for why the activity cannot be done remotely, information regarding the associated research personnel (including students) and the steps that will be taken to ensure the safety of participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several forms must also be uploaded with the submission, the Hierarchy of Control (HOC) and the Safety Checklist. These forms are required by the UMaine Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for review of the safety aspects of the activity.

Please provide more about how the information provided by researchers will be used. Will the form be used as a data collection tool as well as a method to inform directors and deans if research is approved for on-campus or fieldwork?

Yes, to both: Directors and Deans (or their designees) will be conducting the initial determination regarding approval before the request is reviewed by the Research Continuity Task Force, EOC, and the OVPRDGS. Further, the approved requests will be shared with Safety Management, Facilities and University Police so that each area is aware of the activity on campus or in the field.

What are the guidelines for research lab operations?

Research lab guidelines are available on the Office of Research Compliance website

What should I do about disposal of hazardous waste?

Visit the UMS Safety and Environmental Services Portal for more Information.

On-Campus Research

What is considered on-campus research?

Research on the UMaine (including UMM) campus and cooperating and affiliated institutions, including internships and practicum.

What policies and procedures apply to on-campus research?

All policies and procedures that apply to on-campus research also apply to off campus. Additional policies and procedures may be required by onsite entities.

Undergraduate Research

Will undergraduate researchers be permitted on campus to work in research labs?

Yes. Undergraduate researchers must coordinate with their research mentor. Conducting the work remotely must be given first priority. Regarding federal work study students, who are subject to federal work study rules, all rules that apply to staff working on-campus, also apply to students working on campus.

Will summer research programs proceed as planned?

At this time no changes have been made, but this may change.

Office of Research Development

Will Research Development support continue during COVID-19?

During the UMaine and UMM COVID-19 response, the Office of Research Development is available to support faculty, staff, and students developing their research programs. More information is available on our site.

Field Research

Where can I find guidance on fieldwork?

You may refer to the Guidance for Research-Related Field and Off-Campus Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic.