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Research Continuity FAQs

Spelman College Research Continuity FAQs 

Developed by the Office of Research, Innovation, and Collaboration (ORIC) 


Posted: March 20, 2020 

Spelman is monitoring closely the developments with the global pandemic, COVID-19. Our overriding priority is the health and safety of the entire Spelman community.  

There are no reported cases of COVID-19 on Spelman’s campus. As is recommended by the CDC and World Health Organization, the College is implementing “social distancing” strategies. This has resulted in our student body being asked to vacate the residence halls and the implementation of remote instruction as of Monday, March 23, 2020. The College will remain open with the majority of the workforce teleworking. 

Scholarly activities, research, and creative pursuits are an integral part of the vibrant intellectual culture at Spelman College. In response to the communication from President Campbell (sent March 18, 2020), all research and creative scholarship should be conducted remotely until further notice.  

ORIC Team Members will still be available to support you remotely. Do not hesitate to reach out to me at with any concerns. Below are responses to questions you may have. 




 Yes. While on campus, you will have to move all of the needed files to OneDrive. You will be able to access these documents remotely on your laptop or tablet. Please contact STS for assistance and guidance using OneDrive.  OneDrive is the preferred method for remote access to documents. “Remoting” into a computer on the Spelman network is not recommended. 


Research in Laboratories


 Faculty researchers have been directed to ramp down and cease experiments in their labs. All on-campus lab work is restricted until further notice.
 Yes, researchers must bring their current experiments to a safe close and shut down their labs. All on-campus lab work is restricted until further notice.
 NO. All equipment and physical materials should remain within the laboratory premises. Only laptops, laboratory notebooks, data, and storage devices are allowed to be taken home for conducting research remotely. 
 Yes, the cryotank will be monitored and maintained by the essential personnel for the Science Center.  
 Unless there is a critical need, please do not order any additional supplies at this time, particularly perishables. Outstanding orders will be received by essential personnel for Science Infrastructure and stored in a central location. You will receive an email when shipments are received. Please contact Jackie James, Director of Administrative Services, about urgent orders.
 Merina Dhakal, Environmental Health & Safety Compliance Manager, worked with the laboratory coordinators to do the final walkthroughs of the laboratories before shutdown. Labs were secured using the “Laboratory Emergency Shutdown Checklist”.


Undergraduate Research


 Yes, as long as the students are conducting the research remotely. Note: Students cannot meet in person with you nor with each other to work on research projects. 
 Yes, the students may continue to receive payments. Please document the tasks and number of hours of work to justify payments.  Please continue to ask your student to submit timesheets for payroll payments. Students employed through the General College work program (paid from unrestricted dollars– fund # 1100), should be restricted to working the average number of hours per week or less that they worked while residing on campus.

Consider having students work or engage in the following:

  • Create annotated bibliographies
  • Share creative works via social media related to music, theater, and dance (YouTube, Facebook Live, TikTok, Zoom, or WhatsApp)  
  • Conduct literature searches using (ex. PubMed, Google Scholar)  
  • Software training and simulations such as *, SPSS,* Tableau, and Python, *RStudio) *Free student download/access 
  • Capstone projects and/or lab assignments centered around students virtually engaging with other researchers across the globe
  • Virtual journal clubs ((Flipped Journal Club, Creating Virtual Club)
 STS recommends sharing research-related data (with Spelman students only) via OneDrive with more stringent security settings including a) turning off download capability and b) making the link available only to specific people. These settings are available from the “Share” menu in OneDrive. Please contact STS for assistance and guidance using OneDrive.   
 Spelman has suspended ALL college-related and college-funded travel through June 30, 2020; therefore, neither faculty, staff, nor students may travel to a conference, even if the conference has not been cancelled.
 The College has not yet made a determination about summer programs. Please monitor communications that are sent by the Office of the President or the Office of the Provost. 
 Yes, Brandi Taylor, Undergraduate Research & Training Programs Manager, along with the Research Day Quad Chairs and Research Day Committee are brainstorming ideas about highlighting student scholarly activities throughout the year. Please email Brandi Taylor at if you have any specific suggestions or ideas.


Human Subjects Research


 In light of the public health concerns regarding COVID-19 transmission any data collection involving direct contact is suspended until further notice. Suspended activities include all in-person interviews, focus groups, surveys and studies employing observation methods. Virtual data collection may be allowed if approved by IRB.
 Students should discuss their situation with you. As the principal investigator of your student projects, you can request permission to make any changes to the IRB-approved project by submitting a completed Protocol Modification request to  
 Any changes to your study must be requested by submitting a Protocol Modification to If your data collection involves direct contact, you must suspend that activity until further notice; you do not need to request permission prior to halting your study in these instances.
 Projects that do not require direct contact are permitted to continue data collection. Examples of remote or virtual data collection methods include online surveys, phone calls, and virtual meetings. 
 Should you wish to revise your proposal to include virtual or remote data collection that does not require face-to-face contact, please submit a Protocol Modification request to
 IRB applications will continue to be reviewed. Please be aware that the IRB reviewers are also dealing with the additional workload regarding transitioning to and instructing students remotely. Please be patient if there are delays in the approval process. 


Advice for Current Awardees


 Yes. There are no restrictions on spending grant funds. Spelman remains open and the support offices will continue to provide assistance with funded awards as long as the activities align with Spelman’s current policies and guidelines.
If your grant-funded project will be impacted and have to be delayed because of measures being taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, document those deliverables that will be delayed, create a modified timeline, and determine if a “no-cost extension” will need to be requested. Each federal agency differs in this process. Please work with Margaret Farrow (, ORIC’s Director of Research Development and Sponsored Programs, on no-cost extension requests. 
 Unless announced by funding agencies, the review process and timelines remain unchanged. It is vital that you check agency websites regularly for updates considering the continually evolving situation.
 Unless announced by funding agencies, deadlines remain unchanged. It is vital that you check agency websites regularly for updates considering the continually evolving situation.
 Below are links to information from a few of the federal agencies that have awarded grants to Spelman:
National Science Foundation: 

National Institutes of Health:
General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)- Proposal Submission and Award Management Related to COVID-19 (NOT-OD-20-083)
NIH Late Application Policy Due to Public Health Emergency for United States for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (NOT-OD-20-082)
National Endowment for Humanities: Information on NEH and COVID-19
National Endowment for the Arts: FAQs in Response to COVID-19

 Yes, the Research Development & Sponsored Programs Unit will continue to support faculty and staff with budget development, proposal approval, and submission using agency electronic platforms. Contact Margaret Farrow, Director of Research Development & Sponsored programs at for assistance. 
 Spelman has suspended ALL college-related and college-funded travel through June 30, 2020; therefore, no travel can take place, even if funded by an external grant.
 Please contact Lakesha Stevenson (, ORIC's Internal Evaluation & Program Monitoring Manager, for assistance with data collection for the evaluation and to facilitate communication with external evaluator (if applicable). 


Procurement Support for Awardees


 Your department Administrative Assistant, Program Coordinator or appointed personnel will be able to process any orders through our new online ordering system called Spel-Shop located in the MySpelman Portal.  (Refer to Spel-Shop Guide)
 Your department Administrative Assistant, Program Coordinator or appointed personnel will reconcile or follow up on all outstanding orders from vendors.
 All outstanding check requests or refunds (cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic) that may be received via email will be processed by the appointed administrative assistant, program coordinator or personnel. All check requests should be processed through Spel-Shop. You may submit approved Travel Expense reports with supporting documentation and check requests to
  1. Sign in on “myspelman” account with your OneSpelman credentials. 
  2. Search for icon located on the left side.
  3. Follow instructions in Spel-Shop guide.  (Refer to Spel-Shop Guide)
 All invoices will need to be requested through Spel-Shop once verification of items have been received.  Please see attached instructions. (Refer to Spel-Shop Guide)
 No. Budget inquiries can only be viewed on Banner 9.  Spel-Shop has currently only replaced the requisition processing and Accounts Payable electronic form submissions. If using VPN, you should be able to access your budget.  
No. As of March 9, 2020, Spelman is now utilizing Spel-Shop for the creation of requisitions.  Please refer to the training manual if you have not attended the training courses offered by Purchasing and Accounts Payable. (Refer to Spel-Shop Guide)
 Yes.  Your appointed personnel should ensure that they have been sync in Spel-Shop.  If they are not, an email should be sent to Ron Borgelin at and Yolande Stringfellow at requesting that selected personnel be assigned to your budget.  For instructions on how to “Assign” a cart to a particular person, refer to the Spel-Shop Guide. (Refer to Spel-Shop Guide)

If you have additional questions, please send them to