Letters to the UMB Community

UMB Phased Research Plan

June 25, 2020

Dear UMB Community,

The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) restart of the research enterprise for basic research began in late May with a preparation and planning phase (Phase 0) that transitioned to a limited presence phase (Phase 1) on June 8. This transition to reopen on-campus basic research has gone very smoothly with the implementation of several new requirements to protect the health and safety of the University community.

Today, I am announcing the restart of Clinical and Community-Based Research-Human Subjects Research. UMB’s COVID-19 Research Advisory Task Force has developed a plan for clinical and community-based research at UMB that also will implement a phased or staged approach. I want to thank the 30-plus experts for their contributions to the development of this plan.

With the cooperation and support of UMB’s entire research community, and in coordination with campus research safety and UMB recovery leaders, we aim to successfully initiate our clinical and community-based research, possibly within the next two weeks.

  • We will move immediately into Stage 0, which involves planning and preparation for the gradual and deliberate restart of clinical and community-based research. This stage will involve the development of detailed plans to include: methods for the screening of personnel, participants, and required escorts; patient care considerations that adhere to UMB Environmental Health and Safety guidelines (Clinical COVID-19 Safety Plan); assessment of physical facilities and infrastructure; planning for social density of research personnel, participants, and required escorts; and other issues. More detailed guidance and a checklist for resuming research can be found here.
  • During the Stage 0 phase, no new research activities are authorized. Instead, researchers are charged with:
    • Assuring that sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) exists in the lab, and, if not, securing PPE through coordination with other University entities
    • Beginning to consider how a low-density, appropriately socially distanced working environment can be established
    • Prioritizing their research protocols in the order that they wish them to be considered for resumption
    • Communicating and coordinating with their schools
  • We hope to be entering the limited research phase, labeled Stage 1, in July. During Stage 1, we will continue minimal-risk studies that are remote or no contact, and resume research (including community-based research) that has the potential for direct benefit to the research subject and requires in-person visits at UMB-related facilities.

As with everything we do, your safety and well-being are foremost in our minds.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Laurie Locascio, PhD, vice president for research. For questions on human subjects research, please contact Julie Doherty, DM, MSN, director, Human Research Protections Program; or Robert Rosenthal, MD, chair, Institutional Review Board.

Sincerely,

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS

Interim President


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