The information on this page is subject to change daily. If there is new information or changes that need to be made, please contact [email protected].

Spring 2021

Masks/Face Coverings

Will masks or face coverings be required on campus?

Masks or face coverings must be worn by all on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms).

Will masks or face coverings be provided to all students, staff and faculty?

UT Dallas will provide disposable masks or cloth face coverings to all staff and faculty asked to return to work in campus facilities.

How will use of masks and face coverings be enforced?

All employees working at UT Dallas facilities are expected to comply fully with the protocols and guidelines outlined. Failure to do so may result in further action in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary policy.

What should I do if I’m unable to wear a face covering?

Students who are unable to wear a face covering in accordance with the policy should contact the Dean of Students office (DOS) at [email protected]. The DOS will provide guidance regarding the process for submitting an exception request, and will review submissions to make a determination on a case-by-case basis. Documentation from the treating physician will be required for medical exceptions.

Classes

How many students will be permitted in a classroom or lab at once?

Seating capacity for classrooms and common areas will vary based on conformance with social distancing guidelines.

How will classroom social distancing be enforced?

Students will only occupy classroom seats that conform with social distancing guidelines. Other seats will be removed from the classroom or will have markings that clearly indicate they are not to be used.

What does hybrid learning mean? Will students rotate between being in the classroom and attending class online? Or will certain classes be offered online and certain classes offered in person?

Hybrid courses involve a mix of in-person (face-to-face) and online instruction, either synchronous or asynchronous. This option could include face-to-face instruction that divides course rosters into student groups with separate groups attending in person in a rotation pattern, e.g., day by day or week by week. Some courses will be offered in person, and some will be offered online. Faculty members who teach in person also will be prepared to deliver course material asynchronously, so each student will be able to choose how they engage with the course.

What percentage of classes will be offered online?

The percentage of fully online courses is not yet known. All classes will have an asynchronous learning option.

Common Areas/Services

Will dining areas, residence halls, library, recreation areas, etc. be sanitized regularly?

Yes.

Will services such as advising and counseling continue to be offered online for those attending class remotely and/or wanting to limit exposure?

Yes.

Events/Activities

Will there be spectators at sporting events?

It is unknown whether spectators will be permitted at sporting events. We will follow guidance from local, state and federal agencies to ensure compliance with social distancing protocols.

Health/Safety

What health monitoring practices will be in place for students and/or employees?

Employees who have been instructed to return to their workplace will be asked to conduct symptom monitoring and complete a screening questionnaire before reporting to work each day. They must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work. Those affiliated with the University should stay home if they are sick.

What is the University’s plan for faculty, staff or student cases of COVID-19?

Any member of the University community suspected of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 will be asked to self-isolate in their home or in on-campus housing until they receive a definitive diagnosis through testing or are asymptomatic for a period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individuals who test positive should isolate themselves according to CDC guidelines and follow the instructions of their primary health care provider.

What is the procedure for a positive case of COVID-19 in on-campus housing?

If a resident is suspected of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 they will be asked to self-isolate, if possible, in their home or in designated on-campus housing until they receive a definitive diagnosis through testing or are asymptomatic for a period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individuals who test positive should isolate themselves according to CDC guidelines and follow the instructions of their primary health care provider.

What is the cleaning procedure for a positive case of COVID-19?

Custodial crews will disinfect any areas occupied by an individual with a positive case of COVID-19.

Travelers Arriving from Other Countries for the Spring 2021 Semester

Do international students, or domestic students who have traveled abroad, have to quarantine before coming to campus this spring?

University Housing will follow CDC guidelines on quarantine protocols. Current guidelines do not require quarantine upon return to the United States. However, this guidance could change, and students returning from abroad should be prepared to quarantine for up to a 14-day period prior to moving to campus. If a quarantine period is required in the future, students also will be asked to provide University Housing with an official document, such as a boarding pass or flight itinerary, that includes their date of arrival into the United States. This document must be provided before students are allowed to move into their housing assignment. We also may ask students to provide the location that they chose to complete the self-quarantine requirement.

Asynchronous Access for Spring 2021

What does asynchronous mean?

Asynchronous means you are participating in the course not at the same time as the instruction of the course. At any given time, you have the option of telling your spring 2021 instructor(s) that you would like asynchronous access to your course(s). The asynchronous option exists for the instruction modes of Traditional, Blended, Flexible and Remote.

For example, you are registered in a course meeting in the traditional mode 9 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you choose asynchronous access, you would complete the course remotely at a different time than the scheduled class.

If I choose asynchronous access, is it self-paced, on my own time and pace?

Asynchronous access does not mean that you can complete the course and course requirements at your own pace or discretion. Asynchronous access means flexibility is given to you completing the course at a distance. You will have the same opportunities for learning and meet the same course standards as the other students.

You will need to meet the requirements and standards set forth by the instructor. You also will need to follow along at the pace of the class even though you are not meeting at the time of the class.

Why would I choose asynchronous access?

You may choose asynchronous access for several reasons. Below are examples.

  • For the entire spring 2021 semester, for example:
    • You are at home and will not be returning to campus to participate in classes;
    • You are at high risk for participating in person; and/or
    • You are not comfortable participating in person classes due to the pandemic.
  • For portions of spring 2021, for example:
    • You have COVID-19 and you need to isolate, but you will return to in-person classes after the appropriate quarantine period;
    • You attended in-person class and did not feel comfortable continuing in-person class;
    • You have been exposed to a potential carrier of COVID-19 and you need to isolate, but you will return to in-person classes after the appropriate quarantine period; and/or
    • You are sick. You do not know why, but you think it is best to stop in-person classes until you feel better.

How do I choose the asynchronous access?

If you plan to participate via asynchronous access, you will need to notify your professor once the spring 2021 semester begins on Tuesday, Jan. 19, or at any point during the semester, as soon as you know you will be accessing the class asynchronously.

I’m on a F-1 student visa. How will choosing asynchronous access affect me?

UT Dallas recommends that students on the F-1 visa review the immigration enrollment requirements for guidance.

Campus Operations

How do I reach the Office of Admission and Enrollment?

While campus may be closed, admission staff are ready to help.

Undergraduate applicants can visit the Undergraduate Admissions FAQ webpage or email [email protected].

Graduate applicants can visit the Graduate Admissions COVID-19 webpage or contact the academic department directly.

What areas of campus are closed?

The Activity Center and Rec Center West are open to students only. Hours of operation and activities allowed can be found on their website. Students may schedule an appointment to work out by visiting the University Recreation website.

The Student Union, Student Services Building, and Student Services Addition are open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and closed on Sunday. Limited common areas are open in all three buildings. Activities such as pool, table tennis, and gaming are currently unavailable, and may be available at a later date. For more information on services please visit the Student Union website.

For details on dining operations on campus please visit the UTD Dining Services website.

Why should I consider wearing a cloth face covering while on campus?

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, students, faculty and staff should follow the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and detailed on the CDC’s cloth face coverings webpage Opens in a new tab.. In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Can face shields be substituted for cloth face coverings?

Masks or cloth face coverings must be worn by members of the campus community when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms). It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Opens in a new tab. does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. Appropriate use of masks or face coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel ill. A mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

Do I still need to stay at least 6 feet away from people on campus if I’m wearing a cloth face covering?

Yes. Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional public health measure that our UT Dallas community members can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CDC still recommends that you avoid gatherings, stay at least 6 feet away from other people (social distancing), and adhere to frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but it may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms.

What about campus transportation?

Campus shuttle bus service is available, but all riders age 2 and older will need to wear an appropriate face covering. Beginning Monday, April 20, the Comet Cruiser, DART Bus Route 883, will run a modified route and schedule. Visit the Comet Cruiser bus service page for more information about the changes. Comet Cabs, including accessible cart service, will not be operating during this time.

What should I do if I’m unable to wear a face covering?

Employees who are unable to wear a face covering in accordance with the policy should contact the C19 Coordinator in Human Resources (HR) at [email protected]. HR will provide guidance regarding the process for submitting an exception request, and will review submissions to make a determination on a case-by-case basis. Documentation from the treating physician will be required for medical exceptions.

Students who are unable to wear a face covering in accordance with the policy should contact the Dean of Students office (DOS) at [email protected]. The DOS will provide guidance regarding the process for submitting an exception request, and will review submissions to make a determination on a case-by-case basis. Documentation from the treating physician will be required for medical exceptions.

Are the University Bookstore and Tech Store open?

Yes, the bookstore is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For the latest information, go to the bookstore website.

Masks are required to shop and pickup orders. Shoppers must maintain social distance of at least 6 feet from others.

The UTD Tech Store is open for in-store purchases and repairs. The store also offers curbside service for repairs and purchases. The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. August 10-14. Beginning August 17, the store will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Go to the Tech Store’s website to shop for computers by major, get technical support and view information on financing and discounts.

How do I order textbooks?

You can order them online and pick them up at the UTD Bookstore.

  1. Visit the bookstore website.
  2. Enter your Student ID.
  3. The books you need for your classes will be shown for purchase or to rent.
  4. Get the books shipped to you or pick them up at the UTD Bookstore.

Is the library open?

The library is closed, but online resources including the library’s chat service are available through the library website.

In an effort to maintain health and safety guidelines provided by the CDC, the McDermott Library has created McDermott Curbside. This service allows staff, faculty and students access to our materials while also maintaining social distancing to keep everyone safe. If you have questions or need assistance with the curbside service, please email [email protected].

Is the UT Dallas Police Department still operating on campus?

Yes. In an emergency, call 911. For nonemergency situations, patrol and dispatch can be reached at 972-883-2222. They will perform building entry assists for those who are authorized.

How is the University handling mail services?

Until further notice, please observe the following for continuity of the Mail Services and Central Receiving Department:

  • Minimum staff will be available in the warehouse to accept packages and mail deliveries.
  • All incoming mail will be sorted by department and stacked inside the warehouse.
  • Key department staff can pick up mail and parcels at the warehouse (must show Comet Card).

Mail Service and Central Receiving is located in the Service Building (SB 1.2). For all other mail and receiving concerns, please contact Central Receiving directly at [email protected] or 972-883-2779.

What steps are being taken to clean and disinfect the campus?

Facilities Management staff members are conducting thorough deep cleanings throughout all open areas of campus, paying special attention to high-traffic areas such as the McDermott Library, classrooms, restrooms, hallways, as well as Dining Hall West and the Food Court/Comet Café areas in the Student Union. Cleaning efforts include disinfecting and sanitizing all open surface tables and countertops, doorknobs, push plates and other high-touch objects, as well as using electrostatic cleaners that provide aerosol sanitation.

Are campus events canceled?

Due to changes in campus operations, many events have been canceled or moved online. Please check for updates on the Comet Calendar and confirm event details with the sponsoring department.

What is the status of Comet Sports?

The American Southwest Conference has canceled all conference athletics competitions and championship events for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Those include events for baseball, men’s and women’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s tennis.

Are University Recreation Facilities open?

The Activity Center is open for students, and Recreation Center West is open for students living on campus, both with reduced hours. Patrons will be required to make a reservation for a fitness workout through the IMLeagues mobile app. The SPN Wellness Center is closed this fall. Learn more on University Recreation’s COVID-19 webpage.

Is the University Career Center open?

The University Career Center’s office is closed, but virtual appointments and events can be found in Handshake, and all the office’s online resources are still available.

Students in the Naveen Jindal School of Management can access online career resources on the HireJSOM website.

What dining options are available on campus?

The following campus locations are open for service: Chick-Fil-A, The Pub, Papa John’s, The Market at DHW and Dining Hall West.

Dining Hall West hours of operation are:

  • Monday-Friday 8-10 a.m.; 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 5-8 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday. 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5-7 p.m.

In addition, Starbucks, 7-Eleven and American Tap Room are open at Northside.

For dining hours and options, review the Updated Fall 2020 Dining Hours document (pdf).

New food and delivery options are available for the fall semester including the Boost mobile ordering app and a Taco Bell Cantina scheduled to open in September in Parking Structure 3.

Starship robot deliveries are also available on campus. The delivery app lets you order from select on-campus restaurants for delivery almost anywhere on campus including dorms.

For more information, go to the UT Dallas Dining Services website.

Students & Families

What should I do if I become sick?

The Student Health Center is closed. Students may call the afterhours nurse line, 972-883-2747, to speak to a registered nurse. If you think you’ve been exposed to the virus, please follow CDC guidelines Opens in a new tab..

If you have the UT Student Health Insurance Plan (UT SHIP), you have access to a nurse line and telehealth appointments. Specific information about UT SHIP can be found on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas website.

Students who believe they have COVID-19 should notify the Dean of Students Office and their instructors. If you are living on campus, please notify a member of the University Housing staff immediately to work with you on the next steps.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or had close contact with someone who has tested positive, please fill out our COVID-19 self-report form.

What counseling resources are available?

UT Dallas is committed to its standing as a welcoming and diverse community. We encourage everyone to be mindful of the emotional and mental stress that can be caused by this evolving situation. Students may visit the Student Counseling Center website for information on how to access services. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911. If you are in crisis and need to speak to a mental health professional, call UTD TALK (972)-883-8255. There are additional links on the Helpful Links section on the main COVID-19 page.

What if I have traveled abroad or plan to travel abroad?

UT Dallas has suspended all University-related international travel and strongly discourages personal international travel. If you are returning from any international destination, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return.

If you are arriving from any international destination and will be living in University Village or University Commons, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your arrival. Contact University Housing for information about self-quarantine procedures. 

Students arriving from international locations will not be permitted to take up residence in campus housing until this quarantine requirement is met. In addition, they should not attend classes or participate in any other on-campus activities until this quarantine requirement is met.

Will I need to do Daily Health Checks once on-campus classes end? Added 11/13

The University expects students to remain vigilant once on-campus classes conclude on Nov 25. The University’s expectations and your responsibilities are listed on the Things to Know Before You Go website.

How can I get emergency financial assistance?

Emergency Aid is available to students through the UT Dallas Student Emergency Financial Assistance Program. UT Dallas has established a website with more detailed information about resources for students in need of assistance.

How can I get help with online classes?

Educational Technology Services offers resources for students including software and plug-ins used in online courses.

If you need assistance navigating the transition to online learning and the University resources that are available to support you, email the Graduation Help Desk.

Contact the OIT Help Desk to get answers to common issues, submit technology help requests and report outages.

What if I need a computer or webcam?

The Office of Information Technology has a limited number of computers and webcams that can be borrowed at no cost to currently enrolled students who need devices to complete coursework.

To check availability and complete a request form, go to the student computer checkout webpage.

Campus computer labs provide Windows and Mac computers loaded with academic and productivity software. Currently, only Founders Lab is open to students. Access to the computer lab is by appointment only. Please call 972-883-2393 to make an appointment.

How can I get help with Microsoft Teams?

Students can use the Microsoft Teams application for instant messaging, collaboration and communication. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has information on how to install and use Microsoft Teams including how to access a lecture recording in Streams.

How do I download and run Honorlock?

Honorlock is an online remote proctoring tool that allows you to take your exam remotely. It does not require you to download any software and integrates seamlessly with Blackboard by means of a Chrome Extension that can be easily removed and added back later.

For more information, go to the UT Dallas Honorlock webpage.

How will classes be taught in spring 2021?

I need my 1098T form to complete my income tax return. How can I get it?

1098T forms are available on the Heartland website Opens in a new tab.. Students who are unable to obtain the form through Heartland are requested to email the Bursar Office at [email protected]. We will assist you in the process or create the form.

Is UT Dallas offering a deadline extension for students to elect Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit grading for classes in the fall 2020 semester? Added 11/25

During the fall semester, the University of Texas at Dallas took several steps — both on the level of temporary policy exceptions and building robust resources — to support student success. While various faculty governing bodies on campus considered student requests to extend the deadline for the selection of credit/no credit and pass/fail grading, those governing bodies ultimately did not approve the requests. Read more about Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail grading

Faculty & Staff

As a supervisor, what do I do if one of my employees becomes sick with or is exposed to COVID-19?

Please refer to the Supervisor Guide for COVID-19 Scenarios.

What should I do if I become sick?

Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms of illness should stay home. If you are concerned about the availability of sick leave, consult with your supervisor, who may then reach out to the Office of Human Resources for guidance. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow the steps outlined by the CDC Opens in a new tab.. Please also complete the Self-Reporting Form for an Individual Diagnosed/Exposed to COVID-19 Opens in a new tab..

What if I need to use sick leave due to COVID-19?

Beginning on April 1, 2020, UT Dallas will offer COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFML) to all eligible UT Dallas employees pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The leave provided under the FFCRA does not modify an employee’s right to use sick or vacation time, as set forth in our current policies. Rather, these new provisions expand UTD’s employee benefits by requiring that UTD grant additional leave to certain employees due to COVID-19 through December 31, 2020. Read more about EPSL and EFML on the Workplace Continuity page.

My child’s school is operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis. The school is open each day, but students alternate between days attending school in person and days participating in remote learning. They are permitted to attend school only on their allotted in-person attendance days. May I take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in these circumstances?

Yes, you are eligible to take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on days when your child is not permitted to attend school in person and must instead engage in remote learning, as long as you need the leave to actually care for your child during that time and only if no other suitable person is available to do so.

For purposes of the FFCRA and its implementing regulations, the school is effectively “closed” to your child on days that he or she cannot attend in person. You may take paid leave under the FFCRA on each of your child’s remote-learning days.

My child’s school is giving me a choice between having my child attend in person or participate in a remote learning program for the fall. I signed up for the remote learning alternative because, for example, I worry that my child might contract COVID-19 and bring it home to the family. Since my child will be at home, may I take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in these circumstances?

No, you are not eligible to take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) because your child’s school is not “closed” due to COVID-19 related reasons; it is open for your child to attend.

FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance. If your child is home not because his or her school is closed, but because you have chosen for the child to remain home, you are not entitled to FFCRA paid leave. However, if, because of COVID-19, your child is under a quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-isolate or self-quarantine, you may be eligible to take paid leave to care for him or her.

If your child’s school is operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis, you may be eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA on each of your child’s remote-learning days because the school is effectively “closed” to your child on those days.

My child’s school is beginning the school year under a remote learning program out of concern for COVID-19, but has announced it will continue to evaluate local circumstances and make a decision about reopening for in-person attendance later in the school year. May I take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in these circumstances?

Yes, you are eligible to take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) while your child’s school remains closed. If your child’s school reopens, the availability of paid leave under the FFCRA will depend on the particulars of the school’s operations.

Will UT SELECT and UT CONNECT provide coverage for COVID-19?

  • The UT SELECT, and UT CONNECT plan will not require prior authorization and will waive member copayments, coinsurance and deductibles associated with testing for COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance.
  • The UT SELECT and UT CONNECT plans will cover in-network medically necessary services at 100% for testing and treatment of COVID-19, including physician services, hospitalization, and emergency services. This means that members receiving medical care for COVID-19 from network providers and facilities should have no out-of-pocket costs. We hope all of you stay safe and healthy, but for our members and families who may need care during this unprecedented time, we hope this enhanced benefit offers some peace of mind. This significant change in medical coverage is a qualifying mid-year status change event that would allow an eligible individual to add the medical plan.
  • The UT SELECT and UT CONNECT telemedicine benefit is being extended and will remain in place while the federal public health emergency related to COVID-19 remains in effect. The telemedicine benefit, which includes an office visit copay, does not affect your $0 copay MDLIVE Virtual Visit benefit.
  • For specific questions about your UT SELECT coverage, members should call your Blue Cross and Blue Shield health advocate at 866-882-2034. For UT CONNECT, please contact the CONNECT customer service team at 888-399-8889.
  • Virtual doctor visits through MDLIVE Opens in a new tab. continue to be available with no out-of-pocket costs and can be used when appropriate.
  • Any person experiencing illness should contact their doctor or MDLIVE.
  • All other UT Benefits programs will continue to operate according to the plan specifications outlined on the benefits website Opens in a new tab.. This includes dental, vision, short-term disability, long-term disability and life insurance. For disability and life insurance purposes, COVID-19 will be considered just as any other illness.

For the latest updates, go to The University of Texas System Office of Employees Benefits COVID-19 webpage Opens in a new tab..

Are counseling services available?

Benefits-eligible employees have access to Deer Oaks EAP Services Opens in a new tab., an employee assistance program provider. The EAP benefit covers up to seven confidential, short-term counseling sessions per person, per issue, per year. Call 888-993-7650 for more information or a referral.

What technical resources are available for faculty and staff?

The Office of Information Technology has a Remote Work Resource Page with information on preparing to work remotely, and the Office of Information Security offers tips for working remotely.

For faculty, a web conference tool called Blackboard Collaborate is available on eLearning. For tutorials, visit this playlist Opens in a new tab.. If you need assistance, email [email protected].

OIT also will provide online training for Microsoft Teams and Office 365. Register for trainings to stay up-to-date and connected.

How can I find tips on moving my classes online including keeping online sessions secure?

Educational Technology Services has put together a Rapid Remote Teaching Resources page to assist faculty in transitioning from face-to-face to the online teaching environment. This page includes links to training, best practices and resources to help you collaborate online efficiently and securely.

How can I reach the Office of Development and Alumni Relations?

If you need to deliver a check to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, a member of the team will be in the office on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon to accept donations. Call 972-883-3958, and someone will assist you.

If you need to reach a member of the team, you may contact them directly or leave a message at 972-883-2295. Messages will be checked and responded to regularly.

Can I still submit purchases?

EProcurement continues to be active and running. Please submit all purchases via eProcurement/Jaggaer on Galaxy where possible and send any purchasing questions to [email protected].

If you have a purchase related to COVID-19, please note COVID-19 in the Business Justification/Internal Notes on the requisition and check the new COVID-19 box on the requisition. For assistance, email [email protected].

What professional development resources are available?

The Office of Human Resources has compiled a list of free professional development resources that may be helpful for those who are working remotely. They can be found on the Workplace Continuity page.

Where can I find out about the impact on University research and labs?

Go to the Research Continuity page for more information on research, campus and environmental safety plus a list of frequently asked questions.

Research

Current Research Operations

Will I continue to have access to my research building?

  • Access to research buildings across campus is restricted to personnel elected by their Principal Investigator (PI) to return to campus for research activities during the limited-scale return to research.
  • Access to research buildings across campus is restricted to personnel elected by their Principal Investigator (PI) to return to campus for research activities during the limited-scale return to research.
  • There is no requirement that research personnel return to campus unless it is necessary to do so for data collection purposes. Any activity that can be performed remotely (e.g., data analyses, group meetings, manuscript preparation, etc.) should continue to be performed remotely. PIs and supervisors should be setting the expectation that all personnel work remotely, unless there is a critical task that must be performed in the lab or from the office. Please refer to the main COVID-19 page for more information.

Where can I find agency specific information and guidance regarding COVID-19?

What if I or any of the members in my research group are unable to come to campus due to reasons related to COVID-19?

  • There is no requirement that research personnel return to campus. Any activity that can be performed remotely (e.g., data analyses, group meetings, manuscript preparation, etc.) should continue to be performed remotely. Anyone experiencing symptoms of illness should stay home.
  • Prior to coming to campus, individuals must self-screen for any new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection, and must include new signs or symptoms among their household members. All research personnel will be required to complete a daily health screening received via email.

What about my research travel? What is allowed by UTD and how is canceled travel handled on sponsored projects?

  • UT Dallas has suspended all University-related domestic and international travel. The University continues to strongly discourage personal international travel as well. If you are returning from any international destination, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return. Please consult with the Office of International Risk and Safety.
  • As documented in the COGR guidance Opens in a new tab., if a traveler has charged (e.g., through prepayment or a travel advance) an airline ticket or other travel cost to a sponsored project and then that trip is later canceled, the credit must accrue to the sponsored project (see 2 CFR 200.406). Some airlines are offering full refunds for trips that need to be cancelled due to COVID-19; in these instances, the refund should accrue to the grant, either directly through the institution’s travel system or via reimbursement from the traveler. If a traveler cancels a trip and accrues a credit on their personal account, the traveler should follow institutional policy for how to track and manage the credit.
  • Guidance for travelers from countries planning to visit or returning from an area with community spread of COVID-19 is available from the CDC website Opens in a new tab..

How can I support my graduate students and postdocs to continue their research? Can I still pay them on my project?

  • Principal Investigators and research managers should work with each of their students and postdoctoral trainees to develop a personalized plan that allows each person to conduct research remotely to the fullest extent possible, e.g., performing data analysis, literature review, modeling and computation, writing manuscripts and applications, and planning. If the individual is working remotely and still contributing to a sponsored project the expense may still be charged to the sponsored project.
  • It is expected that anyone returning to campus for research will practice social distancing, utilize face masks in public areas of buildings, and practice good hygiene.

What guidance should I provide to the international postdocs, graduate students and researchers in my research group?

  • Due to the changing nature of U.S. immigration policy, the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak and its impacts on global travel, the Office of International Risk and Safety does not recommend international travel. Please visit its website for any updated information.
  • Any students returning from international travel need to contact the Dean of Students office prior to returning to campus. A 14-day self-quarantine period will be necessary.

Can I ask for a no-cost extension from my sponsor?

  • Researchers should document the actual impact of COVID-19 on the progress of their grants to provide substantiation for any future no-cost extension request. It is not known if agencies will consider longer-than-normal no-cost extensions or multiple no-cost extensions in this situation, but no-cost extensions covered under expanded authorities will still be available for federal awards.

Can I bring visitors to UT Dallas research groups and facilities?

  • No. Please continue to hold all of your meetings and consultations online.

What guidelines apply to visiting scholars and visiting student researchers?

  • Note that UT Dallas visiting scholars and researchers on campus must follow all the University’s COVID-19 guidance, including regarding working remotely.

What about research involving human subjects?

The Office of Research is extending the suspension of all in-person human subjects research activities until further notice. All human subjects activities that can take place via virtual platforms (Microsoft Teams, online surveys, etc.) should be conducted virtually to avoid in-person contact.

We recognize there are projects that provide a direct benefit to the participant. We will review requests to continue in-person procedures on a case-by-case basis. To make an exception request, please complete the Conducting Beneficial Human Subject In-Person Procedures Request Form. Researchers may contact [email protected] for more information.

All IRB protocols will be reviewed on an individual basis to evaluate risk to participants and to the UTD research community.

Are there special considerations for filing an invention disclosure or a request to send or receive tangible materials for my research?

  • The Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) is fully operational and is working remotely. Complete the Technology Disclosure Form and submit it to [email protected].
  • Material transfer agreements for tangible materials to be sent to and from campus will continue to be negotiated and signed. It is unclear if service delivery disruptions will occur or if special measures will be taken by shipping and receiving units to manage or inspect the contents of shipments.

What guidelines do I or any members of my research group have to follow before engaging in COVID-19 research?

  • All principal investigators must register their protocols with the Institutional Biosafety and Chemical Safety Committee (IBCC) prior to performing any coronavirus research or work on campus (including to help state and federal agencies to screen patient samples). This includes requesting or accepting COVID-19 samples (patient or otherwise).

How can I help ensure my lab is clean and safe when conducting research?

Visit the Disinfecting Labs page of the Office of Research website for information on social distancing protocols, enhanced cleaning procedures and detailed instructions for cleaning surfaces in labs and offices to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

Planning for Research Continuity

What time frame should I plan for, and what assumptions should I make?

  • To the greatest extent possible, research personnel should continue to work from home; in particular, all vulnerable individuals are encouraged to continue to work from home. Research personnel should be aware that depending on the situation, such as an outbreak of COVID-19 or Stay Home executive orders, research may have to be ramped down again within a short amount of time.
  • During the limited on-site research phase, laboratory building access should be dedicated toward data collection, whereas data analyses, group meetings, manuscript preparation, etc. should continue to be performed remotely.

Can I access my on-campus space to perform required, periodic maintenance of specialized laboratory equipment or support functions?

  • All research activities, including accessing on-campus space to perform periodic maintenance, are included in the limited on-site research phase of operations. Please visit the Returning to Campus Research Activities page.

How will the University decide when to move to the next phase of research activities?

  • UT Dallas will continue to work with state and local health officials to carefully monitor the situation.

What steps should Principal Investigators (PI), research managers, and laboratory Responsible Parties (RP’s) take to create a plan for research continuity?

  • Each PI, research manager, and RP is accountable for developing and documenting their own laboratory-specific Continuity Plan, and ensuring that plan is communicated to lab members. These individual plans supplement broader continuity planning efforts undertaken by departments within the University, and the UTD Office of Emergency Management and Continuity Planning (OEMCP).
  • The Office of Research and OEMCP provide the following resources to assist laboratory personnel in developing their plans:

Who can help me with planning?

  • Research, Campus, and Environmental Safety ([email protected]) can help with continuity plan development and guidance, including:
    • Risk assessment to identify those activities that may pose a hazard when unattended.
    • Safeguards to implement if high risk work will continue.
    • Handling and disposal of laboratory waste.
    • Questions relating to PPE, disinfection, and cleaning.

I rely on a core facility. What continuity plans are in place for core facilities?

  • Research Core Facilities (RCF) has developed continuity plans for the facilities, however, specifics for accessibility may differ. Contact RCF director Jimmy Gowrisanker or individual core managers about their plans and how to maintain your access.

What about accessing restricted or secure data from off campus?

  • These will need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis dependent on usage or contractual obligations. If you are unsure, please email [email protected] with your project ID and your intended use case for more information.

What if the “worst case” occurs and I am unable to maintain my laboratory operations?

  • Preparation now will help mitigate the impact if it becomes necessary to close out all of your laboratory operations. Please consider the prerequisites for this and their impacts. Guidance for safe laboratory close-out can be found here.

What must research laboratories do to prepare for the care of research animals in case of disruption?

  • Laboratories should be prepared to ramp down, curtail, or postpone animal research experiments if and when the need arises. For ongoing experiments, please limit or discontinue removing animals from Lab Animal Resource Center (LARC)-managed facilities. The LARC will continue daily animal care in the vivarium and satellite housing rooms (including regular cage cleaning, feed and water assurance, and health checks). If you have animals in these areas, LARC staff will continue to care for them.

How will animal care proceed if access is limited?

  • The Lab Animal Resource Center (LARC) expects to continue to provide regular care to LARC-maintained animals. The LARC has developed plans to respond to a variety of curtailment or reduced staffing scenarios, and will communicate directly with relevant PIs if campus circumstances change. Please discuss plans with LARC leadership if you have questions.