Message from Provost Hannigan and AVP for Research Robinson–Research Changes with New NYS Directives

Dear Faculty,

We regret to inform you that in light of the recent directives from state government officials, we must begin transitioning immediately to implement Severe Research Restrictions.

With Severe Restrictions, no on-campus research activities will be allowed. This means that all non-critical research activities must be shut down and transitioned to remote work if possible as we move to maintenance operations: maintaining and caring for important instruments, animal care & biological culture maintenance, and other valuable resources.

Only essential research will be permitted to continue and only personnel who are essential to conduct the permitted research and to maintain the equipment and other laboratory assets may remain on campus. 

All Clarkson PIs/research leads, labs, and teams need to:

Completed Research Continuity Plans are due to the Provost by 8pm March 22. Importantly, these Plans must include evidence for perceived critical functions and designated individuals who must have campus access on a limited basis; those individuals need to be in agreement with the plans.  

You should, prior to 8pm March 22, shut down on-campus work in a way that eliminates on-site meetings. All meetings will be done remotely until notified otherwise. 

The Provost will provide to Human Resources the names and continuity plans of those PIs whose work is deemed critical necessitating limited on-campus activities. 

  • The PIs will be notified directly, and as quickly as possible, by the Provost as to their status and approval to come into campus facilities to perform critical work. 
  • If your research requires on-campus presence and you do not submit a Research Continuity Plan, are not approved for on-campus work, or have not heard about your status, you should not come to campus. 

On-campus activity must be reduced to critical functions only by Sunday, March 22 at 8pm. Importantly, Research Continuity Plans (PDF available for download below) must include evidence for perceived critical functions and designated individuals who must have campus access on a limited basis; those individuals need to be in agreement with the plans. 

No new experiments or studies that require on-campus presence can be launched. 

PIs should show flexibility in assigning tasks only to personnel who are comfortable being on-site, during and after this period.

Approval by the Associate Vice Provost for Research and the Environmental Health and Safety Manager is required prior to the removal of any research materials (e.g., specimens or sensitive equipment) from Clarkson University laboratories, other than computers, storage devices, and lab notebooks and papers. 

The following are the only remaining critical on-campus research functions:

  • Begin procedures to scale back research, to be completed by Sunday 8pm, or sooner.
  • Critical maintenance procedures, including: animal veterinary care and support, cell lines, research cores, gas or cryogen monitoring, etc.
  • Certain clinical research; please see separate guidance, if any, from the relevant schools.
  • COVID-19 research that has been approved as an exception by the Associate Vice Provost of Research.
  • Any exceptions to the above must be approved by the Provost and Human Resources before they can proceed.  

If you have concerns, please contact your Dean/Director or Associate Vice Provost for Research.

Research with Sensitive or Restricted Data.  Some research projects may involve sensitive data that have security controls mandated by the sponsor, policy, or federal law (examples: HIPAA, FERPA, Export-controlled, etc.).  If your project is subject to a data security plan or Technology Control Plan that precludes remote access or involves export-controlled technologies under a Technology Control Plan, please contact SRS at  This guidance is intended for “on-campus” projects not involving controlled information.

We will continue to monitor and support essential on-campus research functions and communicate updates to our research community.  Federal granting agencies are responding quickly and are introducing significant flexibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SRS will be providing updated guidance about these changes on the SRS intranet site.

We understand that your research is critical to the mission of Clarkson and that it will be difficult for many researchers to consider that their research should not be pursued as fully as possible. We would like to remind you that while research work may be slowed down, your time can be spent on productive alternatives, such as analyzing data, writing and reviewing articles, organizing online research meetings, writing grant proposals, and establishing collaborations across campuses to start new projects once the restriction is lifted.

Thank you.

Robyn Hannigan Shannon Robinson
Provost Associate Vice Provost for Research

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