COVID-19 Update: Campus Visitors, Hazardous Materials and More
05/19/2020, 03:00:02 PM
From the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston. View this message in browser.
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Dear Research Faculty,

We are now in our third week of Reopening Research with about 1,300 individuals on campus conducting research. It is important to follow the guidelines of wearing a face mask, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing. Without a vaccine or a cure, these are our best options to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. If you have not read SVP McShan’s email from April 27 about the UH requirement of wearing a face mask, please do so ASAP. I address below several topics related to research operations that have come to my attention this past week.

HR Training

While most of our research personnel have completed the required training and health test screening modules, some have not. Completing these modules is one of the requirements prior to coming on campus. If you receive a reminder that you or one of your lab members has not completed the mandatory training, please make sure that this is remedied right away. The training and screening can be found on AccessUH (TAP Employee Online Training). Only those on payroll are automatically enrolled in the training. If the individual in question does not have access to the modules, contact your department chair and Raysa Caba ( with the name and PeopleSoft ID to have the training added manually to the individual’s AccessUH profile. 

Visitors on Campus

I would also like to remind you that currently no visitors are allowed in shared research spaces except for the purpose of delivery, maintenance, repairs or research collaboration that cannot be conducted remotely. Deliveries should be left outside the lab, if possible. Visitors must adhere to the same rules as lab members if they enter the lab or other shared spaces, in particular, the requirement to wear a face mask also applies to visitors as explained in SVP McShan’s email. If visitors come to university research spaces repeatedly (more than once a month), they should be included in the access request form. They are also required to complete the training and health screening module, and you should follow the process I mentioned earlier to have the training added to their AccessUH profile.

Human Subject Research

I hope you had a chance to attend today’s Faculty Café on Human Subject Research. The slides are posted on our Human Subjects Research page. With the Reopening of Research on campus, we provide additional details on this page to increase clarity about what is allowable in this phase.

Delivery of Hazardous Materials

Many of you are replenishing lab chemicals and other, potentially hazardous, lab materials. Please make sure you work with UH Research Stores to have those materials shipped to campus. UH Research Stores is equipped to handle these items until you pick them up.

VPR Virtual Office Hours

We are continuing our weekly VPR Office Hours. The next session is on Friday, May 22 at noon (please note the time). I hope you will be able to join us. I look forward to talking with you this coming Friday. We regularly have around 80 individuals joining the virtual meeting where we can hear about your concerns and questions.

You can access the event through the Research & Innovation Teams site, where you will also find channels for topic-specific questions you might have for our directors. I would like to encourage you to post questions prior to the event in our VPR Office Hours channel.

Questions and responses are visible to everyone at UH. If you have project- or team-specific questions that you do not want to share with others at UH, please contact our units directly. Area-specific email inboxes for DOR offices are listed on our COVID-19 Additional Resources page.

50-in-5 Faculty Café

We are offering bi-monthly 50-in-5 Faculty Café sessions on COVID-19 Related Funding Opportunities for Research. The third online session on this topic is scheduled for Friday, May 22, 1 p.m.–2 p.m. To receive the Zoom link for the event, please register

Best regards,

Amr Elnashai, FREng  
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Amr Elnashai | VP for Research and Technology Transfer | | 713-743-4736

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