Carnegie Mellon University

March 9, 2020
Updated: March 26, 2020 - Removed hyperlink to "essential" on-campus research activities survey as survey is now closed.

This message is being sent to Associate Deans for Research (or equivalents) in each college, who are being asked to forward to department heads for their engagement with faculty and researchers on the guidance provided and input requested.  A copy of this message is also being posted on the OVPR Research Communications Page.

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your continued support and input as the University works through preparing and executing contingency planning for the ongoing situation with Coronavirus.  At this point we are asking for your assistance in providing general guidance to researchers to facilitate their preparedness as well as soliciting information about specific research activities that departments, college and university leadership should be aware of in the event of campus closure(s).

The OVPR recommends that all researchers (particularly senior researchers with oversight of research groups and facilities) do the following:

  1. Download and review the most recent version of the CMU “Pandemic Preparedness Guide for Researchers.”  This is a self-guided questionnaire intended to help guide senior researchers in preparing for the possible impacts of a pandemic on their research activity (either impact of absenteeism due to illness and/or campus closure).
  2. After considering the questions in the above guide, complete the survey on “essential” on-campus research activities (survey closed).  This survey is intended to make Associate Deans/Deans and University leadership aware of SPECIFIC research activities happening on campus that MIGHT be considered “essential” in the event of a campus closure.  Responses to this survey are communicated to the Associate Deans for Research (or equivalent) as well as the OVPR.  Please complete the online survey as soon as possible and by no later than 5pm on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

To be clear, the university is NOT anticipating an imminent, wide-spread closure in Pittsburgh.  However, the situation is clearly fluid.  In the event of a closure, the specific subset of activities and access that would be permitted to continue on campus will be circumstance-dependent.  These details would be communicated at or around the time of any closure announcement.  Your consideration, planning and input at this stage will help minimize the potential adverse effects on your research activities and the research enterprise as a whole.

A reminder that CMU is maintaining a preparedness/info page on coronavirus at:

If you have any other research-related questions, please submit them to the university-wide question box at with CC to and your Associate Dean for Research.

David J. Quinn, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University
Assistant Vice President for Strategic Research Initiatives
Special Faculty, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Phone: 412.268.2227
Fax: 412.268.2330