Carnegie Mellon University

March 20, 2020

Following our usual procedures for research communications, this message is being sent to Associate Deans for Research (or equivalents) in each college, who are asked to forward to department heads, faculty and researchers.  A copy of this message is also posted on the OVPR Research Communications Page.


I want to thank everyone for the incredible work you have all been doing to transition your research activities to remote operation in less than 24 hours. All of your contingency planning has proven invaluable, particularly given the accelerated timeline.

I recognize there are many questions that people have. The first place to go for information is the researcher resources website. Some of your questions will be specific to your labs and research programs. In those cases, please contact your associate dean for research.

I summarize our current posture, in effect at least through the end of April, consistent with yesterday’s message as:

  • CMU’s research operations are functioning remotely.
  • Research activities that cannot be accomplished remotely are halted.
  • Limited access to campus may be granted for activities that:
    • maintain living organisms or perishable samples, or
    • maintain or service systems that enable the ability to do research remotely (for example, re-booting servers or computers for remote access).

Processes exist within every college to identify and perform these activities.  It is important to work with your associate dean for research (ADR) to follow your college’s process. 

Your ADR can also work with you to navigate any special cases you feel need to be considered by the dean and the VPR.

Finally, I have been overwhelmed, but not surprised, by the response from our research community regarding CMU innovation that might help in the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working to identify ways to support and enable these efforts.

Again, my sincere thanks for your ­flexibility, effort and understanding in rising to the challenge in these exceptional circumstances.

With best regards,


J. Michael McQuade, PhD.
Vice President for Research