Carnegie Mellon University

March 21, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you again for all of your efforts in rapidly ramping down on-campus research activities and transitioning to remote work.  I am writing to provide some guidance and updates on a few specific topics about which we have been asked by members of our community in the last few days.

Donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Health Care Workers

Unsurprisingly, several members of our community have reached out to college and central leadership asking to facilitate a way to donate any excess commercially purchased health care personal protective equipment to local health care providers.  The university has established the following process to facilitate this generous offer:

  • The leaders of labs/research groups with any temporarily excessive PPE may designate a single person to access their space and retrieve any PPE they wish to donate.  Note that this person CANNOT be an undergraduate or graduate student.  It must be a faculty or staff member and access must be completed by 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.
  • Researchers should contact their associate dean for research for permission to access their lab one time in order to gather excess PPE for donation.  To be clear, this is not an opportunity to do research or perform other non-approved research-related tasks.  All labs should be transitioned and ramped down at this time.
  • PPE can be dropped off at the University Police at 300 S. Craig St. in Oakland.  University Police and Facilities Management Services are making arrangements for delivery to the Allegheny County Health Department on Monday.

In light of any potential issues with donating materials purchased on sponsored accounts, it should be assumed that any donated PPE will be replaced/replenished at the appropriate time using funding from researcher discretionary accounts.

The most pressing need is for masks, particularly N95 type (but others are accepted). Other items to consider for donation are goggles, disposable medical gowns, gloves, and medical face shields. No liquids or perishable materials should be donated.

Use of 3D Printing Services while in remote operation

Several researchers have also inquired about ways in which 3D printing capabilities on campus could be leveraged to either enable remote research activities and/or assist with the need for healthcare parts and equipment.  Consistent with actions that have already been taken in many of the shared facilities and maker spaces and our current posture to limit as much physical presence on campus as possible, colleges and the university are currently NOT granting permission to access labs for these purposes.  We will continue to re-evaluate as circumstances and community needs evolve.

Deliveries of Liquid Nitrogen and Lab Gases

Matheson, CMU’s supplier of liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other lab gases and liquids, will continue deliveries twice per week.  Orders can continue to be placed through the Mellon Storeroom.

EHS is coordinating directly with laboratories and building managers to confirm delivery processes and access.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact EHS at 412-268-8182 or

Human Subject Payment Guidelines for Remote Work

We have previously posted guidance on doing human subjects work remotely on the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources site. The Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) and Finance have now developed detailed interim guidance on the use of electronic payment systems (Venmo, PayPal and MTurk) and gift cards for human subject payments.

All of the information above will shortly be posted to the CMU Coronavirus Researcher Resources site.  Please check this site regularly.  Continue to contact your associate dean for research directly with questions, with CC to

Thank you again for all of your tireless efforts to keep the research mission of the university thriving while continuing to preserve the health and safety of our community.

With best regards,


J. Michael McQuade, PhD.
Vice President for Research