Carnegie Mellon University

July 17, 2020

Updated 7/23/2020: Please note that the below survey link has been disabled as the survey is no longer live.

This message is being sent to all students who are currently listed on an approved return to on-site research plan.

Dear Colleagues,

We are making steady progress on re-starting on-site research activities in Pittsburgh. We’ve approved a little over 100 independent plans that support labs, creative programs and shared facilities using our formal pandemic safety review plan process, and we’re receiving weekly reports back from PIs as their work restarts.

I’m writing today for three reasons:

First, I want to sincerely thank all of you for your hard work for the last few months in keeping our research enterprise going while helping keep our community safe and healthy.

Second, I am asking for your assistance in remaining vigilant about adhering to university and lab-specific pandemic safety requirements. The number of people on campus has increased significantly in recent weeks and will continue to do so through the Fall. Researchers, such as yourselves, on campus have a unique opportunity to help “set the tone” for the rest of the community.

Please consider the impact of your choices and activities on others. Adhering to your plans and the university’s minimum requirements is crucial to protecting the safety and wellness of the campus community. This will ensure that the research and education mission of the university can continue. The activities in which you and members of your research group choose to participate, whether on personal or professional time, have the potential to impact more than just your individual research progress. I strongly encourage you to consider this reality in all of your activities, both on and off campus.

Finally, I am also reaching out to solicit information specifically from student researchers (you!) who have been part of our early-phase approved on-site research plans. Our objective is to understand your role and experience in the planning and execution of our research return so that we may identify ways to increase safety, help slow the spread of COVID-19, and improve the efficiency of our research activities.

Here is the link to the survey. Please submit your survey by 6:00 PM on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

We will use the information you provide to identify overall concerns and areas for improvement. We will not use it to make any specific communications to PIs or plan owners. You will have the option to provide your name and contact information; you should also feel free to provide your responses anonymously.

Please note, we are aware there are a number of issues that are currently front and center for graduate students, not the least of which are the planning for fall classes and the overall return of campus activities. For this survey I ask that you restrict your feedback to your research activities.

I very much appreciate everyone taking the time to provide their input. Thank you again for everything you are doing for the research mission of Carnegie Mellon.



J. Michael McQuade, PhD.
Vice President for Research
Carnegie Mellon University