Updated: July 10, 2020 at 12:36AM

Research

Research Laboratories, Core Facilities, and Creative Art Studios 

On May 26, the University began to reopen research laboratories, core facilities, libraries, and studios in phases, according to guidance issued on May 18, 2020. Those who wish to receive updates and lessons learned during this process are encouraged to sign up for the Lab/Studio Google group mailing list. Additional information is available at the following websites:

To report an issue or make a suggestion about the reopening of these facilities, a quick response form has been set up. This form can be submitted anonymously if preferred. 

Updates to the Lab/Studio Reopening Playbook

The Research Task Force (RTF) and Academic Reopening Committee have approved two updates to the Lab/Studio Reopening Playbook. The RTF is currently discussing the transition from Phase 2 to Phase 3, and is targeting Monday, July 13 for that change. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Beginning in Phase 3, the decision to allow undergraduates into labs as either special topics/thesis students or as research assistants is left to the faculty/research directors, but the guidance requires significant special considerations that must be taken into account if undergraduates are a part of labs/studios. The full guidance is available on the Notre Dame Research website.

Research-Based Travel

Research-based travel will be significantly limited from now until the end of the fall semester. For faculty and students, exceptions will be allowed based on the following three criteria:
  1. An assessment of the need for the requested travel during the semester instead of at a later time
  2. The immediate importance of the requested travel to the University’s core mission of teaching and research
  3. The potential long-term consequences to the research and the University of not undertaking the requested travel during the semester
The research-based travel guidance is available on the Notre Dame Research website.

Charging Support to Research Grants 

Some faculty have raised questions about the impact that the change in the academic calendar for the fall of 2020 could have on their ability to charge research grants for their work on those grants performed outside the academic term (typically work done in the summer). Effort certification is done on a semiannual basis and the fall 2020 academic term, while shifted in time, has not been lengthened. Faculty will be able to certify up to two months of full-time effort outside the fall academic term on their grants during the period from July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Because of the shift of the academic term, a portion of the grant-funded "summer support" may be paid in December rather than August. 

  •  “Summer research” is the term used to reflect additional compensation beyond that provided for effort during the academic year/term. Requests for “summer research” are entered into the faculty jobs system and cannot exceed 3/9 of the academic year salary for June-August.
  • As part of Notre Dame’s COVID-19 response, the fall academic term has shifted to August 10 (first day of classes) – November 20, 2020 (last day of final exams).
  • As effort reporting for sponsored programs is done on a semiannual basis (July 1-December 31 and January 1-June 30) we do not expect any concerns or need to change our approach to effort certification.
  • “Summer research” pay for June 2020 and July 2020 may be requested and will be processed as is normally the case.
  • August “summer research” pay is normally for the period July 22-August 21.  The shift of the academic term for fall 2020 will allow for up to two weeks, or 1/18 of AY pay as “summer research” pay in August.
  • The earlier end to the fall academic term will allow for up to an additional two weeks or 1/18 of AY “summer research” pay after the end of the fall term (November 20, 2020) for effort before December 15, 2020.
  • December “summer research” payments may be requested in the faculty jobs system through December 15, 2020.
  • In no event can an individual on a 9-month contract receive more than 2/9th of AY pay as additional “summer research” pay during the period July 1, 2020- December 31, 2020.
  • There will be no change in payroll dates for the disbursement of academic year pay. There will be no impact for 9-month faculty who are on a 9 over 12 pay disbursement schedule.  The small number of faculty members who remain on a 9 over 9 disbursement schedule will receive their first AY pay on September 30, 2020. If you are on a 9 over 9 disbursement schedule and are interested in shifting to a 9 over 12 pay schedule, with AY pay beginning July 2020, please reach out to Kate Merkle, kmerkle@nd.edu, as soon as possible, to ensure this transition takes place in a timely manner.
  • All 9-month faculty appointments will follow this schedule and approach for fall 2020, regardless of the level of teaching responsibility or source of funds.
  • Individual questions regarding the allowability and timing of compensation from grants for periods outside the academic term should be directed to Notre Dame Research Administration at researchadmin@nd.edu.