This has been an incredible semester, one unlike any other in my 24 years at Clemson. I am increasingly proud of how you have navigated the challenges brought on by COVID-19, and I want you to know we are working to provide support.
First, I want to share my gratitude. Despite COVID-19, institutional research expenditures remain strong and proposal activity has been exceptional. You submitted $734 million in research proposals in fiscal year 2020, a banner year for Clemson. That is outstanding and a testament to your unwavering desire to feed knowledge to the world. Thank you. Please keep up your great work.
That said, I know from my own research activities that operational disruptions due to COVID are painful. That pain may not be felt equally across campus, however. While some of you may be continuing to work in your labs and offices, we know researchers from some disciplines still can’t access off-campus sites to continue their projects. Schools, hospitals and other community sites, for example, may limit access and in-person interaction still. I know some faculty and students have missed important travel opportunities and events. Some have been unable to advance the work necessary for tenure or graduation.
We are not alone in this. I have been meeting regularly with my peers through the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and the Council of Government Relations (COGR), as well as the funding agencies. We are continuously providing information and presenting a strong case for federal support for university research that would help us ease the effects of COVID-19.
In the meantime, we plan to support your research through our R-Initiative funding programs. While trying to cushion the financial sting to our own operations, the Division of Research anticipates releasing calls for proposals for numerous R-Initiative funding programs. You can view the list of current and upcoming R-Initiative solicitations, submission deadlines, and other details here. We are trying to use limited resources strategically, while reducing some of the burden on you. For example, we have lifted the cost-share requirements from some competitions for this year in hopes this will provide you more opportunities to submit a proposal. However, because our resources are limited, proposals that are able to offer cost-share may receive preference.
Finally, with the University reverting to online-only instruction from the Thanksgiving holiday through the end of the Fall semester, I want to clarify facility access for conducting research during this time.
Faculty, students and staff will continue to have access to facilities during the period of online instruction. Core research facilities (Godley-Snell Research Center, Clemson Light Imaging Facility, Aquatic Animal Research Laboratory, and Electron Microscopy Facility) will continue to provide pre-approved access. Users should continue to follow the guidelines for these facilities posted to the COVID-19 Research Resources webpage.
During holiday breaks, buildings will be locked, as they have been in the past. In addition, buildings will also remain locked during times of reduced staffing. General building access for faculty, students and staff will be unavailable these dates:
- November 26-29
- December 14-January 3
You will need card access to enter buildings on these dates. If you have any issues with access on these dates, please contact your Department Chair and Building Security Coordinator to request access. You can search for your Building Security Coordinator here.
Thank you for your patience and productivity throughout this semester and next.