All non-essential research labs to close Monday, March 23rd

Published March 21, 2020

We are pleased to inform you that UB’s research administration and support infrastructure is 100% operational with employees working remotely from home.

What You Need to Know


However, while staff is equipped and prepared to work remotely, quality service remains a priority.  Due to the current situation, staff may have staggered schedules or other extraordinary circumstances impacting their ability to be fully functional during traditional business hours. We anticipate response times may be delayed and strongly recommend that deadline materials be submitted early.

As you know, our priority is – and always will be – the health and well-being of all members of our UB community. While we have received helpful guidance from SUNY and colleagues at other universities, there remains a level of uncertainty among our faculty regarding essential and non-essential personnel in labs. We would like to clarify this by first noting that all work that can occur remotely, should occur remotely to ensure the continuity of our research mission.

With that in mind, please note the following:

  • Non-essential research and scholarship that requires the in person use of on-campus facilities shall go into hibernation mode
  • Essential research is defined below as research that, if halted or put in hibernation mode, could result in:
    • Endangerment to human subjects or pose unreasonable risk to human subjects (consistent with the Guidance on Human Subjects Research circulated earlier this week:
    • Endangerment to animal subjects or pose unreasonable risk to animal subjects;
    • Loss of experiments or data that will be impossible to replicate; and/or
    • Loss of instrumentation, infrastructure, and/or an unsafe/unsecured laboratory environment or other catastrophic loss.

As of the close of business on Monday, March 23rd, UB’s research labs are closed for activities except for essential research.   Please know that this has been a difficult decision and not one that has been easily or lightly made. The situation will be continually evaluated but is not expected to change in the next six weeks.

In the interim, all UB laboratories MUST employ safety practices below.  See SUNY guidelines at

  • Faculty, students and staff employ social distancing
  • Rearrange schedules to reduce density
  • Minimize the number of people in each lab.
  • Minimize in person meetings by utilizing  video- or tele-conferences
  • Reduce the number of days each researcher must be on campus by conducting remotely activities that do not require presents in a lab, such as data analysis, literature search, writing, or research meetings
  • Be mindful that regular cleaning chemicals may not be applicable for certain labs. Please consult with your campus EHS officer and/or biosafety officer for appropriate cleaning procedures and materials

Colleagues, these are challenging times. We understand these measures are not ideal; however, they are necessary at this time.  Please contact Venu at if you have specific questions or concerns.


Venu Govindaraju
Vice President for Research and Economic Development

A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs