Research & Economic Development COVID-19 Information Page

March 12, 2021
Good Afternoon,

The CDC has posted updated information on mask wearing and I want to clarify the University position on wearing masks in the laboratories. This is the current position of the Re-opening Committee. As soon as there is a change in policy, I will let you know. Meanwhile, thank you so much for your diligent adherence to policy. It has made a huge difference!

"At this time, the only differentiated policy for vaccinated individuals is that those who are fully vaccinated and meet a certain set of criteria are not required to quarantine after close contact exposure. All other policies do not have exceptions for vaccinated individuals at this time. I anticipate additional policy changes; however, we must first develop a plan for vaccine status disclosure/verification. We are currently working on these plans and policies, and I will keep the university informed."

Lynne Chronister,
Vice President for Research and Economic Development


  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of South Alabama has initiated the Emergency Response and Recovery Plan.  SPA staff has initiated internal processes to assure continuity of work, including the submission of proposals via Cayuse 424.  Federal sponsors are being monitored for any business process changes, including deadlines, due to an emergency such as COVID-19.

  • The Office of Research and Economic Development is providing a link to the Research Continuity Policy and Guidance During Pandemic Event, and the Laboratory Activity Plan During Pandemic form. The Continuity Policy references a required Research Plan and approval for students to carry out research during the COVID-19 campus closure. Please review both documents and if you have any questions or concerns contact our office.

  • Clinical trials are an important part of the South Alabama service to our Community. During this time that we are dealing with COVID-19, we need to take additional precautions and safety measure in our clinical trials and human subjects research. Please see the Modified Guidance for Clinical Trial Research & COVID-19 for new and continuing trials. For questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the individuals listed at the end of the Guidance documents.

  • The University of South Alabama Health System is in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, including N95 masks and other items.  Any university unit, including departments, laboratories, and studios, is welcome to donate supplies and other needed resources to the USA Health System.  These donations may be reimbursable through the National Institutes of Health or federal stimulus funds.  To identify and track donations, please fill out forms specific to donations prior to April 1 or for donations April 1 and beyond. 

  • As of April 2nd 2020, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia have issued “shelter in place” orders.  It is highly likely that Alabama will follow suit although we have no specific information.  In light of the orders from our surrounding states, we are requiring that any laboratory that MUST remain open request approval by 5:00 PM, April 3rd.  The Non-Clinical Laboratory Closure Guidance outlines some of the processes that must be followed, as appropriate, when closing or partially closing a Laboratory or Studio.
    • Please see the attached Guidance and Forms for directions and review carefully. Because of
      the serious nature of the pandemic only critical Laboratories may remain operational.
    • Please see the definition of “Essential” and “Partially Essential”. Basically “Essential” generally refers to work that is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Partially Essential” refers to facilities or e.g. cell lines that must be maintained but work generally will not be on-going
      maintenance only.
    • The forms may be signed electronically. It is intended that only faculty be deemed Essential personnel. Any waivers must have very complete documentation and will be granted only on exceptional circumstances.
    • Requests must be approved by the Dean or for CoM by Mary Townsley and forwarded to Lynne Chronister at by 5:00 PM on Friday April 3rd.

  • Please find attached a guideline for conducting digital research remotely.

  • Click here to view the Letter re: Summer Salary on Grants and the Summer Activity Plan Fillable Form

  • View recordings of "Open Forum on Research in the Time of COVID-19" sessions


COVID-19 Technology Access Framework

We strongly believe that while intellectual property rights can often serve to incentivize the creation of new products, such rights should not become a barrier to addressing widespread, urgent and essential health-related needs. To address the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are each implementing technology transfer strategies to allow for and incentivize rapid utilization of our available technologies that may be useful for preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 infection during the pandemic.

To achieve our common goal, we each individually commit to the following guidelines:

1. We are committed to implementing COVID-19 patenting and licensing strategies that are consistent with our goal of facilitating rapid global access. For most types of technologies, this includes the use of rapidly executable non-exclusive royalty-free licenses to intellectual property rights that we have the right to license, for the purpose of making and distributing products to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19 infection during the pandemic and for a short period thereafter.  In return for these royalty-free licenses, we are asking the licensees for a commitment to distribute the resulting products as widely as possible and at a low cost that allows broad accessibility during the term of the license.

2. We are committed to making vigorous efforts to achieve alignment among all stakeholders in our intellectual property, including research sponsors, to facilitate broad and rapid access to technologies that have been requested to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. We are committed to making any technology transfer transactions related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic our first priority, and to minimizing any associated administrative burdens.

The initial signatories include:

Stanford University
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stanford | Office of Technology Licensing