(updated) An update on Research & Enterprise


This update provides guidance for colleagues involved directly or indirectly in any aspect of our research or enterprise.

Our Research facilities (labs, workshops etc) should be scaled back to the minimum sustainable level or shut down completely where that is feasible.  You will also need to give some consideration regarding equipment that will go into an idle state or can be shut-down. A focus should be to ensure that when is it is safe to do so, the research activity and infrastructure starts up smoothly. You should not initiate any new research activity that cannot be conducted remotely or online. Please discuss with your local research teams and any technical support staff.

  • PhD students have been asked to work closely with their supervisors to identify any essential research activity, and to work with supervisors to curtail this safely. They should continue to focus on their studies, albeit by more remote or social distanced means. Please could staff continue to supervise their students, but also be mindful of their PGRs wellbeing. Perhaps a greater frequency of contact? Let RETI know of any student who decides to travel to be closer their family.
  • For research projects that involves travel – be reminded that we have stopped all travel outside the UK and non-essential domestic travel, including pre-booked travel. Staff should discuss cancellation of trips with their line manager. Please refer to the insurance FAQs regarding possible claims for cancellation.
  • For research project that involves face to face contact with human participants (e.g. interviews, focus groups), the project should be adjusted where possible to remove in-person contact (e.g. use of Teams/Skype or phone interviews; online surveys rather than questionnaires handed out in person) or postponed.
  • No changes are necessary for projects involving human participants where there is no in-person contact (e.g. online surveys).
  • GRE continue to operate as normal, but have significantly curtailed face-to-face engagement. Phones will be diverted to remote workers, though email/Teams is the first choice for contact, hubs may close for extended times. We will respond to all (urgent) enquires/requests.
  • GRE are taking this opportunity to work more closely with ILS to review web presence, so perhaps academics could take 10 mins to review their individual profiles. Guidance on content will be available early next week.
  • PhD vivas are still going ahead, but greater use of videoconferencing will undoubtedly occur. RETI staff will be in touch with the examination parties in the coming days to give guidance.
  • Other research supporting structures (e.g. Research and Enterprise Committee, FRDCs) are also proceeding as planned, but again, with significantly greater use of video-conferencing.
  • Research England are mindful that this may affect REF2021, but no significant changes are currently being discussed. The impact on KEF is also anticipated to be minimal, but we will need to work on narratives.
  • The UoA working groups have a number of actions (e.g. appraisals early in the season) that really do need to happen, so will require some additional thought if colleagues are self-isolating or unwell. UoA meetings will go ahead as planned, through Teams.