Continuity Planning for VUMC Research Labs and Cores

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, VUMC guidance for all members of our community may change rapidly.  

Effective March 9, 2022: Updated COVID-19 infection prevention guidelines for all VUMC workforce members: https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/sites/default/files/Relaxed%20COVID%20Safety%20Guidelines.pdf  

The most up-to-date information is always available here: https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/clinician-and-employee-guidance

  • Users of core facilities/shared resources should contact the facility manager in advance to plan for any core-specific guidance and restrictions.

    The VUMC Office of Clinical and Research Safety has prepared a Biosafety Guide for Research CoresDownload the PDF

  • Monitor the ACUP COVID-19 Response website for updates and status for animal facilities.

  • Guidelines are available for VU undergraduates who will perform research within the VUMC research enterprise.  Both VU undergraduates and the faculty who mentor them should be aware of the guidance and terms for review, approval and conduct of VU undergraduate activities in VUMC research labs.  

    Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will continue to provide an attractive environment for VU undergraduates to perform research as part of their educational experience.  To ensure safety, regulatory compliance, and an optimal experience for students, faculty, and VUMC staff and patients, both VU undergraduates and the faculty who mentor them should be aware of the following updated guidance and terms.

    ALL students seeking a research experience at VUMC, whether paid, unpaid, for credit, a VUMC, or a VU program must complete the appointment process through the VUMC Medical Center Relations (MCR) office. The requirements include: 

    • A succinct description of the specific research project that includes the location, educational objectives, goals for the experience, faculty mentor, and start and stop dates 
    • Completion of a VUMC pre-appointment background screen (except minors)
    • Clearance from VUMC Occupational Health Clinic 
    • Having and maintaining health insurance for the stated dates of the research experience 
    • Participant-signed VUMC Confidentiality Agreement, Emergency Contact, Release Form, Potential Hazard Summary 
    • Completed Statement of Agreement (participant, mentor, and department chair) 
    • Completed Faculty Responsibility Agreement 
    • Completion of the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module and VUMC Compliance Training (in the VUMC Learning Exchange). Additional training may be required to work in the designated research area.

    The VUMC appointment process above is initiated by designated administrative personnel in the department of the VUMC PI’s primary faculty appointment. To initiate the process, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org.  

    PLEASE NOTE: Research experiences may not begin until all requirements have been met and the VUMC department receives the appointment letter from MCR.

    Additionally: 

    1. Research experiences at VUMC will comply with all VUMC guidelines for COVID infection control and prevention, updated regularly here: www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-vumc-employees-and-patients.  
    2. Undergraduate and summer research students will not be granted access to clinical systems containing identifiable protected health information (i.e., EPIC, the Research Derivative).
    3. Clinical observational experiences are not permitted this summer.
    4. Students must be at least 16 years of age to participate. Additional requirements apply to minors, including completing a Consent Form for VUMC Minors in the Laboratory, Direct Supervisor Form and Lab Personnel List, lab compliance with Protection of Minors training, and program registration with the VUMC Office of Risk and Insurance Management.

    The VUMC Office of Research and VUMC Medical Center Relations are working closely to advance the safe conduct of research during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org

  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) welcomes the return of summer students to research experiences at VUMC. Research experiences are faculty-directed with defined educational objectives that will inform the participant about biomedical research and potential careers in the field. To ensure safety, regulatory compliance, and an optimal experience, summer students and the faculty who mentor them should be aware of the following updated guidance and terms. 

    ALL students seeking a research experience at VUMC, whether paid, unpaid, for credit, a VUMC, or a VU program must complete the appointment process through the VUMC Medical Center Relations (MCR) office. The requirements include: 

    • A succinct description of the specific research project that includes the location, educational objectives, goals for the experience, faculty mentor, and start and stop dates 
    • Completion of a VUMC pre-appointment background screen (except minors)
    • Clearance from VUMC Occupational Health Clinic 
    • Having and maintaining health insurance for the stated dates of the research experience 
    • Participant-signed VUMC Confidentiality Agreement, Emergency Contact, Release Form, Potential Hazard Summary 
    • Completed Statement of Agreement (participant, mentor, and department chair) 
    • Completed Faculty Responsibility Agreement 
    • Completion of the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module and VUMC Compliance Training (in the VUMC Learning Exchange). Additional training may be required to work in the designated research area.

    The VUMC appointment process above is initiated by designated administrative personnel in the department of the VUMC PI’s primary faculty appointment. To initiate the process, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org.  

    PLEASE NOTE: Research experiences may not begin until all requirements have been met and the VUMC department receives the appointment letter from MCR.

    Additionally: 

    1. Summer research experiences at VUMC will comply with all VUMC guidelines for COVID infection control and prevention, updated regularly here: www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-vumc-employees-and-patients.  
    2. Summer research students will not be granted access to clinical systems containing identifiable protected health information (i.e., EPIC, the Research Derivative) and clinical observational experiences are not permitted this summer.
    3. Students must be at least 16 years of age to participate. Additional requirements apply to minors, including completing a Consent Form for VUMC Minors in the Laboratory, Direct Supervisor Form and Lab Personnel List, lab compliance with Protection of Minors training, and program registration with the VUMC Office of Risk and Insurance Management.

    The VUMC Office of Research and VUMC Medical Center Relations are working closely to advance the safe conduct of research during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org

  • The VUMC Office of Clinical and Research Safety has issued specific guidance for researchers planning to work with COVID-19 clinical specimens or SARS-CoV-2 associated materials. Importantly, researchers must work with VEHS Biosafety on a risk assessment before finalizing research plans or submitting a grant proposal. 

    Visit the Biosafety website to learn more and submit an intake form for research with COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 materials, and to review the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 material biosafety action grid to determine actions that will likely apply to your research plans. 

    Contact Bettye Ridley bettye.ridley@vumc.org for assistance or more information. 

  • At this time, delivery companies, vendors and instrument service engineers are allowed on site for essential, non-sales related, purposes. Visitors should check for updated guidance on visitor policies on the VUMC COVID-19 information site: https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-patients-and-visitors 

  • VUMC-employed postdocs should take their guidance regarding on-campus or remote work from their VUMC employer. Any questions about a trainee’s responsibilities, especially of those involving research operations, should be directly addressed by the faculty PI/mentor in concert with the departmental chair.

  • VICTR has provided a set of FAQs containing information about COVID-19 as it relates to the conduct of clinical investigation, operations, and sponsored projects.  Learn more here.

    Updated guidance from the Human Research Protection Program is found here: www.vumc.org/irb/covid-19-updates-research