COVID-19 Research Continuity FAQ – SEAS and Science Division (March 14, 2020)

Dear FAS Science and SEAS faculty:

I write to you to follow up on the recent communications from President Salovey regarding Yale’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and to address questions regarding continuity of your research missions.

Working closely with the Provost’s office, we have developed the following FAQ to help you plan for research continuity. We encourage you to work directly with your chairs to arrive at a plan that is specific to your own laboratory, to follow the guidance in this FAQ, and to recognize that the situation remains dynamic and can change quickly.

With the University’s guidance, I am committed to the goal of maintaining research continuity to the extent that it can be done safely and reasonably. Each of our research groups has already been asked to prepare contingency plans; the FAQ, which will be updated as needed, reinforces extant guidelines and addresses specific questions in more detail, including serious consideration of the eventuality that we have to ramp down further the pace of our research.

We encourage all members of our community to opt for remote communication and interaction via internet conferencing tools such as Zoom to the extent possible. Labs should scale back operations to those that are mission critical, and lab personnel are encouraged to work remotely whenever possible.

Within the laboratory, we ask that you comply fully with Yales request to maintain social-distancing practices, meant to reduce close contact within the workplace:

  • Maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others;
  • Moving to virtual meetings;
  • Establishing flexible work schedules to reduce the number of people working near each other on a given day.

These arrangements are effective immediately. You should assume social-distancing practices will be in place until at least April 15. 

I also encourage you to make use of Yales COVID-19 website, which provides up-to-date information and guidance, as well as advice for how to stay healthy and what to do if you fall ill. We will send regular updates to FAS Science and SEAS faculty as our policies and circumstances evolve. I am in close contact with the Provost’s office including incoming Vice Provost for Research Michael Crair, as well as Associate Provosts Lisa D’Angelo and Jim Slattery regarding critical infrastructure support questions. Answers to these questions will be updated on the FAQ to facilitate ease of communication to the broadest extent possible. Please feel encouraged to contact me directly with questions.

I am grateful to all of you for your help and support through this challenging period. Your extraordinary commitment to our mission and your deep care and concern for our community will be our compass point as we navigate these uncertain waters.

All the best,


Jeffrey Brock
Dean, School of Engineering & Applied Science
Dean of Science, FAS
Zhao and Ji Professor of Mathematics
Yale University