Suspension of All Non-Essential Research

KU is committed to minimizing the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on research activity. The Office of Research is monitoring COVID-19 developments and providing guidance on best practices related to agency communications, temporary financial policy changes, contingency planning for research, animal care, human subjects, sponsored projects deadlines, and travel. For the more details, visit the Office of Research coronavirus response webpage.

  • As of Monday, March 23, all non-essential research activities that require personnel to be on campus have been suspended.
  • Essential research activities are those that must continue to prevent a significant long-term impact on the course of your research, not activities whose suspension would merely delay the project for the duration of the suspension. Essential activities thus include:
    • Critical, long-term studies that would have to be repeated if interrupted or if time-sensitive data collection were to be impacted.
    • Caring for animals or plants housed in your facilities.
    • Work required to prevent damage to equipment that cannot be shut down temporarily.

Learn more: COVID-19 Research-Related FAQs

Student Research Activities and Time to Degree

In some cases, the research closures taking place to ensure the health and safety of our campus community may substantially limit the progress students are able to make toward their degree requirements this semester. We are actively advising faculty that student performance in coursework and research hours should be evaluated within the context of what is possible to achieve amidst our current public health crisis. Some considerations for units moving forward include: 

  • Do travel or lab restrictions prevent students from completing their thesis/dissertation? 
    • Are there alternate ways to complete study? 
    • Can another activity be added (instead of restricted activity) that meets the intellectual rigor of the degree?
  • At what point will continued restrictions significantly delay your students?
    • What is the extent of the delays?
    • What is the nature of the delays?
    • How will the delays impact student support (GRA/Fellowship/GTA)?

Extension of Maximum Time to Degree

We are relaxing the University-level policies concerning maximum allowable tenure to complete graduate degrees for all who are affected by the COVID-19 developments. If a graduate student is enrolled in a Lawrence- or Edwards-campus program during the spring 2020 semester, they are eligible to opt for a one-year extension of their maximum allowable time to degree. They will be able to elect this extension at any point prior to the end of the final semester for their current program. This COVID-19 extension is available to students even if they have already been granted a one-time extension according to the established University petition processes, but it is not additive to COVID-19 extensions already in place at the students' School or College.  

Departments and Schools may have more stringent time limits and expectations concerning time to degree. Students must also maintain good standing in their program to be eligible for this extension. Graduate coursework can also expire after ten years, requiring students to repeat it. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor and their research supervisor to discuss the specifics of their situation and determine how they are best able to continue making progress during these unprecedented circumstances. Please also note that an extension of the maximum allowable tenure to complete a degree does not imply any extension or availability of funding during the extension period. 

Security Tips for Remote Research

When learning and working remotely, it's important to know how to safeguard your devices and data. This can be especially important with research. The on-campus computing environment is more structured and KU Information Technology has security measures in place to protect you and the information you access. When you’re at home or another off-campus location, more of the responsibility for security and privacy falls on you.

The following information provides the basics to help you learn and work remotely while staying safe. Each section below has a “Learn more…” link to more detailed information on KU's IT Security website.

Internet Connection

Make sure your home network is secure and provides connection speeds necessary to support your work.

  • Important: Make sure your home network is password protected. Change the default password on your router and any other equipment.
  • During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, some internet providers are offering free connections or upgraded service.

Learn more…

Video Conferencing


Zoom recently made a change to its default screen sharing settings for Education accounts to increase security and privacy. This update changed the default sharing setting to “Host Only,” which means hosts must choose to allow others to share content in a meeting. Still, it’s important to be aware and take steps to safeguard your meetings.

  • Follow the steps in this Knowledge Base article to control who can join your meeting and what they can share.
  • Don’t post meeting links on publicly available websites. Post meeting links only in Blackboard or send through email, Blackboard email or in an Outlook invitation.
  • Keep your video conferencing apps up-to-date.
  • Be on the lookout for emails and meeting invitations from unknown senders or look-a-like domains (

Learn more…

Guard Your Privacy and Devices

Always protect your computer and what you’re doing on it.

  • Lock your computer when you step away—every time.
  • Be aware of who is around you, and what they can see and hear. Consider a privacy filter for your monitor to limit the viewable angle.
  • Move to a private location for calls where confidential or sensitive information might be discussed.
  • If sharing a home computer, make sure family members or roommates can’t access confidential information. Consider setting up a separate work profile and log in password on your home computer.
  • Store your laptop and bags out of sight in your vehicle, preferably in the trunk.

Learn more…

Thank you for your efforts to protect yourself and the KU community while teaching, learning and working off campus. We encourage you to explore KU's IT Security website to learn about other ways you can protect yourself both on and off campus.


Donate to the Graduate Student Emergency Fund
COVID-19 Updates and Information

Find additional resources regarding online teaching & learning during the COVID-19 outbreak at REMOTE.KU.EDU.

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