MechE Research Ramp-up Webform
This MechE webform is to help our PIs and community collect and provide the data required by MIT’s “Initial Process for On-campus Research Ramp-Up”. This webform enables a coordinated department level data collection, is dynamic, and allows our research community to be efficient. As the covid-19 situation evolves, every PI can adapt her/his specific plans by revisiting this webform and updating her/his own data and answers. Similarly, as you provide new inputs or if the Institute updates its ramp-up guidance, we can update some questions.
Please be sure to first check the detailed MIT guidance and instructions on this On-campus Research Ramp-Up and the corresponding email we sent you. Below, in the webform entries that you have to fill out, we have extracted the key parts of the MIT guidance and instructions. We provide you with MechE floor plans with room sizes and all of the Checklist Forms that you need to fill. You can also find additional MechE guidelines as well as health and safety considerations here.
As shown in Figure 1, the first phase of the research ramp-up (RR) allows PIs to have an on-campus research activity up to 25% of their full research capacity (definition). During the research ramp-up, MIT is maintaining the policy that all work that can be done remotely, must be done remotely. After a period of time and with the successful implementation of the RR Phase 1, PIs will be given the opportunity to increase their on-campus research activity to up to 50% of full capacity (Phase 2).
MIT Definition of Full Research Capacity
MIT has defined your “100% capacity” in terms of aggregate person hours per week per PI group. They have assigned 50 hours per week per approved personnel for this exercise. Dividing aggregate person hours per week by two gives the PI their 50% capacity in hours per week (relevant to RR Phase 2), and dividing it by four gives them their 25% capacity, which is what is used for the present RR Phase 1 planning. These hours per week can then be distributed amongst your returning personnel.
MIT Phased Research Ramp-up Plan
Figure 1: Plan for ramping up on-campus research at MIT. MIT will undertake a phased approach to ramping up research on campus. In the pre-COVID-19 era, a PI’s research effort could be described as that requiring on-campus access and that which could be done remotely (“virtualizable” research). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MIT significantly scaled back on campus activity, limiting campus research to a small number of experiments deemed critical. This resulted in approximately a 90% reduction in the research capacity and population on-campus, affecting different PIs’ labs differently and prioritizing only critical on-campus research activities approved by the VPR and Provost. As of May 18, MIT began to pilot new procedures to ready the campus for a return to research. During this pilot phase the number of individuals approved to access campus did not increase. During RR Phase 1, which will start at a date to be determined and informed by changes in government guidance and requirements for public health, PIs requesting access to campus for themselves and/or members of their groups will be allowed a maximum of 25% of their full capacity (defined later in this document) on campus. During Research Ramp-Up Phase 2, PIs will be allowed to have a maximum of 50% of their full capacity on campus. At the completion of the research ramp-up (Phase 3), PIs will be allowed to bring their research to full capacity on campus. Importantly, in all phases PIs must structure their research activities and research space layouts to comply with MIT policies and guidelines.
Key dates for PI data collection (Phase I) were (see Figure 2):
- May 26, 2020 RR Planning Exercise A (Space): To determine how physical space will be managed and occupied to allow for proper density and spacing of individuals according to CDC guidelines and MIT policies.
- June 1, 2020 RR Planning Exercise B (Personnel): To manage the specific personnel that will utilize the research space and carry out the research ramp-up in a phased fashion.
MIT RR Planning Exercises A and B
Figure 2. Overview of Research Ramp-Up (RR) Planning Exercises A and B. PIs wishing to ramp up on-campus research will undertake two planning exercises that are focused on space (Exercise A) and personnel (Exercise B).
It is important to note that not all personnel will be able to or will choose to return to campus during the research ramp-up. The return to campus is fully voluntary, and personnel cannot feel pressured to return. Returning personnel will have to agree to taking an initial SARS-CoV-2 viral test upon re-entry to campus and undergo subsequent testing and health monitoring of symptoms related to COVID-19 as deemed necessary by MIT Medical.
Detailed Instructions and Examples
- RR Planning Exercise A (Space)
- Detailed Instructions for Planning Exercise A can be found here.
- We prepared PDF floorplans with the square footage of each research space room. You can find them in the Dropbox folder here. If a research space that you plan to ramp-up is not yet there, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can download the Exercise A Checklist here.
- RR Planning Exercise B (Personnel)
- Detailed Instructions for Planning Exercise B can be found here.
- You can download the Exercise B Checklist here.
- You can download the Exercise B Spreadsheet here (Touchstone required) from the VP of Research website. Or alternatively, you can download the Instructions for Exercise B, and the Exercise B Spreadsheet (Excel) from our MechE website locally.
- Please be aware that all personnel returning to campus are required to complete a "Return to Work Acknowledgement." This form is signed electronically through an Institute website.
The Institute reminds us that: (1) No PI will be able to ramp up their research without completing their RR plans and having those plans approved by their DLC. (2) Core facilities will also be asked to submit a core plan. Those plans follow guidelines that are outlined here.