As the world is faced with a pandemic, our researchers have made extraordinary efforts to continue their investigations away from the bench and have made sacrifices that affect both their own scholarship and the scientific enterprise at large. We fully acknowledge the potentially serious impact of putting research in the labs on hold and are proud that our community is doing everything in our power to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This page points to resources and guidelines for conducting such research from home as is permissible. Approaches and timelines may vary across the Schools and Units. The situation is changing rapidly. HR and Financial Administration are reviewing and adjusting workforce policies accordingly to address the emerging issues and concerns of faculty and staff.
Planning for Reopening Research Facilities
Guided by the principle that health and safety come first, the Provost’s Office is leading efforts for a phased reopen of research facilities that reflect our core academic mission. These efforts include a number of initiatives that are considering various aspects of return planning. Learn more on the Planning for Reopening Research Facilities page, read the comprehensive Research Laboratory Re-Entry Plan, and review the Checklist for a Safe Return to Labs.
COVID-19 Information and Research
- Countway Library list: Links to key information sources about COVID-19 research.
- Office of Sponsored Programs list: COVID-19 announcements from NIH, NSF, Department of Energy, and other external websites addressing grants and the potential impact of the pandemic.
- Open-access research: Harvard Library’s Office for Scholarly Communication is fast-tracking the deposit of COVID-19 research. Search DASH for open-access research on COVID-19 published by members of the Harvard community, or deposit new research into the repository.
Review current guidance and recommendations for responding to changes and disruptions to human research as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:
EH&S has prepared COVID-19 Buildings and Facilities Guidance, including cleaning, response, protocols, and FAQs.
Emergency Access for Designated Essential Research Staff
Unless you are designated as "essential personnel" and have a written letter/document to that effect from EH&S, you cannot travel to work. Designated essential personnel will visit campus to maintain critical research materials.
Review updated guidelines on School-specific pages:
Researcher staff who must be on campus and who typically commute via transit but are now hesitant to do so because of coronavirus can park in "no charge" or reduced rate garages at select Harvard facilities on the Cambridge, Allston, and Longwood campuses.
- For Cambridge and Allston campuses, see Transportation Services to learn where you can park for free with your Harvard ID.
- For Longwood, see HMS’ coronavirus page to learn where you can park for reduced daily rates.
Remember to carry your essential personnel designation letter with you when commuting to and from campus.
Remote Research Resources
We understand the challenges of adjusting to research at a distance, both in terms of shifting focus and maintaining social connections. Review HR's Remote Work Resources to understand the guiding principles that can help you and your team implement effective flexwork.
- Academic Webinar Library: Browse the Harvard Extension School archives.
- LinkedIn Learning skills courses such as Learning R, Python for data science, Learning data analytics, Data mining, Excel statistics, and many others.
- LearnResearch: Harvard Catalyst's catalog of 1000+ videos and courses on topics such as clinical and translational research.
- Online courses from Harvard Catalyst, including Fundamentals of Clinical and Translational Research (FaCToR), Funding Your Research, Implementation Research and more.
- HCSPH Bioinformatics Core workshops: Online training in bioinformatics and next-generation sequencing data analysis.
- BioRender: Illustrate your science
In addition to the specific resources listed below, learn more about how Harvard Library can help you teach remotely.
- Library research help: Visit the main library website or use the Ask Countway form for medical library research resources.
- ‘Ask a Librarian’ service: Researchers are welcome to chat with a librarian during chat operating hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or submit a question via email, in which case they should receive a response within 24 hours. Librarians are also available by appointment for research consultations or guidance for using library resources.
- Research guide for Extension School students: A resource designed specifically for off-campus researchers that includes tutorials on improving efficiency and accuracy when searching for sources.
- Research guides for specific disciplines, including law, history, statistics & data, architecture, business & economics, and government & public policy.
- Digital library collections: Access over six million digital objects ranging from ancient art to modern manuscripts and audio/visual material.
- Lean Library: A web browser extension that detects and provides access to digital content available through Harvard Library's subscriptions.
- Harvard Dataverse and databases by discipline: Links to major databases, from agriculture to zoology
- Research Data Management Program: Services and resources that span the research data lifecycle.
- Research Computing at FAS: Services and training for high-performance and scientific computing, bioinformatic analysis, visualization, and data storage.
- Research Computing at HMS: Services and training (all levels) on software and hardware resources.
We understand the challenges of adjusting to online instruction, imperfect remote teaching environments, and maintaining meaningful engagement. Visit our Teach Remotely page to learn about best practices, available tools, and how to get support for teaching your classes online.
- Writing help: GSAS Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas (for graduate students only), Zotero, and EndNote for citation management.
- LearnResearch: A catalog of 1000+ videos and courses, including on communicating scientific research effectively.
- LabXchange: Find out how you can contribute to this free, social, online learning platform, which offers virtual lab simulations and interactive animations for high school- and college-level students. Contribute content, suggest a new topic, provide feedback, or become a mentor. Email the LabXchange team for a demo.
- Review HUIT's IT for working remotely website and frequently asked questions.
- Make sure you have VPN set up so you can access journals through Harvard libraries, and files and email through your department.
- Know how to increase privacy for Zoom meetings.
- Set aside time to get comfortable collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams and Slack. These are lightweight platforms that can help you stay connected with your team.
- If you don’t have a Harvard-provided laptop, you’ll need to take extra steps to ensure your personal device is secure. Familiarize yourself with Harvard’s data security policies and procedures.
- If you have any questions, contact the Harvard University IT (HUIT) help desk or your School's local IT team.
HR and Financial Matters
Visit the Work Remotely page to review updated information on enhanced employment policies, benefits, pay continuity, advice for working remotely, and more.
Health and Wellbeing
We recognize the transition to remote research has been very stressful for those working in labs where bench research plays a central role in discovery and career progression. If you are experiencing anxiety and on-going stress, please know that you do not have to manage this alone. Visit the Health and Wellbeing page for resources on managing stress, anxiety, and fear; preventative measures; and more.
Although we are all practicing universal social distancing, we can still laugh, play, learn, and grow closer outside of class and work. Explore the many free virtual events and resources on our Socialize Remotely page—including arts and culture, exercise and games, movies and music, and mindfulness and spirituality.
School- and Department-Specific Resources and FAQs
Please check with your department or institute about Microsoft Teams or other managed platforms where your colleagues might share expertise or post notices about Zoom-based gatherings. In addition to the University-wide resources above and frequently asked questions below, each school maintains and updates a list of FAQs, and we encourage you to check them first. See these Harvard Schools, institutes, and departments for program-specific FAQs and details: