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 and read the comprehensive Research Laboratory Re-Entry Plan.

COVID-19 Information and Research

Research sources
  • 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.
Human subjects research

Review current guidance and recommendations for responding to changes and disruptions to human research as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S)

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.

School-specific guidelines

Review updated guidelines on School-specific pages:

Parking for critical on-campus research staff

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.

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.

Skills
Library resources

In addition to the specific resources listed below, learn more about how Harvard Library can help you teach remotely.

Databases and computing
Science writing, communication, and outreach

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.

Technology resources


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.

Socialize Remotely

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:

FAS Division of Science SEAS | GSAS | HMS and HSDM | Library | Public Health

Frequently Asked Questions