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Covid-19 Update for Research Infrastructure at Monash University

The Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure) Professor Ian Smith and the Director, Platforms Operations and Strategy, Julie Rothacker have worked with all research platform leaders to develop a contingency plan to ensure the effective management of the platforms during the COVID-19 response.

All research platforms are operating at near capacity and remain open to support the research community. Users may have noticed some changes to operational protocols reflecting for example the mandated 1.5 metre distancing and multiuse equipment etc.

Whilst, in certain platforms, this can be challenging, the research platform leaders are communicating directly to their user base (and CIs) to ensure all users are informed of any changes to access, protocols or training requirements.
In this context, each platform has developed a customised continuity plan for operations during this challenging period

Further measures to help you maintain research continuity during this period include the following:

  • Reinforcing essential hygiene practices (e.g. washing hands on entry and exit of laboratories) and disinfecting of shared equipment before and after use in shared work spaces.
  • Ability to practice social distancing in multi-use spaces by rearranging equipment and spaces where possible or applying limits to number of users accessing at one time.
  • Increasing use of Personal Protective equipment (PPE) in multi-use laboratory environments.
  • Working with the Procurement team to develop a key supplier list for continuity of reagents/supplies and instrument repair/maintenance.
  • Alternative delivery of training (group and one-on-one) and instrument support using technologies such as Zoom, Team viewer and Slack.
  • Bespoke communication with users to inform any immediate operational changes
  • Developing plans to protect and preserve essential research data, samples and compositions in the event a major disruption.
  • Developing continuity plans to ensure differing levels of capacity based on external extenuating circumstances.
  • Developing and implementing strategies to protect cells / cell lines, organoids and other valuable biomaterials and ensuring storage (eg biobanks, tissues etc.) are adequately protected
  • Continuity plans in place for animal welfare and care for our animal colonies.

Please communicate with the platform leaders your short, medium- and long-term research infrastructure needs, so that they are well informed as they prepare their Platform continuity plans to meet researcher needs.

We understand this is a stressful time for our research community and we hope that by working together, sharing ideas we can continue to deliver world-class research outcomes.