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Now that the Government's COVID-19 response has moved to Level 4 status, Massey's campuses and facilities are closed. This means most forms of research have been suspended. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has advised that under Level 4 conditions, they will be providing only essential services.
This is a very unsettling time for our research community. It is very important that students and supervisors keep in touch – perhaps through online platforms, email, or via phone meetings – as we work through the changes presented by the current crisis.
For the research and science sector, the MBIE defines an 'essential service' as:
MBIE has advised that they, and we, must therefore operate within these ‘lockdown’ principles:
Only researchers pursuing 'essential services' (as defined above) continue to have access to Massey's facilities during Level 4 conditions.
Access to and maintenance of all other plants, fungal or other organisms (other than animal) collections has ceased. In exceptional cases - where a collection contains rare or protected plants or organisms essential to the maintenance or diversity of national biota - a minimal maintenance approach may be developed, and approved by the relevant PVC.
Research that can be undertaken from home may continue as conditions permit, provided it complies with the restrictions imposed by the Level 4 conditions.
Online interview-based research may continue, though consideration should be given to the circumstances and challenges that research participants may be facing at this time. Research students should discuss this with their supervisors to confirm it is appropriate to continue with their online research at this time.
For new research, consideration should be given as to whether it needs to be designed to actively recognise the circumstances we are in, and care should be taken when approaching participants. The resulting research will of course need to explain the context in which the data was collected and discuss any participant burden.
Analysis of existing data sets, literature reviews, and work on manuscripts may continue. Developing ideas for research proposals or editing manuscripts or resources to publish or circulate to research partners, contributors and so on are all valid and valuable activities to focus on during the lockdown.
If your research is sponsored or supported by external funding, please keep the agency informed. Massey is working through Universities New Zealand to develop ways to manage existing research obligations. The major funding agencies are aware that research will be delayed and changed outcomes are inevitable.
Staff employed on fixed-term agreements supported by externally-funded research contracts will continue to be paid as normal through the Level 4 lockdown period. Industry-funded contracts will need to be renegotiated on a university-by-university basis.
Page authorised by Corporate Communications Director
Last updated on Thursday 26 March 2020