Ideas & Resources for Maintaining Research Productivity During COVID-19

Ideas & Resources

Just because you and your students need to stay socially/virtually distanced doesn’t mean your group needs to stop working on research. 

The Office of Research has compiled a list of best practices for maintaining your research productivity during this unprecedented time. 

We also have a list of links at the bottom that can help keep you motivated and your ideas moving forward.

Click here for PDF version and click here for PPT version. 

  • Click here for the Research Development website. 

    • INCREASE COMMUNICATION: Set up a plan and schedule times to communicate with your research team. Reconnect with research colleagues, both within and outside KSU. Reach out to program officers from foundations and agencies who might be interested in funding your research.
    • PLAY THE LONG GAME: Come up with a detailed 3-5 year research plan, complete with deadlines. Know which conferences and publications you want to target. Identify gaps in your research. Think about your writing habits.
    • MOVE TO VIRTUAL RESEARCH AND DATA COLLECTION WHERE POSSIBLE: This includes rapidly deploying virtual enrollment, consent, and assessments as well as providing tools to subjects for self-monitoring and reporting. Decisions and study amendments must be based on a risk assessment of subjects and approved by the IRB.
    • PIVOTING WITHOUT PILOT DATA: Now is the time to think of using set-aside or existing data to pilot new projects and publications.
    • GETTING TO THE “SOMEDAY” LIST: Revisit manuscripts, meet with library staff about conducting literature reviews, look at options for digital scholarship. Make sure you are up-todate with current literature in your field to figure out potential opportunities.
    • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Now is the time to hone some of your skills, including research methods, data analysis techniques, grant writing, writing for publication, etc. Also, look for conferences that are being offered online.
    • INCREASE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE: Update your PIVOT profile at KSU which will help you connect with research opportunities. Also, update your Research Gate, Google Scholar, and ORCID profiles.
    • KSU CONNECTIONS: Make an appointment with the Office of Research Development to discuss finding funding, developing a research idea, understanding reviewer comments, grant writing 101, and other resources that can improve your research.
  • Click here for the Undergraduate Research website.

    • There are many undergraduate research activities that can be effectively conducted virtually,
      • literature searches
      • writing (e.g., grant proposals, manuscripts for publication, or conference proposals)
      • data entry
      • data analysis
      • training (e.g., how to use statistics software like SPSS, SAS, or R; how to use software for organizing references like Endnote or Refworks; how to conduct effective literature
      • professional development activities (e.g., how to present at conferences, updating
        resumes/vitas, interviewing, writing personal statements)
    • There may be creative ways to conduct your research in ways that minimize contact. For example, can surveys be administered online through Qualtrics instead of face-to-face? Can interviews be conducted virtually through Microsoft Teams? For lab research, can students alternate between working in the lab and doing any of the above tasks to minimize their contact with each other? We want to help you strategize ways to continue your work with students; please feel free to contact us at
    • If you encounter students who are interested in research and unable to find any available opportunities, please direct them to the Undergraduate Research Club (URC). URC will offer virtual team-based research opportunities for any interested students. More information about the research teams can be found here. Encourage students to join the club through OwlLife so they will receive email updates.
  • Click here for the Research Compliance website. 

    • Get your research group up to speed with Cayuse IRB.
      • Request access for all students and staff.
      • Read the Initial Submission walkthrough.
    • Make sure you and all your research group members have their official KSU email as their Institutional Email Address in their CITI accounts (Cayuse links to CITI allowing the IRB to verify training of KSU personnel directly, no more emailing certificates!).
    • Verify that your research group has all the appropriate training for your type of research (Lab Safety, Human Subjects Protections, Biosafety, etc.).
    • Review the ways your group stores and secures research data and educate your group members.
    • Create or update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for your lab and educate group members.
    • Complete or refresh Conflict of Interest training at CITI and be prepared to fill out annual disclosures (coming soon via Cayuse).
    • Have your research group complete Responsible Conduct of Research modules in CITI and then discuss at a virtual group meeting. If you document the session, it can serve as your certification of training for paying students from NSF grants.
  • Click here for the Burruss Institute website. 

    • Schedule a one-on-one consultation for how to add program evaluation to your future grant proposal. 
    • Schedule a one-on-one consultation on best practices for survey research design and data collection methodologies.
  • Click here for the Field Station website.

    • Schedule a one-on-one consultation to learn about the resources available at the Field Station for your research and academic endeavors.
  • Click here for the High Performance Computing website. 

    • Schedule a one-on-one consultation to learn about the capabilities of the HPC and how to incorporate HPC into your research.