Research operating normally with restrictions
The Federal Council has further relaxed the measures as of 31.5.2021, which allows even more researchers to (partially) return to their workplace in compliance with the precautionary measures of the departments and faculties and the university’s general measures for employees.
These measures, including the corona test strategy, apply to all researchers working in university buildings, regardless of the institution by which they are employed.
Precautionary measures of the departments and faculties
Departments require individual sets of precautionary measures, which assure that the rules on hygiene, social distancing and traceability of contacts can be observed at all times and can be adapted to recent developments. For all researchers at the University of Basel this means:
- There is a general obligation to wear masks, the existing regulations of the departments remain in force. At the present time, no tightening of the distance rules is planned, i.e. there can be exceptions to the 1.5 meter rule , such as for conducting experiments or operating equipment. A lifting of the mask obligation is only possible in rooms with a maximum of one person.
- For all research activities a distance of 1.5 meters must be maintained. Justifiable exceptions to this rule are made for specific experimental setups, the operation of equipment and other scientific reasons. Appropriate documentation must ensure that the department management can trace contacts and possible chains of infection at all times.
- All cases of Covid-19 at the University of Basel must be reported immediately to the Corona Task Force.
- Research activities that can be carried out well in the home office should continue to be carried out there. This will relieve the burden on public transport and simplify the implementation of the hygiene and social distancing rules in the university buildings.
- Meetings and discussions at which physical presence offers an advantage can take place at the University, provided that hygiene and social distancing rules can be observed and the traceability of contacts is ensured. In general, it is still recommended to conduct meetings and discussions by telephone or virtually; For this purpose the university provides the video conferencing systems "Zoom" and "Cisco Webex".
- The precautionary measures of the departments regulate not only the use of the laboratories, but also of offices, meeting and break rooms, as well as the organisation of courses and other events. Therefore, they equally take into account the general guidelines of the security office. For coordination questions, please contact Marco Pagoni, head of “Security and Guidelines”.
- For workplaces and equipment that are used by several people, a suitable hygiene concept must be in place.
- The precautionary measures of the departments are to be approved by the faculties. The departments are responsible for their implementation.
Support for researchers
The measures to contain the COVID 19 pandemic not only severely restrict our daily lives, but also interfere with the work of our researchers. Young scientists are particularly affected. The university management is aware of the problem and will provide flexible solutions for scientists who cannot carry out their research projects within the planned time-frame due to the pandemic. So far, the following regulations apply:
Tenure-track assistant professorships may postpone the evaluation date by six months. If the crisis and the restriction of research activities continue for longer than expected, a postponement of one year will be considered upon request.
According to the OWP (§23), the employment of assistants (doctorate, PostDoc) can be extended beyond the maximum period of employment upon request.
Insofar as experimental semester/project work, Bachelor's thesis, Master's thesis must be interrupted or delayed by these measures, the submission deadline can be postponed accordingly upon request to the faculty.
For SNSF funded projects ending before 31 December 2020, a cost-neutral extension can be requested. If funds are not sufficient to cover the extension period, you can apply for an additional contribution of two months. For projects ending after 31 December 2020, an application for a cost-neutral extension can be applied two to four months before the end of the project.
Further information on the SNSF measures can be found on the SNSF website and in the FAQ on COVID-19. We also recommend subscribing to the SNSF newsletter.
Horizon 2020 projects: The European Commission considers the Corona crisis as "force majeure" according to article 51 of the Grant Agreement. Researchers who are unable to carry out the research project as planned due to the crisis are required to contact the project officer at the European Commission immediately via the Funding and Tenders Portal. The Commission will decide on a case-by-case basis on how to proceed. Please also inform the Grants Office in this case. Further information, such as the reimbursement of costs, can be found here.