Lifting of the emergency ordinance in research
The University of Basel has lifted the emergency ordinance in research and is returning to normal operation with restrictions, enabling all researchers to continue their research projects quickly and effectively. At the same time, the University of Basel is strictly following the protective measures recommended by the BAG and the Canton of Basel-Stadt to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Additional requirements that are imposed by the departments are targeted at pursuing the test, trace, isolate and quarantine strategy. Further outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 are to be prevented or rapidly contained through consistent testing of potentially infected persons, isolation of positively tested persons, full contact tracing and appropriate quarantine measures.
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. For researchers at the University of Basel this means:
- A distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained for all research activities. If this is not possible at all times, hygiene masks must be worn.
- 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 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
The SNSF also offers the possibility of bridging funding in the event that applications cannot be submitted until 1 October due to the crisis. 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.
Measures to support of junior researchers at the University of Basel in the event of delays and interruptions caused by the Corona-related restrictions
Many third-party funding bodies (such as the SNSF) have decided to extend contracts by 2 months for ongoing projects that have been delayed due to Corona-related restrictions and end before 31 December 2020 by means of an additional financial contribution. In order to provide adequate support for our junior researchers in this challenging situation, the President’s Board of the university has decided to apply a similar rule to that of the SNSF, i.e. to allow for a 2-month extension for contracts if necessary. When reviewing the reasons for the delay, not only technical or subject-related aspects will be taken into account, but also social parameters (e.g. childcare due to school closure, care for family members with a particularly high risk for infection, etc.).
Applications for an extension have to be submitted using this form. You can find the information sheet for the submission of an application here.
The university welcomes the commitment of numerous researchers who, within the framework of their own research, contribute to increasing the level of knowledge about COVID-19 and to making scientific findings publicly available. Many funding agencies have created additional short-term funding programmes for COVID-19 research or have adapted the funding guidelines to the current situation:
SNSF - Swiss National Science Foundation
H2020 - European Commission IMI Call 21 Development of therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections (call closed)
Botnar Research Centre for Child Health at University of Basel and ETH Zurich supported by Fondation Botnar (call closed)
AXA Research Fund - Mitigating risk in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic: The AXA Research Fund supports mid-career researchers with up to 10 years of experience after PhD with a maximum amount of EUR 250'000. Further information can be found here (PDF) For questions please refer to: email@example.com
Call for Partnerships: Crowdhelix is looking for researchers and innovators worldwide with a strong track record in areas relevant to the global efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). https://network.crowdhelix.com/covid-19