NEWS

Update on COVID-19 and Our Office

Update: June 1, 2020
As the university begins to implement a phased return to campus operations, we encourage everyone to stay informed by frequently checking for updates on the dedicated reopening website. In particular, we draw your attention to the Principles for the Return to On-Campus Research, which make clear that absent “extraordinary circumstances in which undergraduate students’ skills are essential to a program,” undergraduates should not be resuming on-campus research at this time.

Original Post: March 12, 2020
As members of our community are certainly aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant changes to Northeastern University’s programs and operations, including the transition to online instruction on the Boston campus. We would like to let you know how we anticipate these changes might affect the work of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. The response to COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and further adjustments may be necessary. We encourage everyone to stay informed by checking the university’s dedicated COVID-19 website frequently and to use Find@Northeastern 24/7 mental health support resources.

Workshops and Information Sessions
We will transition all of our workshops and information sessions to a virtual format. Students should continue to register for these events as normal, and registrants will be contacted with information about how to access the virtual programs.

Appointments and Advising
Appointments and advising sessions for Faculty Fellows and staff will continue to be available but will be held virtually. Please see our Open Office Hours Page for more information.

Spring 2020 PEAK Experiences Awards
We have contacted current recipients of PEAK Experiences Awards with information about transitioning their PEAK Awards presentations to a virtual format.

Summer 2020 PEAK Experiences Awards
Many proposed research and creative projects will need to be modified in light of current guidance. Please consult with your faculty mentor about the advisability of moving forward with your project and the modifications you may need to make to it. While not an exhaustive list, the following considerations are likely to come into play:

  • Travel. The university has suspended all non-essential domestic and international travel. Because we do not know how long these restrictions will last, the Summer 2020 PEAK Experiences Awards will not fund any travel.
  • Move to remote and online learning. Learners may be away from Northeastern’s campuses and on-campus activity is likely to be limited.
  • Social distancing. The university has canceled non-essential large events. Projects that involve extensive face-to-face interaction with other people will likely require adaptation in light of best practices for social distancing.

We are asking you, in consultation with your mentors, to give serious thought not only to the practical and logistical implications of this situation, but also to the ways in which your projects’ goals and outcomes might need to shift. What can you do that is interesting, significant, and meaningful—even if this differs somewhat from your original idea—while keeping yourself safe and well and protecting the health and well-being of others within our communities?

We are extending several of our deadlines and asking PEAK Experiences Awards applicants to supplement their applications with a narrative describing how they plan to adapt their projects in light of these considerations—including goals, outcomes, methodology, and timeline.

Specifically:

  • Although Trail-Blazer Award applications have already been submitted, review of these applications will be paused while applicants consult with their mentors and produce a supplemental narrative detailing modifications to their proposed projects. This supplemental narrative can be submitted through March 26 via a new section that will appear within the application. You can access your application via “My Applications” within Northeastern’s Internal Fellowships Portal.
  • The deadline for Ascent and Summit Award applications is extended until March 26 so that applicants can consult with their mentors and produce a supplemental narrative detailing modifications to their proposed projects. This supplemental narrative can be submitted via a new section that will appear within the application.
  • The deadline for Base Camp Awards remains May 11. Base Camp proposals will not require a supplemental narrative; rather, the entire application should take the COVID-19 situation into account.
  • The Campfire Chat and Shout-It-Out Awards are on hiatus until further notice.

The well-being of everyone in the Northeastern community is always paramount, and we encourage you all to take care of yourselves and one another as we navigate these challenging times together. Contact us if you encounter questions or challenges moving forward.