This week the VSNU has published a protocol for universities while restarting university activities. Unfortunately, this protocol has come available in Dutch only. In brief the most important items for PhD candidates include:
- Employees work from home if their work permits;
- The current RIVM guidelines remain in force for research activities. This means, among other things, that it is possible for institutions to allow employees to carry out research activities at the physical location(s) of higher education institutions, in the event that this research work cannot be carried out remotely and provided it can be organised within the general instructions of RIVM and the Municipal Health Service (GGD);
- In view of their own responsibility, continuity and organisation, there is scope for institutions to make their own considerations in the application of this protocol in consultation with employee participation;
- The aim is to ensure equal rights and obligations for (foreign) students and employees when starting up education and research;
- There is room for customisation in the protective measures to be taken, including for employees and students from at-risk groups. A good balance must be found here with the need to use these resources for care processes.
Universities, KNAW and NWO institutes currently use the following guidelines to fill in the space available for research:
- For the time being, research activities that can take place at a distance will also take place at a distance;
- Priority is given to the completion of PhD and postdoctoral research projects within university buildings. The importance of research for health care and the contribution to improving the corona situation are also important.