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Academic Regulations

First, we want to alert you to academic regulations that have been enacted for graduate students for the spring 2020 semester, including a Pass/No Credit grading option. These regulations supersede the usual rule that courses must be taken for a grade to count toward a graduate degree and reflect consideration for the special circumstances pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the UD spring semester. They are modeled on the policy developed for undergraduate students, though they are different in significant ways. You will find a more detailed explanation of the emergency policies we are putting into place for this semester, effective immediately, at this link.

CARES Act Funding

Under the Coronoavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, UD received funding for students financially impacted by the COVID-19 situation. These funds were designed to provide direct financial support to students for expenses related to COVID-19 and the disruption of on-campus services. Grant funding is being applied to students’ accounts, and students must request the CARES Emergency Grant online. If students do not request the CARES Emergency Grant refund by June 1, the CARES Emergency Grant will be removed from the student account. Learn more here.

Communication

Please check your email regularly for continued updates as more information becomes available. The latest information will always be available at the University’s Coronavirus web site.

Financial hardship

Although the University is committed to continuity of pay for graduate students on contract, we recognize that other factors related to COVID-19 may have an impact on finances. Emergency loans (up to $1000) are available from the Graduate College for students on contract; please contact Mary Martin to apply. The Financial Aid Office also has an emergency loan program (up to $500); the contact for these loans is Joseph Bradley.

Graduate Employment

The President and Provost ask that faculty continue to support graduate students in their current roles, even if they are unable to continue their work in person, with compensation at current levels. Due to the range of different work they do, research assistants (RAs), teaching assistants (TAs), and graduate assistants (GAs) may each be affected differently. Individuals should ask their supervisor about how to continue carrying out their work responsibilities. In many cases, their work assignments will change so that they can be productive without coming to campus. For example, TAs may be asked to support online courses, and most graduate student researchers will have to do work that does not require access to a laboratory.

Health Insurance

Many graduate students have purchased health insurance from Aetna through UD. Aetna has made special accommodations for students who need testing, treatment, or counseling services related to COVID-19. Please visit their site and read this document for the most current information. The link to Aetna’s COVID-19 webpage is posted on our website for the UD SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan), www.universityhealthplans.com/ud.

Some specific benefits that have been liberalized as of 5/26 include:

  • Extend cost sharing waiver for IP Treatment related to COVID-19 through 9/30/20
  • Waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications through 9/30/20
  • Continue to encourage 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions offering to Aetna-insured commercial and Medicare members through 9/30/20
  • Members can submit for reimbursement for purchased at-home COVID-19 testing kits.
  • Extend cost sharing waiver for in-network Telemedicine for outpatient behavioral and mental health counseling services through 9/30/20

Housing

All UD-owned and/or -operated student housing facilities will be closed through the end of the semester. While few graduate students live in UD housing, all students living in on-campus housing must complete this form immediately. If you cannot return home because of international travel restrictions or serious personal reasons, we will work with you to make special on-campus housing arrangements; you must complete the form.

If you develop symptoms

Anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should self-quarantine and call their healthcare provider.

Students on campus who feel sick are asked to call Student Health Services at 302-831-2226 to discuss their symptoms before visiting in person so that they can be routed most efficiently to appropriate care.

The Delaware Division of Public Health interviews each individual who tests positive for COVID-19 to determine those people with whom they have had close contact. If you are considered to be at risk because you were in close contact with one of those individuals who tested positive, the Division of Public Health will contact you. You can also reach out to them proactively if you know that you have had contact with one of those individuals.

Instruction

Graduate students enrolled in coursework should follow the guidance being given to all UD students, and expect that classes will be delivered online starting March 30. Your instructors will provide further guidance about specific plans for their courses.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Everyone should make an effort to maintain social ties and reduce the impact of isolation. Students who feel overwhelmed during this period may contact the Center for Counseling & Student Development at (302) 831-2141 or (302) 831-1001 for after-hours emergencies.

Research

As announced on June 23, the University of Delaware will be transitioning into Phase 2 of its reopening procedure for research activities. In Phase 2, 33% of the research workforce will be able to resume on-site research activity. Principal investigators who believe they or their graduate students and postdocs qualify for Phase 2 may now submit their Request to Return to Campus forms. Forms will be reviewed for approval by the PI’s department chair and dean, the provost and myself. Please visit this webpage to access the online form, as well as links to the ramp-up checklist and the safety training required of each member of your team.

Additional guidance and protocols can be found on this webpage including access to view Virtual Town Halls recorded on March 16 and 17.

More information about UD’s Research Reactivation can be found on this webpage including the forms to resume research activities and specific information about each phase.

Theses and Dissertations

Please plan to have committee meetings and dissertation defenses remotely. You do not need to be on campus to submit a thesis or dissertation. Electronic signatures will be accepted on the signature pages and defense form. The signed signature pages will be accepted as attachments and the Graduate College will print to bond paper. There is some flexibility in deadlines for submission in time for Spring 2020 graduation. Please contact Mary Martin for additional details.

Travel

All University-sponsored or affiliated travel, including domestic travel, is temporarily suspended until further notice. The University is also discouraging personal travel to reduce risks for exposure in other locations that may present higher risk. Please review the Travel FAQ for the latest information on other restrictions. Members of our community are reminded to register all travel plans with the University’s Office of Risk Management on this form. Graduate students who received funding through a Graduate College Travel Award for meetings that have been cancelled, or who need to change plans, should contact Carol Steinbrecher. It is our intention that students not have to bear the cost of any changes

For your reference, previous communications to the Graduate Education Community have been archived as they originally appeared below.

March 31, 2020

Dear members of UD’s graduate education community,

We know that this is a difficult and uncertain time for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, but we are committed to providing you with guidance and resources as we progress through the semester.

Academic Regulations

First, we want to alert you to academic regulations that have been enacted for graduate students for the spring 2020 semester, including a Pass/No Credit grading option. These regulations supersede the usual rule that courses must be taken for a grade to count toward a graduate degree and reflect consideration for the special circumstances pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the UD spring semester. They are modeled on the policy developed for undergraduate students, though they are different in significant ways. You will find a more detailed explanation of the emergency policies we are putting into place for this semester, effective immediately, at this link.

Virtual Town Hall

Second, we invite graduate students and postdocs to join us for a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, April 2 from 1-2 p.m. We know that the pandemic is a source of stress and uncertainty for you, so we want to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on your academic progress, research, and daily experiences.

Please register in advance for the Virtual Town Hall
at this link

To submit a question for the town hall, please email Cindy King no later than 11 a.m. on April 2. The chat feature will also be activated during the call.

If you cannot attend, a recording will be available after the event. We plan to hold additional town hall meetings later in April.

Upcoming Events

Finally, we will continue to offer virtual opportunities for your personal and professional development. Please consider registering for the following online events:

As always, we are fully committed to providing the high-caliber graduate education that you expect from the University of Delaware.

For the latest guidance and resources for graduate students related to COVID-19, visit grad.udel.edu/about/covid-19-update-for-grad-students/. Also visit www.udel.edu/coronavirus for the most recent information on the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you,

Doug Doren
Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Education & Dean of the Graduate College

Mary Martin
Associate Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education & Associate Dean of the Graduate College

March 26, 2020

Dear UD Graduate Education Community,

As UD prepares to resume its spring semester, we find our community in the midst of a public health threat unlike anything we have experienced. The University remains committed to your health and safety, so we are reaching out to our graduate students and postdoctoral trainees to share important information regarding academic policies and ways to protect your health and wellbeing during this time.

The information below gives you an overview of what to expect and where you can find additional resources. University faculty and research advisers are available to help, as they will also be important sources of information and guidance for you. We are all seeking to maintain continuity in our courses and research, even while University buildings are only open to essential personnel and not accessible for routine activities.

In addition to reading the information below, please check your email regularly for continued updates. Also visit www.udel.edu/coronavirus to find more information on the University’s response initiatives as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The site is continually updated as new information becomes available.

Thank you,

Doug Doren
Interim Vice Provost for Graduate & Professional Education and Dean of the Graduate College

 

Resources for Graduate Students

Academics

Academic Policies

We are actively working on addressing flexibility for graduate study academic policies. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Courses

Graduate students enrolled in coursework should follow the guidance being given to all UD students, and expect that classes will be delivered online starting March 30. Your instructors will provide further guidance about specific plans for their courses.

Research

All on-campus research has been restricted to essential activities. Building access will be provided only for the most critical needs (e.g., maintaining animals, critical cell cultures, unique reagents, essential equipment and materials). Graduate student researchers should work with their advisers or PI to plan efforts that will allow them to engage in research remotely. Find additional guidance and protocols—including access to Virtual Town Halls recorded on March 16 and 24—on this webpage.

Teaching

Students employed as teaching assistants should work with faculty in charge of their courses to plan how they will support online teaching. Both the Faculty Commons and the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning (CTAL) have excellent resources to support effective distance learning on their course continuity websites. CTAL will partner with Faculty Commons colleagues to offer bi-weekly conversations designed to help instructors and graduate assistants succeed in a digital learning environment. Specific details are forthcoming and will be published on the CTAL website. While specific assignments may change with the shift to online classes, expectations for TA workloads are the same, being limited to 20 hours per week, on average.

Theses and Dissertations

Please plan to have committee meetings and dissertation defenses remotely. You do not need to be on campus to submit a thesis or dissertation. Electronic signatures will be accepted on the signature pages and defense forms. The signed signature pages will be accepted as attachments, and the Graduate College will print to bond paper. There is some flexibility in deadlines for submission in time for Spring 2020 graduation. Please contact Mary Martin for additional details.

Finances

Graduate stipends

The President and Provost have asked that faculty continue to support graduate students in their current roles, even if they are unable to continue their work in person, with compensation at current levels. Due to the range of different work they do, research assistants (RAs), teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate assistants (GAs) may each be affected differently. Individuals should ask their supervisor about how to continue carrying out their work responsibilities. In many cases, their work assignments will change so that they can be productive without coming to campus. For example, TAs may be asked to support online courses, and most graduate student researchers will have to do work that does not require access to a laboratory.

Financial Hardship

Although the University is committed to continuity of pay for graduate students on contract, we recognize that other factors related to COVID-19 may have an impact on finances. Emergency loans (up to $1,000) are available from the Graduate College for students on contract. Please contact Mary Martin to apply. The Student Financial Services Office also has an emergency loan program (up to $500). The contact for these loans is Joseph Bradley.

The University of Delaware’s Student Crisis Fund also supports eligible students who face a serious financial hardship due to an unanticipated crisis. Situations are considered on a case-by-case basis, and the fund may be able to help with such issues as food or home insecurity, out-of-pocket medical costs or other emergencies. Learn more or apply by visiting https://sites.udel.edu/deanofstudents/support/#crisisfund.

Health and Wellbeing

Discrimination

Discriminatory actions do not align with our community values. To officially report an incident of discrimination, please visit https://sites.udel.edu/oei/ to file a complaint with the Office of Equity and Inclusion. If this is a criminal matter, contact UD Police at 302-831-2222 (non-emergency number).

Domestic Violence

Students can contact the Center for Counseling & Student Development at 302- 831-2141 or 302-831-1001 for after-hours emergencies, or contact Student Health Service at 302-831-2226 or University Police at 911 or 302-831-2222 (non-emergency number). Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program within Human Resources at 302-831-2171.

Groceries and Food Insecurity

Many local grocery stores offer delivery services.

For those who need assistance with food, there are local nonprofits that offer additional resources.

Health Insurance

Many graduate students have purchased health insurance from Aetna through UD. Aetna has made special accommodations for students who need testing, treatment or counseling services related to COVID-19. Please visit their site for the most current information.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Everyone should make an effort to maintain social ties and reduce the impact of isolation. Students who feel overwhelmed during this period may contact the Center for Counseling & Student Development at 302-831-2141 or 302- 831-1001 for after-hours emergencies.

Note: Due to the rapidly evolving situation, the Center for Counseling & Student Development (CCSD) will not conduct face-to-face meetings. Please call CCSD 302-831-2141 (or the UD Helpline 24 hours a day, 302-831-1001) if you are in need of emergency assistance or consultation. For updates, please visit their website at https://sites.udel.edu/counseling/. An additional resource available to all is the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8355.

Technology

UD IT offers information for working from home, learning from home and teaching from home. These resources provide step-by-step instructions and tips for connecting remotely.

Here are free Internet Essentials resources for remote learning.

Charter Spectrum Broadband is also offering free service.

Also, please know that many broadband and wifi providers are offering free and/or reduced access to students who are impacted by the coronavirus situation. See this article from Forbes for additional information.

For graduate students who need access to laptops, please email grad@udel.edu.

Travel

All University-sponsored or affiliated travel, including domestic travel, is temporarily suspended until further notice. The University is also discouraging personal travel to reduce risks for exposure in other locations that may present higher risk. Please review the Travel FAQ for the latest information on other restrictions. Members of our community are reminded to register all travel plans with the University’s Office of Risk Management on this form. Graduate students who received funding through a Graduate College Travel Award for meetings that have been canceled, or who need to change plans, should contact Carol Steinbrecher. It is our intention that students not have to bear the cost of any changes.

March 17, 2020

Updated guidance for graduate students and postdocs

As communicated over the previous few days, and in alignment with the announcement shared by President Assanis on March 15, we want to provide further guidance to our graduate students and postdoctoral trainees during this unexpected time of challenge with the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation upon us. We understand the current climate of uncertainty is disruptive to everyone, and it is important for members of our graduate education community to know we are here for them, valuing their contributions as key members of our community whose health, safety and well-being remain a top priority for the University. The information below is intended to provide a concise source of guidance on key aspects of the graduate experience as we navigate next steps forward together. All members of the community should continue to consult the University’s Coronavirus website to stay updated on this rapidly evolving situation.

Instruction

Graduate students enrolled in coursework should follow the guidance being given to all UD students, and expect that classes will be delivered online starting March 30. Your instructors will provide further guidance about specific plans for their courses.

Research

Effective 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, all on-campus research will be restricted to essential activities. Access will be provided only for the most critical needs (e.g. maintaining animals, critical cell cultures, unique reagents, essential equipment and materials). Researchers should anticipate very limited access for two weeks and potentially longer. Graduate student researchers should consult with their advisor or PI to find out how they can help to ramp down laboratory activity, and how they can continue to engage in research remotely.

Additional guidance and protocols can be found on this webpage including access to view Virtual Town Halls recorded on March 16 and 17.

Graduate employment

The President and Provost ask that faculty continue to support graduate students in their current roles, even if they are unable to continue their work in person, with compensation at current levels. Due to the range of different work they do, research assistants (RAs), teaching assistants (TAs), and graduate assistants (GAs) may each be affected differently. Individuals should ask their supervisor about how to continue carrying out their work responsibilities. In many cases, their work assignments will change so that they can be productive without coming to campus. For example, TAs may be asked to support online courses, and most graduate student researchers will have to do work that does not require access to a laboratory.

Theses and Dissertations

Please plan to have committee meetings and dissertation defenses remotely. You do not need to be on campus to submit a thesis or dissertation. Electronic signatures will be accepted on the signature pages and defense form. The signed signature pages will be accepted as attachments and the Graduate College will print to bond paper. There is some flexibility in deadlines for submission in time for Spring 2020 graduation. Please contact Mary Martin for additional details.

Travel

All University-sponsored or affiliated travel, including domestic travel, is temporarily suspended until further notice. The University is also discouraging personal travel to reduce risks for exposure in other locations that may present higher risk. Please review the Travel FAQ for the latest information on other restrictions. Members of our community are reminded to register all travel plans with the University’s Office of Risk Management on this form. Graduate students who received funding through a Graduate College Travel Award for meetings that have been cancelled, or who need to change plans, should contact Carol Steinbrecher. It is our intention that students not have to bear the cost of any changes.

Health Insurance

Many graduate students have purchased health insurance from Aetna through UD. Aetna has made special accommodations for students who need testing, treatment, or counseling services related to COVID-19. Please visit their site for the most current information.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Everyone should make an effort to maintain social ties and reduce the impact of isolation. Students who feel overwhelmed during this period may contact the Center for Counseling & Student Development at (302) 831-2141 or (302) 831-1001 for after-hours emergencies.

Financial hardship

Although the University is committed to continuity of pay for graduate students on contract, we recognize that other factors related to COVID-19 may have an impact on finances. Emergency loans (up to $1000) are available from the Graduate College for students on contract; please contact Mary Martin to apply. The Financial Aid Office also has an emergency loan program (up to $500); the contact for these loans is Joseph Bradley.

Housing

All UD-owned and/or -operated student housing facilities will be closed through the end of the semester. While few graduate students live in UD housing, all students living in on-campus housing must complete this form immediately. If you cannot return home because of international travel restrictions or serious personal reasons, we will work with you to make special on-campus housing arrangements; you must complete the form.

If you develop symptoms

Anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should self-quarantine and call their healthcare provider.

Students on campus who feel sick are asked to call Student Health Services at 302-831-2226 to discuss their symptoms before visiting in person so that they can be routed most efficiently to appropriate care.

The Delaware Division of Public Health interviews each individual who tests positive for COVID-19 to determine those people with whom they have had close contact. If you are considered to be at risk because you were in close contact with one of those individuals who tested positive, the Division of Public Health will contact you. You can also reach out to them proactively if you know that you have had contact with one of those individuals.

Communication

Please check your email regularly for continued updates as more information becomes available. The latest information will always be available at the University’s Coronavirus web site.

Thank you,
Doug Doren
Interim Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education
Interim Dean of the Graduate College

Graduate Student Town Hall

April 2, 2020
Recorded Presentation
Powerpoint Slideshow
PDF Version of Slides

COVID-19: Q&A for Graduate Students of Color

April 7, 2020
Recorded Presentation

Important COVID-19 Updates: Updated guidance for graduate students and postdocs | More Information

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