The health and safety of of the DBBS community is our top priority. Please review the information below to learn more about DBBS’ COVID-19 protocols and policies.​​

Notice: The DBBS has become aware of cyber bullying directed at essential research personnel who must work on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to understand that each school has evaluated and approved the critical research that should continue.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Washington University does not tolerate abusive conduct irrespective of the medium. Please see the University’s Abusive Conduct Policy and Social Media Policy for additional information.  If you feel you are a victim or become aware of abusive conduct or cyber bulling, please visit the Abusive Conduct Policy for the appropriate next steps.

We are very grateful for the vast majority of university personnel that has come together to support one another during these unprecedented times.

Current DBBS Students​

Classes and Instruction

DBBS On May 27, 2020, Chancellor Andrew Martin announced plans for the start of the semester and shared academic calendar. The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences is situated in the School of Arts & Sciences, and thereby follows the updated calendar below:

Fall 2020 Semester:​

  • Classes Start: (M) September 14, 2020
  • Thanksgiving Break – No Class: (Th-F) Nov. 26-27, 2020
  • Last Day of Classes: (F) December 18, 2020
  • Final Exams: January 4-10, 2021 – Remote

Spring 2021 Semester:

  • ​Classes Start: (M) January 25, 2021
  • Spring Break - No Class: (M-F) March 15-19, 2021
  • Last Day of Classes: (Th) May 6, 2021
  • Final Exams: (F-Th) May 7-13, 2021
This calendar applies to all DBBS courses and journal clubs that students register for through WebSTAC.

Course Delivery Mode:

·         Medical Campus: Medical campus activities that do not involve direct patient care or clinical education, including DBBS courses and journal clubs, should be conducted remotely while significant COVID-19 community transmission persists. In-person class meetings on the Medical Campus must be approved by the DBBS Associate Dean for Graduate Education and should have educational objectives that necessitate in person education. (See section III for more information.)

·         Danforth Campus: DBBS courses that meet on the Danforth campus will follow policies and guidelines established for that campus.

High-quality, interactive remote instruction will be available in all courses for students in quarantine or who cannot come to campus.  Instruction may occur in a synchronously, asynchronously or in a hybrid manner.  Your instructors will be communicating with you about how their courses will be delivered.

DBBS courses will use the Canvas learning management system or will be meeting through Zoom video conferencing. Be sure to orient yourself to these systems. Please check your email and Canvas Announcements regularly for the latest information. If you haven’t already, turn on email notifications for Canvas Announcements.

Click here for more information about WashU’s Learning Remotely Student Resources.

Becker Library has established off–campus proxy login access for all DBBS students; click here for access.  You can also email AskBecker@wustl.edu to troubleshoot access to library resources.

Please note that there will be no risk of losing course credit while your course meets remotely. While we attempt to slow the spread of Coronavirus, we also want to ensure that student training remains on track.

BIOL 5011: Ethics Research and Science

Due to WashU COVID-19 online learning policies, the DBBS course Ethics and Research Science (BIOL 5011) was cancelled in Spring 2020.

New Course Schedule: The course will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-11am for the July 13-August 13 term (online using Zoom and Canvas). Registration is now closed. Please contact Dr. Tristan McIntosh (t.mcintosh@wustl.edu) or Janie Henderson (janiehenderson@wustl.edu) with questions.

NIH RCR Requirements: DBBS has received guidance from NIH that 8 hours of interactive online instruction will fulfill the Responsible Conduct of Research requirement for trainees under the special circumstances of COVID-19 (see below). This include instruction delivered through Canvas and Zoom, which requires students to thoughtfully engage with course material and to interact online with one another and faculty. PIs of NIH T32s and fellowships are encouraged to contact their Program Officers to notify them of the change in course timing (and course format, if applicable).

How will NIH support a recipient’s need to limit in-person meetings for the sole purpose of instruction/training due to COVID-19?

NIH will allow for special circumstances for trainings and instruction that typically require in-person attendance, such as training in the responsible conduct of research (NIH GPS 11.3.3.5). Training can be completed online during this declared public health emergency. Prior approval is not required in these specific cases.”​

Student Organizations and Community Gatherings Policy

DBBS events and student group gatherings should be canceled until August 1, 2020.    We encourage you to use technology to allow remote participation. Zoom video conferencing technology is available to all university community members and can be used to convert an event to an online platform.

Student organizations will be notified as we learn more details regarding policies and best practices for the upcoming semester.

Journal Clubs

Journal Clubs that are curricular requirements must move to an electronic format, such as Zoom.  All other informal Journal Clubs and/or similarly planned events are encouraged to move to an electronic format.  If this cannot be accomplished, the informal events should be canceled until April 30, 2020.

Thesis Defense Process

All thesis defenses must be conducted electronically using Zoom video conferencing technology

This is available to all university community members and can be used to convert an event to an online platform with video and audio capabilities.  The Zoom technology can also record the event so that it may be shared at a later time. Please contact your Program Coordinator for assistance in arranging your Thesis Defense or if you have questions.​

Tips for Online Learning

Many of the same habits that served you well for traditional classroom learning also apply to online learning.

Remote Learning Etiquette infographic PDF of tips and suggestions for learning in an online environment.  Display it in your working area for a handy reminder.

YOU ARE STILL IN SCHOOL
This is a reminder for you and your friends and family.  For those that live with others, they may be tempted to expect more from you since you are not going to campus.  Remind them that you are still in school and have the same academic commitments.

KEEP A SCHEDULE
The amount of time it takes do well in graduate school has not changed.  You will still attend just as many class time hours and will still need to devote as many hours to studying outside of class.

MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS
With online learning, potential distractions are everywhere – on your computer and even around you.  Some of you have made the choice to not use a laptop during class time.  This new format will require you to use a laptop or some other device to access class lectures.  For internet distractions, consider installing online tools for better attention and focus.  Around your home, set up a space you will use for “attending” class.  Remember, your professors and your classmates will be able to see what is behind you.

STAY FOCUSED AND ENGAGED DURING CLASS LECTURES
Minimizing distractions will help (see above), but you will need to prepare yourself to follow along with the lecture.  Use the opportunities presented by your professor to answer questions.  Take class notes just as you would if you were sitting in a classroom.  In other words, treat it as much as possible as if you were in class with the professor in front and surrounded by your classmates.  Practicing active participation and holding yourself accountable for your own success during this time will help you stay on track.

Tips for using Zoom

Here are some best practice tips for participating in a Zoom class:

  • Use good on-line etiquette.  Do not eat during class lecture and be mindful of your attire.  In addition, everyone will be able to see your facial expressions, even those who ordinarily would be sitting behind you in class.
  • Mute your mic when you are not talking.  This will lead to a better audio experience for all participants.
  • Pay attention to the chat feature on the right hand side of the screen.  Your professor may pose questions there for you to answer.
  • Everything your camera captures will be on display for all participants to see.  Make sure they are seeing what you want them to see and not seeing what you don’t.
  • Make sure you reach out to your professors for help if you need it.

Please contact your course instructors or DBBS staff should you need assistance.

Remote Learning Resources

Strategies for Learning Remotely (for Students)

CanvasCommon Issues and Concerns for Students​

The Graduate School - links to many WUSTL resources -  https://graduateschool.wustl.edu/academics

The Writing Center and Speaking Studio - https://writingcenter.wustl.edu/

DBBS Becker Education Resources - https://beckerguides.wustl.edu/dbbs

Remote Working Tips

Remote Learning Etiquette: This is an infographic PDF of tips and suggestions for learning in an online environment.

Biology Content

iBiologybiology videos

JoVE - videos of laboratory methods and science concepts

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

CosmoLearning​ - collects educational videos offered by hundreds of universities, educators, and professionals.

Research Tools

Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
Online education research and information library, Education Resources Information Center, or ERIC. ERIC database offers access to educational documents, journal articles, and non-journal literature. With collections that include educational association publications, conference papers, instructional materials, and research reports, ERIC is a digital library for research-intensive Ph.D. dissertations and projects.

Mendeley
Mendeley enables Ph.D. students to save and access research references and interpret these as PDF format. Doctorate students may properly organize their papers and work well in private or public. The website generally creates bibliographies and citations in any format.

Writing

Purdue OWL
A free online writing site, the Purdue Owl, was created by Purdue University to provide instructional materials in the field of writing for Ph.D. students. This online resource enables students to develop their writing skills through comprehensive lectures regarding the writing process while keeping in mind the fundamental techniques of proper writing. The APA and MLA citation guidelines are also featured on this site to help with proper citation and referencing on Ph.D. formal papers.

Using English for Academic Purposes (UEfAP)
Using English for Academic Purposes (UEfAP) is an online resource with searchable activities for the purpose of strengthening rules and strategies for editing and proofreading papers. It is a helpful online resource for effective writing, as it features basic and advanced grammar, sentence construction, and general writing rules and techniques.

General Resources for Graduate Students

National Association of Graduate-Professional Students http://nagps.org/benefits-resources/resources/​

Accommodations Resources

Be aware that changing instruction to an online format might affect your needs for accommodations as a learner/student.

Disability Resources (DR) staff are available to set up virtual meetings to discuss your scenario; to request or modify your accommodations, reach out to the team through the respective email address below:

Exam Accommodations: CFU-DR_testing@email.wustl.edu
Peer Note Taking: disabilityresourcesnotes@email.wustl.edu
General: disabilityresources@email.wustl.edu

DR staff is still available for intake for students who do not yet have accommodations. Appointments will be virtual. Click here to get started. Updates for disability accommodations and resources will be posted to the Teaching and Learning site.

If you have not shared your accommodation letters with your instructor, you must do so to ensure instructors can properly accommodate your needs during this transition to online instruction.  Please reach out to your instructors regarding exams and class structure, as we do not have details regarding how each professor will transition their class to an online format.

Review the Updated Syllabi. Consider how your disability-related concerns are impacted by new expectations, and make an appointment to speak with a DR staff about any concerns if you believe accommodations need to be adjusted.

Communicate with Your Faculty. Even if you did so at the beginning of the semester, provide your instructors a copy of your accommodation letter, and talk with them about your intent to utilize the accommodations. It is your responsibility to inform faculty of your needs and approved academic accommodations.

Request testing accommodations prior to tests: Online test platforms allow faculty to easily adjust established settings for students, particularly individuals needing extended time. If you receive DR authorized testing accommodations, confirm this need with your instructors. DR staff can assist you (and faculty) with questions.

When messaging faculty, be sure to carbon copy Disability Resources (disabilityresources@wustl.edu). We welcome the opportunity to assist students in conversations with their instructors. Use the subject line: “DR Accommodations” (or similar).

Mental Health Resources

You may contact Student Mental Health Counseling directly at 314-362-2404 to set up an intake appointment. If there is a request for mental health support after hours, please call the Student Assistance Program (SAP) at 1-800-327-2255 and selection “Option #3.” This service is available 24 hours/7 days and everywhere in the United States. For more information on mental health supports, please see an email from Betty Feagans from April 15th entitled “Student Health Access – Your Health and Well-Being."​

FAQs

Q:  What if I do not have reliable computer and/or internet access?
A: We know that some of our students have limited access to high-quality, high-speed internet services at home. If you have concerns about your internet access, please call 314-935-8300 or 888-234-2863 and listen to the menu options to learn how to access technical support. Click here for additional information on internet service and connectivity.

Q: Are DBBS students also supposed to call Student Health on Danforth Campus, or are we supposed to go to Student Health Services on the WUSM Campus?
A: Please refer to http://coronavirus.wustl.edu as information and directives can change.

Q: What is considered academic travel? What about travel funds?
A: Please refer to http://coronavirus.wustl.edu​.

Q: Where can I find the list of affected countries and travel restrictions?
A: Please refer to http://coronavirus.wustl.edu​.

Q: Am I allowed to be on campus? Can I go into my lab?
A: Please refer to http://coronavirus.wustl.edu​.  You may also contact Robyn Klein or Cami Spampani if further direction is needed.

Q: Will Commencement be affected?
A: Yes. The WUSTL 2020 Commencement Ceremony has been cancelled as of March 16, 2020. Please click here for the Chancellor’s message.

Q: I work at an offsite facility. Who do I contact to find out if my facility will be open?
A: Please refer to http://coronavirus.wustl.edu​.  You may also contact Robyn Klein or Cami Spampani​ if further direction is needed.

Q: How can I be sure I’m keeping up with the latest information?
A: Always check http://coronavirus.wustl.edu​ first.  DBBS will also be sharing information via email and through social media feeds.

Q: What do I do if my PI is asking me to come into the lab?
A: Although most all University research has been ramped down, some functions may still be necessary. (Please see the Washington University Emergency Management website for the latest information on lab research scaleback - http://coronavirus.wustl.edu.  You may be required to help with essential lab continuity.  The university defines essential personnel as the faculty and staff who are required to report to their designated work location and to ensure the operation of essential functions or departments during an emergency or when the university has suspended or altered normal operations.  Extra precautions should be in place to ensure the safety of lab personnel.  Shift work, social distancing and heightened cleaning measures should be in place.

If you feel you are being asked to perform non-essential work or if you do not feel safe with your lab conditions, please contact Dr. Robyn Klein (rklein@wustl.edu) or Cami Spampani (cjeliti@wustl.edu) directly.

Q: What can I do if I am experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19?
A: Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing support to members of our community who are facing unexpected financial burdens as a result of our transition to virtual instruction and shifting regulations relating to life on campus. To that end, the Office for Student Success, in collaboration with University management and Student Financial Services, is coordinating efforts to provide emergency funding in order to offset such unexpected costs. The Covid-19 Emergency Fund will be available to support students who incur costs between Monday, March 16 and Friday, May 15, 2020. After that point, we will reassess the funding needs that students have articulated and may transition back to our usual funding operations made available through the Student Success Fund.

Any student regardless of  academic affiliation or location from which they are finishing the semester may submit a request. We will consider every request on a case-by-case basis and work to provide as much support as we are able through institutional funds coordinated by the Office for Student Success and University management. Students may submit requests that relate to the unexpected transition or to cost of living expenses that have arisen as a result of WashU’s shift to an online instructional platform. Students are also able to submit requests that encompass reimbursements for costs incurred as a result of the unexpected changes to individuals’ living and work situations. Each request, even those from repeat applicants, will be considered individually as we understand that this situation is ever-evolving.​ 

Website: https://studentsuccess.wustl.edu/signature-programs/funds/covid-19-emergency-funding/.

Point of Contact in OSS: lucy.w.chin@wustl.edu​

DBBS Virtual Community Events/Meetings​

DBBS Town Hall #1

The first DBBS Town Hall (April 16th) covered policies and regulations related to COVID-19. Please find a comprehensive list of the agenda questions and answers submitted, relevant resources, and a link to a recorded version of the Town Hall here.

DBBS Town Hall #2

The second DBBS Town Hall (May 14th) covered mental health and mindfulness supports on campus. Please find a comprehensive list of the agenda, questions and answers submitted, relevant resources, and a link to a recorded version of the Town Hall here.

DBBS Town Hall #3

The third DBBS Town Hall (July 23rd) covered the DBBS Climate Study findings, anti-racist statements and programs, and programming and supports for international students. Additionally, the event covered questions related to COVID-19 policies. Please find a comprehensive list of the agenda, questions and answers submitted, relevant resources, and a link to a recorded version of the Town Hall here.

DBBS Town Hall for Incoming Students

The DBBS Town Hall for Incoming Students (July 24th) covered climate and current events, COVID-19 policies, and officially joining DBBS. Please find a comprehensive list of the agenda, questions and answers submitted, relevant resources, and a link to a recorded version of the Town Hall here.

Virtual Graduation

We want to extend a heartfelt congratulations to our DBBS 2020 graduates! While we cannot celebrate in our traditional ways, we invite you to explore the College of Arts and Sciences Virtual Recognition Ceremony. For information regarding the Chancellor’s message to all graduates and how to participate in future ceremonies, please see his statement. Importantly, the statement, in part, reads: 

 
"Graduating students who are unable to return for Commencement in May 2021 will have the option to participate in May Commencement or December recognition ceremonies anytime during the next five years, as their schedules allow. Details for how to register will be provided at a later date."​

Reorientation

Reorientation 2020 is for DBBS graduate students transitioning from their first year to their second. Reorientation 2020 was hosted on Canvas this year. All eligible DBBS students received a Canvas invitation to join the “course,” which allows students to work at their own paces.

​​​DBBS Faculty Information

DBBS COVID-19 Course Instruction Policies

DBBS COVID-19 Course Instruction Policies 7-2020.pdfDBBS COVID-19 Course Instruction Policies 7-2020.pdf

I. ACADEMIC CALENDAR

DBBS On May 27, 2020, Chancellor Andrew Martin announced plans for the fall 2020 semester and an updated academic calendar. The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences is situated in the School of Arts & Sciences, and thereby follows the updated calendar below:

Fall 2020 Semester:

  • Classes Start: (M) September 14, 2020
  • Thanksgiving Break – No Class: (Th-F) Nov. 26-27, 2020
  • Last Day of Classes: (F) December 18, 2020
  • Final Exams: January 4-10, 2021 – Remote

Spring 2021 Semester:

  • Classes Start: (M) January 25, 2021
  • Spring Break – No Class: (M-F) March 15-19, 2021
  • Last Day of Classes: (Th) May 6, 2021
  • Final Exams: (F-Th) May 7-13, 2021

This calendar applies to all DBBS courses and journal clubs that students register for through WebSTAC. Fall 2020 DBBS courses may not start earlier than September 14, 2020 or end later than December 18, 2020. Spring DBBS courses may not start earlier than January 25, 2021 or end later than May 6, 2021.  

II. COURSE DELIVERY MODE

  • Medical Campus: Medical campus activities that do not involve direct patient care or clinical education, including DBBS courses and journal clubs, should be conducted remotely while significant COVID-19 community transmission persists. In-person class meetings on the Medical Campus must be approved by the DBBS Associate Dean for Graduate Education and should have educational objectives that necessitate in person education. (See section III for more information.)
  • Danforth Campus: DBBS courses that meet on the Danforth campus will follow policies and guidelines established for that campus.
  • All DBBS courses must make high-quality, interactive remote instruction available for students and instructors in quarantine, high-risk groups, or who otherwise cannot come to campus.

The WU Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and DBBS will host a variety of training opportunities on remote teaching and educational technologies. CTL staff are available to consult with instructors on remote course design.

Regardless of the delivery mode, all DBBS courses should follow these Arts & Sciences instructional policies:

1)    Canvas – All DBBS courses should: (i) be published in Canvas with a syllabus; (ii) ensure all digital course content is accessible in Canvas (may be hosted elsewhere, but linked in Canvas); and (iii) ensure course-wide communication is available through Canvas.

2)    Student Interaction – All DBBS courses should create opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous interaction between students and instructor(s) as well as among students themselves.

3)    Access to Instructor for Academic Support – All DBBS instructors should hold weekly office hours or an equivalent help session that is open to all students. Office hours may be held online.

4)    Course Policies and Procedures – All DBBS instructors should consider building flexibility into course policies and procedures to manage potential disruptions due to COVID-19. Any flexibility should be explicitly communicated to students so that they understand how potential disruptions will be handled. Such flexibility might include an option for completing the course asynchronously, the opportunity to make-up assignments after missed deadlines, or the potential to drop the lowest grade on a set of assignments.

5)    Accommodations – All DBBS instructors should ensure that students receive their approved accommodations in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990).

6)    Syllabi – All DBBS instructors should upload their syllabi into Syllabi Central and submit a syllabus by email to dbbscurriculum@wustl.edu by the first day of the semester.

A syllabus is more than a course calendar; it provides a comprehensive overview of the course, including: (i) course information and logistics, (ii) instructors and contact information, (iii) course description, learning objectives, and prerequisite knowledge, (iv) required materials, texts, and supplies, (v) grading and assessment metrics, (vi) assignments and exams, (vii) course policies, (viii) university policies, and (ix) resources for students.

DBBS instructors are encouraged to use the WU Center for Teaching and Learning syllabus template.

III. USE OF MEDICAL CAMPUS CLASSROOM SPACE

Medical campus classroom space should only be used when in-person instruction is educationally necessary and has been approved by the DBBS Associate Dean for Graduate Education. An on-campus class meeting is educationally necessary when the learning objectives cannot be achieved in a remote delivery mode (whether synchronous or asynchronous). Instructors must demonstrate that the educational benefit to students will outweigh the risk of viral transmission incurred by congregating in a classroom while community transmission of COVID-19 persists.

DBBS Course Directors wanting to hold on-campus class sessions must email Associate Dean Robyn Klein (rklein@wustl.edu) by July 20, 2020 to explain the educational necessity.

After receiving approval for on-campus class sessions, a DBBS course may meet on the Medical campus only when the following conditions are met:

1)    Operations Level Medical campus research operations level must be Yellow or Green.  

2)    Physical Distancing Efforts must be made to create spacing of chairs, tables, computers, etc such that occupants remain at least 6 feet apart in all directions from other individuals. 

3)    Health Screening – All students and instructors must follow current Medical campus health screening guidelines prior to entering campus.

4)    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – All occupants in a room should wear a cloth mask or surgical/isolation mask whenever multiple people are present. 

Food – Communal food should not be served during DBBS education activities on the Medical Campus.

Remote Teaching Resources

DBBS has created a Canvas site to facilitate sharing of resources and pedagogy expertise among instructors in our courses. We have curated resources from the Teaching Center and established discussion board for DBBS instructors. We recommend that all DBBS instructors log in here to get started: https://wustl.instructure.com/courses/32883.

Contact the DBBS Curriculum Team if you cannot log in: dbbscurriculum@wustl.edu.

Resources
WU Center for Teaching & Learning resources:
http://teachingcenter.wustl.edu/transitioning-to-online-teaching-and-learning/

Curated video resources for DBBS: http://beckerguides.wustl.edu/dbbs

Canvas access and information: https://mycanvas.wustl.edu/

Record your lectures in advance:
Danforth Campus: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fY3D-tRNriI9TYpw_wMAEtIi1hXQE5x-ytkmvMVtjpo/edit#gid=1330755965
Medical Campus: https://education.med.wustl.edu/teaching-resources/id-studio/

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Each instructor is responsible for the delivery of the course, assignments and exams for the remainder of the semester.

Students are still required to seek accommodations from the Disability Resource (DR) Office; be aware that changing instruction to an online format might affect student needs for accommodations. Please be flexible with students at this time.

If students have not shared their accommodation letters with you, they will do so to ensure you can properly accommodate their needs during this transition to online instruction. The Disability Resource office may be carbon-copied on these emails to ensure the student’s request for accommodations has been received and can be met.  Contact disabilityresources@wustl.edu with questions or requests for more information.

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