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.​​

​​Current DBBS Students

Classes and Instruction

DBBS courses follow the Arts & Sciences academic calendar, meaning we will observe the extension of spring break through March 20 and then move to online instruction starting March 23 wherever possible.

All course instruction before March 23 will be at the discretion of each course director. This policy applies to all DBBS courses and journal clubs that students register for through WebSTAC.  Your DBBS instructors should be reaching out to you soon to provide more specific details about how your courses will be affected.

Please check your email and Canvas Announcements regularly for the latest information. If you haven’t already, turn on email notifications for Canvas AnnouncementsIf you have not heard from your instructor by Wednesday, March 18, 2020, we encourage you to contact them. If you have trouble getting in touch with an instructor after this date, please contact your Program Coordinator.

Many DBBS courses will be moving to the Canvas learning management system or will be meeting through Zoom video conferencing. Take this time to orient yourself to these systems. Log into Canvas and see the attached Zoom instructions. Click here for more information about WashU’s Learning Remotely Student Resources.

Becker Library is setting up offcampus 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 is transitioning to a different format. While we attempt to slow the spread of Coronavirus, we also want to ensure that student training remains on track.

Ethics Research and Science 2020 Update

Due to WashU COVID-19 online learning policies, the DBBS course Ethics and Research Science (BIOL BIOL 5011) will not meet as scheduled this semester.

New Course Schedule: The course will be rescheduled during the Arts & Science Summer IV session: July 13-August 13. This decision was made by DBBS Associate Dean Robyn Klein and faculty from the WashU Bioethics Research Center (BRC) who teach the course. More details about dates, times, and course registration will be forthcoming.

Course Format: If WashU instruction policies allow, the rescheduled course will be taught in-person. If online learning is extended, however, the course will be taught online in an interactive format.

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.”

Please contact the DBBS Curriculum Team if you have any questions: dbbscurriculum@wustl.edu

Student Organizations and Community Gatherings Policy

DBBS events and student group gatherings should be canceled until April 30, 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.

ALL off-campus student activities which involve volunteering, service work, or other forms of community engagement should be canceled.

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. Please read the tips below and take advantage of the next week to make any necessary adjustments before classes resume on Monday, March 23 

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

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).

FAQs

Q:  How will I complete my coursework?

A: DBBS courses follow the Arts & Sciences academic calendar, meaning we will observe the extension of spring break through March 20 and then move to online instruction starting March 23 wherever possiblePlease note: all course instruction before March 23 will be at the discretion of each course director. This policy applies to all DBBS courses and journal clubs that students register for through WebSTAC.  Your DBBS instructors should be reaching out to you soon to provide more specific details about how your courses will be affected. Please check your email and Canvas Announcements regularly for the latest information. If you haven’t already, turn on email notifications for Canvas AnnouncementsIf you have not heard from your instructor by Wednesday, March 18, 2020, we encourage you to contact them. If you have trouble getting in touch with an instructor after this date, please contact your Program Coordinator.

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​

​​​Prospective DBBS Students

We take seriously the health and safety of all DBBS students, both current and prospective. We will be suspending all campus visits for prospective students due to COVID-19 until April 30, 2020. This is to minimize risk for both our prospective students and the DBBS community. We look forward to seeing you on our campus again in the future! ​​

Revisit 2020

We regret that our in-person Revisit activities have been cancelled. However, we are still committed to connecting you to the WashU community and to our DBBS programs!  We will be hosting a variety of E-Visit activities online the week of April 1st – 3rd. Our resources and activities are detailed below:

  • E-Visit: Due to the cancellation of Revisit, we have decided to host an “E-Visit.” E-Visit will take place April 1st – 3rd, 2020 and will have a variety of webinars and archived videos available for you as a prospective student. A schedule will be emailed to you when available and posted on our COVID-19 webpage. Some E-visit activities are for all prospective students and some are program-specific:

     Activities for All: 

  • Faculty E-Meetings: An important aspect of Revisit is having the opportunity to connect with faculty here at WashU. While we are unable to host guests or visitors on-campus at this time (at least until April 30th, 2020), we hope to be able to set up some electronic meetings for you through Zoom or Skype. Please reach out to your program coordinators to find out more details about this process.
  • Student Groups and Offerings 501: We will be hosting a webinar discussing various student organizations and groups which can give an added value to your PhD. Similarly, we will cover some of the graduate credential requirements and opportunities at WashU.
  • Student Housing Virtual Tours: As you all will be unable to come back to St. Louis, we want to give you an opportunity to explore some housing of our current students. We will post videos of current student’s apartments to give you a sense of living in St. Louis.
  • Finding a Lab and Rotation of Fit: Connecting with current students about finding a lab for rotations can be some of the most invaluable information one can receive as they are entering a program of this nature. In this session, current students will discuss how they found their Thesis lab and questions to consider before joining a lab.

     Program-Specific Activities:

  • Program-Specific Student Panels: Some DBBS programs are hosting program-specific student panels, these panels will take place at various times throughout the week. Please reach out to your program coordinators (listed below) or check the DBBS COVID-19 webpage for more details.
  • IMSD Informational Webinar: In this session, the program directors of the Initiative of Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) will discuss the benefits and major activities of the program.

Campus Tours and Visits

At this time, visitors are not allowed on campus due to Washington University COVID-19 policies. We are working closely with local, state, and federal officials to slow the spread of the virus in the St. Louis community. 

We encourage you to access online resources and information for prospective DBBS students.​

FAQs

Q. When will these policies be lifted? 

A. All University COVID-19 policies are in place through April 30, 2020. The policies will be reviewed at that time. No decisions have yet been made about dates after April 30, 2020. 

Q. Can I schedule a virtual meeting with WashU faculty? 

A. Please contact the DBBS Program Coordinators​ directly, as schedules are in flux for many faculty members during this time. They will be able to assist you. 

​​​DBBS Faculty Information

Remote Teaching Policy

DBBS courses follow the Arts & Sciences academic calendar, meaning we will observe the extension of spring break through March 20 and then move to online instruction starting March 23 wherever possible

In practice, faculty sometimes follow course schedules that differ from the A&S calendar. Didactic course instruction before March 23 will be at the discretion of each course director. 

This policy applies to all DBBS courses and journal clubs that students register for through WebSTAC. Informal journal clubs and non-curricular workshops should meet remotely or be cancelled.

Changes to the academic semester

1. Please refrain from giving assignments during the extended Spring Break period (i.e. prior to March 23).

2. The semester will not be extended to make up for time lost by extending spring break. Classes will end on April 24, as scheduled.

Remote Teaching Resources

DBBS has created a *NEW* Canvas site to facilitate sharing of resources and pedagogy expertise among instructors in our courses. Assistants in Instruction (AIs) and support personnel for spring 2020 courses have also been given access. 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.

If you can’t log in to this new Canvas site, please contact the DBBS Curriculum Team: dbbscurriculum@wustl.edu. If you haven’t used Canvas before, it may take 48 hours after we hear from you to establish your access.

Teaching Center Resources

The Center for Teaching and Learning has scheduled trainings about online instruction and has also created a new website to support your transition: https://teachingcontinuity.wustl.edu/.

To schedule a consultation with the Teaching Center, click here.  

Contact Julia Johnson with questions about lecture capture: (julia.johnson@wustl.edu)

If you have suggestions for future training topics, contact Julia Johnson (julia.johnson@wustl.edu) and Meg Gregory (meggregory@wustl.edu).

We also encourage DBBS course instructors to collaborate and share expertise during this period. Our training community is rich with pedagogy expertise and innovative ideas. As you find solutions to challenges presented by the transition to online learning, please share them with other instructors through the new Canvas site.

Spring 2020 Final Exams

All final exams for Spring 2020 will be conducted virtually. We know this crucial information may have substantial impact on your plans for the remainder of the semester. More information about support for faculty and students will follow in the near future.​

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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