Researchers connect virtually to battle COVID-19

As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases mount, society is pinning hope on research and creative inquiry to solve the myriad health and community challenges. Collaboration on solutions is made more difficult by the pandemic’s stay at home order, which leaves researchers unable to connect in the same way they would on campus.

The Ohio State University is helping to link researchers within the university who are interested in pivoting their efforts to COVID-19. Keepresearching.osu.edu, a new website developed by the Office of Research, in partnership with the Office of the Chief Information Officer, provides tools, resources and common space for researchers to learn about coronavirus-related projects.

“Ohio State’s world-class researchers are well-positioned to take a leadership role in tackling emerging issues associated with COVID-19,” said Morley O. Stone, senior vice president for research. “This new website will increase awareness of these efforts and facilitate cross collaboration across our university.”

Keepresearching.osu.edu follows the successful launches of the keeplearning.osu.edu and keepteaching.osu.edu platforms – and offers members of the PI (principal investigator) community a way to connect virtually on coronavirus research.

The website is part of a three-pronged effort by the Office of Research to spur COVID-19 research. The COVID-19 seed funding program supports researchers efforts to develop solutions. So far, six projects have received funding (See related story). In addition, the office launched a new survey tool to help capture information on existing COVID-19 research projects along with offers from members of the Ohio State community who want to share research expertise or campus resources to support COVID-19 projects. Information from the survey is used to populate the Research Hub on the KeepResearching website.

The website will remain active even after researchers return to their labs and studios full time. Stone says the information and connections will continue to be important because the projects and collaborations won’t suddenly end when virus containment measures are lifted.

The site also includes information on a new multi-university effort that documents technology licensing principles designed to allow equitable access to university innovations during this public health crisis. Ohio State signed on to this framework last week.

“Ohio State researchers are focused on solving problems during this unprecedented pandemic,” says Scott Osborne, vice president of economic and corporate engagement. “Our technology transfer team is committed to supporting, prioritizing and accelerating their work on COVID-19 solutions so that potential impacts can be realized in our communities as quickly as possible.”

Keepresearching.osu.edu is updated regularly and also includes information on both internal and external funding for COVID-19 research. In addition, it offers a section on COVID-19 research news coming out of Ohio State’s colleges and units.

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