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March 23, 2020




All UF Graduate Deans, Associate Deans, Department Chairs, Coordinators, and Staff




UF Graduate School




Further Counsel on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Graduate Assistantships


The Graduate School requests that Academic Units and supervising faculty review and revise as necessary all  Graduate Assistant work-plans and assignments.  The goal should be to have all Graduate Assistants working remotely in both research (RA) and teaching (TA) roles.   We are aware that many Graduate Assistants are currently working remotely.  All reasonable efforts should be undertaken to encourage work at remote settings for all Graduate Assistants.


For Teaching Assistants, all or almost all are now able to work remotely and are doing so.  Please make all efforts to correct any remaining issues as to the physical location of Teaching Assistants in their roles supporting the delivery of instruction.   


It is recognized that the work assignments of Research Assistants can be quite variable and may in some cases seem to require physical presence in a lab or field setting.  It may sometimes occur that work in such settings is accomplished by a single person, and may allow for successful social distancing.  However, concerns about research progress must take a back seat to the COVID-19 emergency. 


While certain limited operations in laboratories are essential, the definition of “essential personnel” must be applied as strictly as possible.  Information on COVID-19 impacts on UF research and sponsored program operations is published at https://research.ufl.edu/covid-19-updates.html.


Social distancing is the most impactful contribution we can make as individuals to the management of the spread of COVID-19.  Please help the community maximize social distancing in your laboratories and research operations by developing remote work plans accordingly.  


Thank you.