Skip to content Skip to navigation

OPA COVID-19 Updates

Returning to Work

Where do I find the VPGE FAQ page about COVID-19 issues, including returning to work? 
That page is found here:

Postdoc Telecommuting Agreement

Postdocs will be paid while working remotely from home. To ensure payment, please download and complete the Postdoc Telecommuting Agreement. All Postdocs need to complete a telecommuting form. If you have never set up a digital signature before, see the FAQ below.

Postdoc tasks:

  1. Sign form (electronic signature).
  2. Have your faculty sponsor sign form (also electronically).
  3. Forward signed form to your departmental postdoc administrator.

Click to download OR right-click and save: Postdoc Telecommuting Agreement


This is a rapidly-evolving situation, and the most timely updates can be found here, including directions for what to do if you are feeling unwell or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:

Telecommuting FAQs

I completed a Temporary Telecommuting Form meant for staff. Do I need to complete the Postdoc Telecommuting Form?
No. We will accept the Temporary Telecommuting Form distributed to staff. Please make sure that your departmental postdoc administrator has a copy of your form.

Do I need to provide OPA with a copy of my signed telecommuting agreement? 
No. Please do not send OPA your telecommuting agreement. You sign, your PI signs, and you provide a copy to your departmental admin.

I am a postdoc. Do I need to fill out the telecommuting agreement? 

Does the telecommute agreement mean that all postdocs are required to work from home at least one day a week? 
According to the email sent by Vice Provost Bent, " this time all non-essential personnel should be working from home." 

I've never signed something electronically before. How do I that? 
Adobe allows digital signatures. Digital signatures are more secure than wet signatures. If you've never set up your digital signature before, that is a required step -- but then you never have to do it again. This link explains the process.

I'm ready to send the signed form to my departmental admin, but I don't know who that is. What do I do? 
Visit this page to find your departmental postdoc admin.

Why is this form required? 
A few reasons, all related to University operations. First, we want to make sure that we are in compliance with funding agencies: if a funding agency hears that campus is shut down, we need to be able to demonstrate that postdocs are still working, the research is continuing, and funding doesn't need to be returned to the funding agency. Second, postdocs are rightfully concerned with ensuring that they continue to be paid, and the University is interested in finding ways to ensure that postdocs continue to work. Documenting these telecommuting agreements provides a layer of protection for postdocs, PIs, and the University: research continues, funding continues, and paychecks continue.  

General FAQs

What do I do if have COVID-19 or think I might? 
Follow the instructions here:

How do I onboard a remote postdoc? 
See the page here:

What is the University's plan to restart the research? 
You can follow the plan here:

What's the Health Check? 
You can review Health Check here:

How can I practice social distancing when I have roommates?
The CDC provides guidance here:

What about childcare? 
Childcare is particularly tricky right now, and it's also an evolving situation. Check out this site, but be sure to consult with the WorkLife office, as not all options are applicable to Postdocs:

Term Limit FAQs

I'm about to reach the end of my fifth year, but my research was delayed due to COVID-19. Can my appointment be extended? 
Postdocs who will reach the end of their fifth year of training before September 1, 2020 may be extended for up to six additional months without a formal request to the Vice Provost. This extension must be initiated by the faculty sponsor and depends on adequate funding and, where appropriate, a commitment to support a transition to an H visa. The September 1, 2020 date may be revised based on further delays to research continuity.