Graduate Studies Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Northern Michigan University has created a new information hub for campus-wide developments in response to COVID-19. Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the university as a whole are available to inform the community as this situation evolves.
Q: Is your office open during this unprecedented situation?
A: Yes! Our office team is available and more than happy to assist with any needs! Our team can be reached from 8am to 5pm EST through email, phone, as well as Zoom video conferencing. Our office hours and contact information can be found here.
Uncertain who to direct your inquiry towards? No worries! Please give us a call at (906)-227-2300 or email us at email@example.com.
Q: When is the withdrawal date for graduate courses this semester?
Returning to Campus Questions
We understand that there may be uncertainty heading into this academic year given the COVID-19 pandemic. Here you will find frequently asked questions and answers about returning to campus this semester. Please contact us for assistance via firstname.lastname@example.org and a staff member will respond as soon as possible.
Q: What accommodations are being offered to those who do not feel safe returning to campus at this time?
A: We at Northern truly understand your concern, and have worked diligently to ensure that accommodations are available to help navigate through these times. Going into the Fall 2020 semester, we will be offering modified face-to-face instruction which will allow students to choose on how they will attend courses. Students can choose to attend either in person, or remotely via Zoom.
Q: How do I request an accommodation for COVID-19 related concerns?
A: The process will differ for the type of accommodation being requested, which is broken down below:
1) Procedure for requesting accommodations as a student for course attendance:
You must provide Disability Services with documentation of a qualifying disability or underlying condition that puts you at risk of contracting COVID 19. Please refer to NMU’s Disability Services web page for further information;. https://www.nmu.edu/disabilityservices/home-page
2) Procedure for requesting accommodations as a university employee:
You must provide Human Resources with documentation from a medical professional confirming that you have underlying health issues that put you at risk of complications due to COVID 19 in the workplace (whether this is teaching a class or working in an office environment). https://www.nmu.edu/hr/home-page. The Human Resources web page includes links to FAQs, resources, and policies regarding COVID 19 accommodations in the workplace. If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed by the HR website, please contact your faculty advisor, your supervisor, and/or Graduate Studies and Research staff at email@example.com or 906-227-2300.
To receive accommodations for both roles (student & worker), you must follow both procedures. Please note that you must work with your supervisor and advisor in advance of making this request to ensure they are aware of your concerns and request.
Q: How can I complete my coursework if I am unable to attend class for reasons associated with COVID-19?
We will work with each applicant and admitted student individually as your situation warrants. Please contact us for assistance via firstname.lastname@example.org and a staff member will respond as soon as possible.
Q: Is there an application deadline?
Q: Is there a deadline for committing to NMU for the summer or fall 2020 semesters? Is there a deposit deadline?
A: No. NMU does not have deadlines. New first-year students and transfer students indicate their intent to enroll at NMU by registering for New Student Orientation and paying the orientation registration fee. A variety of session dates are offered, so registration prior to the desired session is important.
Q: How can I receive assistance with completing my application file?
A: Contact our office at email@example.com, or call (906)-227-2300. We will connect you with someone who can assist you.
Q: A project that I have received funding for has been impeded due to COVID-19; may I use these funds for an alternative/revised project?
A: Students have latitude in revising projects that are affected by COVID 19 restrictions. Faculty advisors should discuss project modifications with students, providing guidance for how the student should address the results of the modifications in their report (if applicable). Please contact your department head, as they may have additional guidelines that specifically meet the needs of students and faculty advisors in your department.
NOTE: If your proposal is for a conference presentation involving travel and the conference is canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, you may use your funds to continue your work for a different conference or in an alternate venue (publication submission, developing a unit/module for use in the classroom in the fall, etc.). Your advisor must approve of the alternate conference or project and you may revise your budget accordingly. As a result of COVID 19 restrictions, modifications may be necessary for projects involving human-to-human contact. For forms and guidelines, visit: https://www.nmu.edu/grantsandcontracts/human-subjects-research
Please see Dean Eckert's message above for more information regarding Northern Michigan University's temporary research policy changes in response to COVID-19.
Q: Now that campus is beginning to reopen, how will students and faculty handle the transition back into research labs?
A: Students engaged in research in labs or with human subjects must work with their advisor to submit a safety plan that includes masks and social distancing measures. The plan must include the NMU Covid 19 Preparedness and Response Plan Agreement and Attestation. Details are available at https://www.nmu.edu/riskmanagement/covid-19-preparedness-and-response-plan
Message From Lisa Eckert, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research
Dear Campus Community,
Graduate Studies, McNair, and Grants and Contracts are virtually open with staff telecommuting to conduct business during regular office hours; we are available via email, phone, and zoom. I’m including general information updates below. Expect more information to follow, we will also update the Graduate web page with an FAQ page as questions arise.
The S/U option does not apply to graduate courses that require letter grades; this includes undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit. However, faculty should discuss the option to take an Incomplete with students who are concerned their grade may be adversely affected by the change to online course delivery, limitations in access to required clinical experiences, and/or modifications to research protocols (see below) that may have been made necessary by the COVID-19 emergency. Thesis signature pages can be scanned and sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org; please put SIGNATURE PAGE in the subject line and retain the hard copies. As always, I will work with faculty advisors and graduate instructors to accommodate students in unique situations.
Human Subjects Research
Due to the evolving situation with COVID-19 infections, the recent national restrictions placed on face-to-face meetings, and the Institutional Review Boards' role in human subject protection, NMU’s IRB is temporarily banning all human-to-human data collection methods in previously approved protocols until all federal COVID-19 interaction restrictions have been lifted. This includes, but is not limited to, in-person surveys, interviews, and group discussions. If you are assisting a student with their research project or are reviewing students' pending research projects, please keep these new restrictions in mind and guide them appropriately. No new projects listing face-to-face interactions submitted to the IRB will be approved until the CDC lifts national interaction restrictions; projects must utilize alternative methods for data collection via distance technologies (phone, video, internet-based surveys, etc.)
PIs currently engaged in human-to-human research with previous IRB approval must make modifications to replace human-to-human data collection with distance technologies. Depending on the specific requirements of the project, the NMU IRB can approve administratively, via expedited review, or a convened meeting will be held via Zoom. To expedite requests, faculty PIs should review student protocols and determine the modifications necessary for those students who need them. Faculty must then consult with Dr. Derek Anderson, IRB Chair, (email@example.com) to confirm the level of review any such modifications may require.
Join me in thanking Dr. Derek Anderson, IRB Chair, for his dedication to ensuring that the interests of NMU faculty researchers, student researchers, and research subjects are addressed during this unprecedented time. I also thank all members of the IRB who continue to give their time and expertise in support of research with human subjects at NMU.
Thanks also to graduate program directors, advisors, and faculty as we navigate through these uncertain times to do our best for students in all stages of their graduate work. We are dedicated to serving you all and working together to ensure student success as they pursue their academic and professional goals.
Take care and be well,
Dr. Lisa Eckert
Dean Graduate Studies and Research
Mental Health & Crisis Resources
Northern Michigan University is still offering an abundance of mental health and crisis resources to our community during this time.
Coping with uncertainty, change, and fear is a resource published through the Office of Counseling and Consultation Services to provide tips on how one may handle this situation positively.