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Research Project Management Suggestions: Virtual & Distanced

Bureau of Educational Research

Last update: August 21, 2020

Guidance for using virtual tools for data collection, project management and data storage:

  • The Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) offers a number of important downloadable guides (in PDF format) on the OPRS COVID-19 Response Update page.

Posted guides especially informative for conduct of virtual research include:

Guidance on research needs by sensitivity level (minimal risk research/ high risk research), activity types, and research tools (including Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, MTurk, USPS Mail, Box, REDCap, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, VSee). Also provinces external links.

Identifying tools for virtual data collection, project management and data storage:

  • The Research IT Portal is offered by Technology Services, and works to:
    • Bridge gaps between researchers and the technology that enables research
    • Partners with units, researchers, and IT Professionals to provide the best possible collaborations to assist research
    • Consultation
    • Connect people with trainings and access to high-throughput, cluster, and cloud computing, data storage solutions; software development assistance, expert consulting (e.g., statistics analysis, programming and software optimization, visualization).

Using Microsoft Teams with a Research Group

  • The University offers Microsoft Teams (also referred to as simply Teams) to all university faculty, staff and students as part of the University's Office 365 subscription.
  • Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that can support the work of a research team when  that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. It integrates with the University’s Office 365 subscription office productivity suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Skype, SharePoint), and also connects with many non-Microsoft products.
  • Technology Services posts Teams training materials and information.

Resources for Office 365, Microsoft Teams Training

  • Technology Services offers online resources to help users learn Microsoft Teams, including video of Microsoft-led training events offered for the University of Illinois, a downloadable guide, a YouTube playlist of training videos, and LinkedIn training resources.
  • Popular apps for research management can be integrated into Teams, including a number of non-Microsoft products. Some popular apps include:

Select YouTube videos about organizing and managing virtual research:

  • Microsoft Teams: Collaborate with Any Researcher Anywhere
    • July 18, 2019 (5:05)
    • How researchers from the Heart Research Institute collaborate in real-time on documents, meet online and chat with confidence
  • Switching to virtual teams in the face of COVID-19: leadership challenges and opportunities
    • Jun 5, 2020 (1:31:05)
    • Webinar organized by Stockholm University of Economics House of Innovation, in collaboration with the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Switzerland Global Enterprise.
  • Conducting Clinical and Translational Research in the Time of COVID
    • Mar 26, 2020 (1:12:43)
    • This forum brought together institutional leadership, researchers, trainees, front-line research staff and clinical staff to discuss clinical and translational research challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 crisis.  From the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS).
  • Managing a Research Group
    • Jun 22, 2015 (1:12:43)
    • Advancing Earth and Space Science (AG), from the earth and space science community: What does it take to lead and manage a successful, productive and cohesive research group? In this webinar, we will delve into the fundamentals of leadership and teambuilding, specifically as it relates to a research group environment. Learn how to motivate people (particularly across nationalities), organize your team, develop goals, delegate tasks, produce a strategic plan, and execute that plan with triumph.
  • Academic and Research Faculty Introduction to Microsoft Teams
    • Feb 17, 2019 (57:37)
    • Hosted by the Microsoft Teams for Education Product Group, a getting started webinar for new users and those looking for best practices. Includes use case examples.
    • Starting at 45:10: Managing research projects with colleagues from external institutions.