Faculty and staff may petition for research travel abroad

The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a dynamic situation in regard to international travel.  Based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and input from local and state health authorities, on Monday, March 2, SMU officials made the decision to suspend all SMU-sponsored and/or sanctioned faculty, staff, and student international travel and recall those students who were abroad. University-sponsored travel is paid for utilizing SMU funds or funds from external sponsors. University-sanctioned travel is authorized by SMU without University financial obligations.

Upon review of the evolving global situation, the University recognizes that there may be instances in which international travel is imperative to fulfill the University’s research mission.

As a result, we have developed a procedure by which faculty, staff and graduate students may now request permission for SMU-sponsored and/or sanctioned international travel through an automated system established by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The system will guide the applicant through a series of questions to evaluate the request and, if approved, set out requirements for completing that travel.  Deans and/or department chairs have a role to play in this approval process.

Paramount to approval is the understanding that the traveler assumes certain risks during the current Coronavirus threat, such as the potential for travel delays.  Approval also requires confirmation that any teaching obligations will be covered should travelers be delayed in returning from their destination. You will find a link to the Petition for Research-Related InternationalTravel at smu.edu/research, and also in the FAQs on the COVID-19 blog being maintained by the University.  SMU’s Travel Oversight Committee will process requests as quickly as possible.