Potential U.S. Federal Government Shutdown: Research Continuity Guidance

Biomedical Equipment and Testing Rapid Response (BETRR)

To identify and act on practical proposals to significantly and rapidly increase the availability of equipment and test kits needed to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do I Need to Submit a BETTR Application?

Applications  to conduct “essential” research relating to biomedical equipment or testing are now not required to be submitted to the BETRR program in light of the University’s Research Reactivation Plan. However, if you would like to discuss your research idea(s), please contact BETRR.

See the Research and Operations Reactivation Committee report for details on how to submit your Research Reactivation Plan to conduct on-campus research. You are advised to contact your building or facilities manager prior to developing a plan to obtain further instruction and guidance. Some colleges and units have developed special application forms.

What are the Priorities?

The principal equipment and supplies known to be needed are:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), especially n95 respirators and surgical masks
  • Medical devices, especially ventilators that may save the lives of those critically ill with the virus
  • Test kits for identifying the presence of infection in the general population

Other devices and supplies that are demonstrated to be equally important and equally restricted in availability will also be considered.

How BETRR Can Help

BETRR will facilitate designation of accepted proposals as essential research activities which will open the possibility of using Cornell facilities. BETRR will also assist in expanding funding for proposals that clearly benefit the BETRR purpose by operating at a larger scale.


A wide range of proposals will be deemed appropriate, including, but not limited to, proposals related to:

  • Facilitate collaborations among private companies, and possibly government agencies, to bring alternative industrial capability into the production processes
  • Simplify product designs, manufacturing processes, or quality assurance methods to increase production rates
  • Repurpose existing products for BETRR applications

Proposals will be considered from Cornell faculty and staff as well as from companies desiring to make use of Cornell expertise or facilities. Acceptable proposals will provide a concrete action plan to significantly impact the availability of equipment and test kits on an industrial scale in time to help mitigate the current crisis. Possibilities for fast-tracking or waiving any required regulatory approvals will be considered in proposal reviews. Proposals for long term research or involving assumptions that can not be quickly verified will not be accepted.

If You Want to Submit to BETTR

Send a succinct, no more than five pages of 11 point type, application to: betrr@cornell.edu

The application must include:

  1. Project Title
  2. PI(s)
  3. Department(s) involved and name of Chair(s)
  4. Expected start and end date
  5. Description of the work proposed and how it will impact the availability of equipment or test kits
  6. Evidence for likelihood of short-term success
  7. Funding source
  8. List of Personnel. For each person:
    • Name, position/title
    • Expertise
    • Role on the project (What will they do?)
    • If graduate student, explain relationship of the proposed study to their thesis/dissertation topic
  9. Plans for on-site oversight
  10. Facilities and Services required
  11. Plans for restricting community spread of COVID-19 among research staff