COVID-19 Research Operations

This page provides information for the Princeton University research community on the Plan for the Phased Resumption of On-Campus Research.


Latest Updates

Updates to public health policies

July 1, 2021

The University has announced changes to the public health guidance for summer and fall. Here is a summary of policies that may affect researchers.

  • Vaccinations: All faculty, staff and students must receive the second dose of the vaccine by Aug. 1, or to have been approved for a medical or religious exemption.  
  • Masks: Face coverings are no longer required indoors as of July 4 (and already are not required outdoors). The University expects non-vaccinated individuals (non-University employees and students such as contractors and visitors) to wear masks. Masks are required on TigerTransit.
  • Daily symptom check: Vaccinated faculty, staff and students are no longer required to use the Daily Symptom Check as of July 4. Unvaccinated faculty, staff and students must continue to use the Daily Symptom Check. Do not come to campus if you are unwell.
  • Social distancing policies and occupancy limits: These are no longer in effect as of July 4.
  • Testing: Starting July 6, all fully vaccinated faculty, staff and students working on campus will be tested once per week. Individuals who are not yet vaccinated will test twice per week.
  • Buildings will remain accessible by card access only until further notice.
  • Events and gatherings indoors and outdoors will no longer have size restrictions, and may include University faculty, staff, students and non-University attendees, effective Aug. 1. Prior review by the Gatherings Review Team is not needed, but scheduling should continue to be done through the EMS web app scheduling.princeton.edu.
  • Although event attendees are not required to be vaccinated, unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear masks. Event hosts are responsible for communicating the mask expectation to the participants, but events will not be monitored for compliance.
  • Visitors to campus departments and facilities must be sponsored by University faculty or staff and approved prior to entering campus buildings. Visitors are asked to attest that they are fully vaccinated or that they will wear face coverings and maintain social distancing in University buildings. Vaccination records are not required. View the categories of approved visitors and sponsoring procedures at Environmental Health and Safety’s Visitor Policy and FAQs.
  • University-sponsored travel remains restricted through the summer. For the latest guidance, visit the Pandemic Travel Guidelines. Fall guidelines will be released later.
  • Quarantine upon arrival will not be required except for select students arriving from certain international locations.
  • Faculty and staff will return to working on campus by Opening Exercises on Aug. 29. Please follow your department’s guidance about specific plans for returning.
  • Updates to the Plan for the Phased Resumption of On-campus Research can be found in Section 5: Guidelines for Safe Research During COVID-19 Pandemic and Section 6: Building Guidance.
  • No updates are required to Resumption of Laboratory Operations Plans (RLOPs). As of July 4, 2021, resumption plans are no longer needed.

Read the memo from Princeton University.

An important step towards normal research operations

June 8, 2021

With safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 now available, the University has made the following changes to policies for on-campus research in science and engineering:

  • The University has lifted social distancing requirements for fully vaccinated persons verified in myUHS portal (graduate students) or VacStatus (faculty; members of the research staff, including postdoctoral researchers).
  • Labs can resume normal occupancy for fully vaccinated, verified members. Labs with members who are not yet fully vaccinated may consult with Environmental Health and Safety (ehs@princeton.edu) for guidance adjusting occupancy and social distancing.
  • Re-densification does not require submission/approval of a revised RLOP or RNOP.
  • Researchers who have been working remotely and are verified as vaccinated are welcome to return to their campus offices and other workspaces.
  • Face coverings continue to be required indoors, but are no longer required outdoors. Exceptions to the indoor policy are outlined on the COVID Resources website.

Read the memo

Resources

Guidance and procedures

Revised guidelines for Resuming Field Research: Principal Investigators must submit a Field Research Plan indicating how researchers will comply with social distancing and hygiene practices while conducting field research. 

Guidelines for updating your Research Lab Operation Plan (RLOP): View instructions for revising and submitting changes to your plan to increase the permitted density of laboratory personnel from 160 square feet per person to 125 square feet per person.

Guidance for safe research during COVID-19 pandemic: View guidelines on social distancing, face coverings, lab coats, decontamination and disinfection, hazardous waste, training, shared facilities and equipment, general work rules, requests for accommodations, and related resources in Section 5 of the Plan for the Phased  Resumption of On-Campus Research (Environmental Health & Safety).

Building guidance for safe usage of building for research during COVID-19 pandemic: View practices for exterior doors, restrooms, elevators, hallways and stairwells, atrium/common spaces, conference rooms, hoteling/open work stations, break rooms, coffee makers/water coolers/refrigerators, meetings, vehicles, TigerTransit and public transportation, parking, time clocks, meals, mail and packages, and quiet rooms in Section 6 of the Plan for the Phased Resumption of On-Campus Research (Environmental Health & Safety).

Guidance for resuming human subjects research: View guidance regarding all human subjects research conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, including research conducted off campus.

Guidelines for resuming field animal research: These guidelines provide for the safe conduct of field animal research once researchers have reached their field site, and apply to field animal research conducted off campus, including at Stony Ford, within the United States, and internationally.

Guidance for staff who must be on campus: View procedures for staying healthy and preventing the spread of COVID-19 from the CDC and Princeton's Environmental Health & Safety.

Princeton University Library's phased resumption of research services: PUL is phasing in library services for Princeton University faculty, researchers, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students.

Information for university contractors and vendors: Find out how to comply with New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines and the most recent version of Governor Murphy’s executive orders.

Purchasing supplies needed to support the resumption of on-campus research: Find information from Procurement on how to obtain supplies, given current availability and lead times.

Find more answers to your questions on our COVID-19 FAQs.

Health and safety

Guidance for safe research during COVID-19 pandemic 

View guidelines on social distancing, face coverings, lab coats, decontamination and disinfection, hazardous waste, training, shared facilities and equipment, general work rules, requests for accommodations, and related resources in Section 5 of the Plan for the Phased  Resumption of On-Campus Research (Environmental Health & Safety)

Building guidance for safe usage of building for research during COVID-19 pandemic

View practices for exterior doors, restrooms, elevators, hallways and stairwells, atrium/common spaces, conference rooms, hoteling/open work stations, break rooms, coffee makers/water coolers/refrigerators, meetings, vehicles, TigerTransit and public transportation, parking, time clocks, meals, mail and packages, and quiet rooms in Section 6 of the Plan for the Phased Resumption of On-Campus Research (Environmental Health & Safety).

Ordering personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies

Visit this site to find out how to order disposable surgical masks, cloth face coverings, disposable surgical gowns, hand sanitizer bottles, disinfectant wipes, and N95 and other purifying respirators. Faculty do not need to purchase these items from their own research funds. Faculty are advised not to hoard supplies, and consider instead slowly restoring reserves over several months.

Guidance on the use of face coverings

Find out when, where and how to wear a mask both on and off campus.

The right mask – a primer

Surgical masks, homemade masks and respirators have become a symbol of the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is the right choice to use? How do they protect us?

Forms and checklists

For questions about research continuity or operations, email: researchplan@princeton.edu.

Memos from the Dean for Research

Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti's memos regarding research during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Previous Updates

New field research guidelines issued

April 28, 2021

The Office of the Dean for Research has issued new guidelines regarding field research, defined as research conducted outside any laboratory, academic building or library at Princeton or other institution during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

View the guidelines

Memo on summer and fall expectations

April 25, 2021

Dean for Research Pablo G. Debenedetti issued a memo to remind  professors, department chairs and department managers in Divisions III and IV of the need to continue to follow health and safety guidelines during the pandemic, and to share expectations for summer and fall.

Read the memo

On-campus undergraduate research: summer 2021

Mar. 15, 2021

On-campus undergraduate research will be significantly limited for summer 2021. 

Read the memo with full information here

 

Updates to the guidance on
human subjects research

Feb. 1, 2021

The Guidance for Resuming Human Subjects Research has been updated to expand participation in human subjects research, either as a researcher and/or a participant.

Visit Human Subjects Research to learn more