COVID-19 Research Operations
Changes to Human Subjects Research guidelines
Sept. 9, 2021
Updates have been made to the Human Subjects Research guidelines.
- Pre-approved consent form language has been modified to reflect an increase in scope of authorities influencing Princeton University’s response to COVID-19.
- All PU faculty, staff, students, employees, including those who may be acting as research subjects, must follow COVID-19 vaccination guidelines, asymptomatic testing protocols, and any other policy or guideline currently established by Environmental Health and Safety or Princeton’s University Health Services.
- All researchers or research subjects, who are not part of the PU community, are considered Sponsored Visitors, must follow the Visitor’s Policy and must be fully vaccinated to enter PU buildings. Any variance from the Visitor’s Policy must first be approved by contacting EHS and may also require a modification request to the IRB protocol prior to implementation. Note that Princeton’s COVID leadership team is currently considering vaccination and testing policies for sponsored visitors. This guideline will be amended as needed to reflect University policy.
- Research subjects who are not yet eligible for the vaccine (for example, children) may not participate in human subjects research until they receive special consideration and the required modifications are reviewed and approved by the IRB.
- Travel must be performed in compliance with current University permissible travel guidelines.
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 be vaccinated or approved for a medical or religious exemption.
- Masks: Required indoors as of Aug. 11.
- Daily symptom check: No longer required for vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to it.
- Do not come to campus if you are unwell.
- Social distancing: No longer in effect.
- Testing: Fully vaccinated individuals working on campus will be tested once per week. Unvaccinated individuals will test twice per week.
- Building access: By card access only.
- Visitors: Must be sponsored and approved prior to entering campus buildings. See the Visitor Policy and FAQs.
- Travel: Visit the Pandemic Travel Guidelines.
- Quarantine: No longer required except for students arriving from certain international locations.
- 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.
- 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
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)
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).
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.
Find out when, where and how to wear a mask both on and off campus.
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
- Academic Research Infrastructure Plan for departments
- Research Lab Operations Plan for Principal Investigators/facility directors
- Checklist for ramping up your laboratory
- Checklist for shutting down your laboratory
- Checklist for shutting down your Biosafety cabinet
For questions about research continuity or operations, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Memos from the Dean for Research
Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti's memos regarding research during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- June 8, 2021: A important step toward normal research operations
- May 1, 2021: Revised guidelines for Resuming Field Research
- April 25, 2021: Summer and Fall Expectations
- Mar. 15, 2021: On-campus Undergraduate Research: Summer 2021
- Feb. 1, 2021: Spring 2021 COVID-19 Updates for Researchers and Specialists
- Jan. 20, 2021: Spring 2021 and the University’s COVID-19 Resources
- Dec. 9, 2020: Memo on Undergraduate Research for Spring 2021
- Dec. 2, 2020: Next Steps in Resumption Activities in the:
- June 17, 2020: Announcing the phased resumption of on-campus research
- April 25, 2020: Planning for the eventual phased resumption of on-campus research
- March 21, 2020: Halting of on-campus research activities
- March 16, 2020: PI responsibilities for continuity of research and submission of Research Essential Operations Plan
- March 9, 2020: COVID-19 planning for research continuity
An important step towards normal research operations
June 8, 2021
With safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 now available, the University has made several changes to policies for on-campus research in science and engineering.
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.
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.