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

Guidance on remote work

Jan 4, 2022

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the University has requested that staff who can complete their work remotely should begin to do so by January 10 and through January 31, and not participate in the asymptomatic testing program, to reduce the strain on this program as well as the contact tracing program.

An additional memo with more specific guidance for faculty includes guidance relevant to researchers:

  • Faculty: Faculty can remain on campus, but are encouraged to identify opportunities to work remotely.
  • Postdoctoral and staff researchers in the Natural Sciences and Engineering: Supervising faculty should discuss with postdocs and research personnel the possibility of working remotely.
  • Graduate students: Graduate students will continue in person. In-person visits by prospective graduate students may occur if an academic unit deems such visits essential and cannot reschedule them.
  • Visitors: While the Visitor Policy has not changed, researchers should limit the number of indoor gatherings and events to those that are essential.

Read the full memo at (login required)

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.

Read the full guidance here.


Previous Updates

Updates to public health policies

July 1, 2021

The University has announced changes to the public health guidance for summer and fall. 

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 several changes to policies for on-campus research in science and engineering.

Read the memo

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