COVID-19: Levels of research activities

The Plan for the Phased Resumption of On-campus Research entails four levels of on-campus research activities. Click on the + to see the details at each level.

Level 1 Normal operations

Normal research operations resume within prescribed hygiene, health and safety protocols.
  • Normal research operations.
  • All personnel adhere to hygiene and health and safety protocols as prescribed by EHS.
  • Undergraduates are allowed in laboratories.

Level 2 Phased resumption

On-campus research may be carried out in compliance with social distancing, personal protective equipment, and other Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)-prescribed hygiene requirements, density metrics and practices.

Level 3: Essential operations (Current Level)

Only a limited number of essential research and COVID-19 projects is allowed. Authorized researchers can also access laboratories for maintenance operations. Access to laboratories requires authorization by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • PIs must submit Research Lab Operations Plans detailing shutdown plans and/or requesting maintenance and/or essential research activities. Plans must be reviewed by the department chair or institute director and approved by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • Essential and COVID-19-related research must be approved by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • Maintenance of key resources — such as animals, cell lines, liquid N2, sensitive equipment, etc. — must be approved by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • In labs approved for critical maintenance, essential research, or COVID-19 work, one to three lab members (including the PI) must be identified in the plan and approved for building access. Any additional personnel needed for hazardous operations or critical maintenance requires approval by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • Approved on-campus research commences only with acknowledgment from relevant department(s) confirming any required services/facilities are in operation or can be brought online.
  • All personnel must adhere to hygiene, health and safety protocols as prescribed by EHS.
  • Undergraduate students are not allowed in the lab.
  • All research buildings are set to card access “weekend” schedule.
  • Remote work is required for non-laboratory activities.

Level 4: Operations suspended

All experiments are stopped, except for COVID-19 research specifically approved by the Office of the Dean for Research. Only designated critical staff are granted access to buildings.
  • Research Lab Operations Plans, including critical monitoring and maintenance, are reviewed and approved by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • All experiments are stopped, except for COVID-19 research specifically approved by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • Key resource maintenance is allowed only for irreplaceable animals (e.g., transgenic mice, zebrafish, Drosophila), cell lines that cannot be cryopreserved, and equipment that cannot be shut down. Activities must be approved by the Office of the Dean for Research.
  • Vertebrate animal management is allowed only by Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR), with access to animal facilities by research personnel as required and with the express approval of LAR.
  • At most, one person per lab is allowed on campus at any given time for critical maintenance functions only, and these functions must not include activities that fall under “hazardous operations.”
  • All personnel must adhere to hygiene, health and safety protocols as prescribed by EHS.
  • Undergraduate students are not allowed in the lab.
  • Only designated critical staff are granted building access.
  • Remote work is required for all activities not specifically listed above.