Return to Research Guidelines


  1. Following guidelines from the CDC, practice social distancing.
  2. Face masks are required when transiting or operating in buildings.
  3. Maintain good hygiene, washing hands before and after entering spaces such as bathrooms, labs, and shared offices. Follow proper sneeze/cough etiquette and avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Self-screen before coming to work and follow the Employee-Return to Campus Checklist for guidance. If ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 stay home. Contact your healthcare provider and notify your supervisor of the needed absence.
  5. If you begin to show symptoms at work, notify your supervisor and leave work immediately.

Research Lab Hygiene

  1. Implement a 6' social distancing metric for personnel working within labs or shared office spaces.
  2. Face masks are required when working in labs or offices shared with others.
  3. Common touch items such as cabinet handles, benches, instrument touch screens, etc. should be cleaned at the beginning and end of each workday or at the beginning and end of each shift.
  4. Shared equipment such as keyboards, tools, pipettors, etc. should be wiped down between each user.

Research Lab Operations

  1. To the extent possible, vacate research buildings between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. Doing so will ensure that housekeeping personnel on Aramark's third shift are able to disinfect spaces uninterrupted.
  2. To the extent possible, work remotely on literature searches, writing, or data analysis; only working in the lab when it is necessary to conduct physical experiments.
  3. High occupancy labs should reduce the number of personnel in lab at a given time by creating rotating shifts.
  4. PI's are responsible for developing and implementing an appropriate management plan for their laboratories. This includes training their personnel on appropriate cleaning and disinfecting techniques. Use the provided Checklist for All Managers for guidance.
  5. Managers/Directors of shared facilities, such as computer labs and core facilities, are responsible for implementing any additional protocols or procedures that are deemed necessary to maintain a safe work environment in the space that they oversee.
  6. Labs that do not utilize a card reader for entry are strongly encouraged to continue using the lab sign in/sign-out sheet to support contact tracking, should that become necessary.

Clinical and Human Subject Research

  1. Follow university guidelines for hygiene, social distancing, and wearing facial coverings.
  2. Research with human subjects should be conducted remotely as much as possible. Changes to protocols to conduct the research remotely must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to implementation.
  3. Self-monitor daily for COVID symptoms before coming to campus or meeting with research participants.
  4. Direct contact with research participants must be kept to the minimum necessary.
  5. All research participants must be screened by phone or email for possible exposure or symptoms of illness within 24 hours of potential in-person contact. Advise participant that they should wear a facial covering and follow current hygiene guidelines, such as handwashing.
  6. Allow only the number of people necessary to the visit and into the research space. Ventilation modifications, site changes (outdoors vs indoors), and physical barriers, including clear plexiglass shields may be useful in situations where protracted assessment/testing is anticipated. Contact EHS for assessment.
  7. Ensure waiting areas allow for social distancing and are disinfected hourly. Post signage regarding waiting area guidelines. It may be appropriate for participants to wait in their car until called.
  8. Meeting areas should be disinfected between participants. Contact EHS for appropriate disinfection guidance.
  9. Equipment should be disinfected between uses. Contact EHS for appropriate disinfection guidance.
  10. The principal investigator is responsible for educating all research staff on in-person and disinfection procedures.
  11. Be prepared for in-person contact to be abruptly suspended due to local circumstances.
  12. If a researcher wishes to limit recruitment to fully vaccinated individuals, they must submit an amendment to the IRB prior to implementation. Please note that such a limit may negatively affect your recruitment, may violate the Justice principle of the Belmont Report, and there is no guarantee that the IRB will approve the exclusion. If a non-vaccinated exclusion is approved, researchers may only ask if an individual is fully vaccinated and may not request to see or copy a vaccination card.