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COVID-19 Guidance for the UConn Research Community


As most labs have already resumed activity, the guidance below provides additional guidance for conducting research at UConn after the Fall Re-Opening. This page will continue to be updated regularly with guidance about research activities at the University of Connecticut. For general information related to UConn's response to COVID-19, visit the University's main COVID-19 Updates page.

We thank you for your dedication to the health and safety of your labs and the UConn community.



Questions?

Principles

The health and safety of faculty, staff, students, patients, the public, and human research subjects will be protected.

  • Directives and guidance from local, state, and federal authorities to minimize disease spread and exposure will be followed, such as restrictions related to essential businesses, social distancing, reduced density, stay-at-home, and masks.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) remain responsible for providing direction and oversight of their projects, labs, and/or research sites, and personnel including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff.

Guidance on Lab, Field, and Human Subjects Research

  • Approval from the OVPR for “Resuming Research Activity” is no longer required for conducting research at any UConn campus.
  • Labs and research programs must continue to develop and maintain a written COVID-19 Research Safety Plan (Lab and Field Research COVID-19 Safety Plan or Human Subjects COVID-19 Safety Plan), but submission and approval of Research Safety Plans to the OVPR will no longer be required. Departments and administrative offices are required to perform a detailed risk assessment, set site-specific prevention protocols, and to have the resulting safety plan approved by their leadership. Please note that these plans do not need to be sent to the OVPR.
  • Research personnel must continue to be trained on the plan and documentation of the training must be maintained.
  • Research personnel must continue to complete COVID-19 Research Safety Training from the Division of Environmental Health and Safety. Documentation of completion must be retained as part of Research Safety Plan documentation.
  • Research Safety Plans may be amended as necessary. If a plan is amended, all personnel must be retrained on the amended plan and training must be documented.
  • Research Safety Plans should continue to address federal and state guidelines and requirements.
  • Lab and research personnel must follow University wide and campus specific COVID-19 requirements.
  • Research Safety Plans must allow for distancing of at least six feet, with the goal of maintaining an overall personnel density of 50% or less of the pre-COVID occupancy/density. If this is not possible then the Research Safety Plan must justify why and specify what measures will be put in place to minimize the potential of exposure.
  • For research involving human subjects, Research Safety Plans should be developed based on the clinical requirements of UConn Health, even if those projects take place on another UConn campus. If this is not possible, the Research Safety Plan must justify why and specify what measures will be put in place to minimize the potential of exposure.
  • Labs and research programs should maintain a process to know when personnel are working in the labs or research areas. Labs and research programs may develop their own methods to achieve this goal. Signed daily logs will no longer be required as the only acceptable method. Other acceptable methods include key card access, electronic check-ins, or use of location-based apps like the UConn Location Log. Some schools and colleges may also have processes in place for monitoring building density and access.
  • Labs and research programs should continue to have and refine plans to immediately halt or ramp down research activities, if required.
  • The summer requirements/processes for undergraduates to participate in research will no longer be required. Guidance for Fall Undergraduate Research and Independent Study Courses has been issued.

COVID-19 Research Funding Opportunities

For information about internal and external funding opportunities related to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 Research Funding Opportunities website maintained by the OVPR.