NY State allowed universities to restart research activities on June 10 contingent on implementation of an approved plan for a phased return.
The process for restarting research is described in the Plan for Restarting Research Lab, Field, and Studio Activities, which was amended on June 9. Principal investigators and faculty advisors must create a plan for their own lab or research activity that adapts appropriate safeguards, and then submit that plan to their Chair or unit Director for approval. A schedule for restarting research will be communicated to the PI or advisor by their Chair or Dean.
Yes, principal investigators and faculty advisors must have approval from their Chair (and Dean, if necessary) to begin a phased return to research, as described in the Plan for Restarting Research Lab, Field, and Studio Activities.
Current guidelines require labs to establish and maintain social distancing (minimum 6 feet of separation) and use of face coverings/PPE. All research personnel returning to campus or off-site locations will be required to self-perform daily health screening and must take returning to the workplace training.
The University will provide up to two face coverings (ear-loop style masks) to returning research personnel. Ask your Department Chair or unit Director about arrangements for distribution. If a procedure normally requires the use of a more protective mask or other PPE, the more protective PPE should always be used.
At this time, the provision of tests is being evaluated, based on relevant CDC and NYS Department of Health (DOH) guidance, together with the availability of tests. Testing is available at the NYS Drive Through Testing Site located at Stony Brook University, South P-Lot for those essential staff who require testing. Employees may also choose to seek testing through their private health care provider.
Principal investigators and faculty advisors who conduct field work or off-site research activities must follow the guidance provided in the Plan for Restarting Research Lab, Field, and Studio Activities, and create a plan for approval by their Chair (and Dean if necessary).
The same principles for safeguarding researchers in the lab settings apply to field research. Current guidelines require daily health screening, social distancing (minimum 6 feet of separation), and use of face coverings/PPE. All research personnel will be required to take returning to the workplace training. A full description of required procedures and safeguards can be found here. In addition, some field activities present special circumstances that may require additional safeguards, and should be addressed by the principal investigator or faculty advisor.
Although the Plan for Restarting Research Lab, Field, and Studio Activities was developed with research labs and field activities in mind, the plan’s safeguards and practices can also apply for art-making studios and rehearsal spaces. Chairs and Deans with these activities may require faculty supervisors for such spaces to create a plan for their use.
The COVID-19 Executive Leadership Team continues to evaluate travel restrictions and will advise of changes to current policies.
Research personnel who do not feel comfortable returning to work should not be pressured to do so. Individuals with such concerns may discuss them with their PI, another departmental contact, or with Human Resources ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Graduate School ( email@example.com).
The latest guidance for human subject research can be found
The guidance dated June 15 supersedes all previous guidance regarding human subject research.
Graduate fellows, postdoctoral fellows, and any other researchers unable to view and record the training in SOLAR should visit this site to view the return to work training video and provide affirmation.