Yes, New York State allowed universities to restart research activities on June 10, 2020, contingent on implementation of an approved plan for a phased return. The University’s plan was approved and implemented prior to restarting research.
The process for restarting research is described in the Plan for Restarting Research Lab, Field, and Studio Activities , which was last amended on Nov. 24, 2020. 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. Details of the process can be found here .
Current guidelines require labs to establish and maintain social distancing (minimum six feet of separation) and use of face coverings/masks. All research personnel returning to campus or off-site locations are required to self-perform daily health screenings using the Campus Clear app and must have taken returning to the workplace training.
Research personnel are subject to the same guidance for testing as employees. Current guidance for COVID-19 pooled testing is provided here.
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 and guidelines for safeguarding researchers in the lab settings apply to field research. Current guidelines require daily health screening, social distancing (minimum six feet of separation), and use of face coverings/masks. 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.
Activities that use studio and rehearsal spaces are permitted subject to requirements for developing an approved plan as described in the Plan for Restarting Research Lab, Field, and Studio Activities .
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 ( email@example.com) or the Graduate School ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is strongly encouraged that participation by undergraduate students in research be limited to remote means. In rare instances, if a principal investigator considers that in-person participation by an undergrad is essential, they should provide justification in their lab operating plan. After consulting with their Dean, a Chair has the authority to approve such a request.