Research Guidance

 

In mid-March 2020, the University temporarily halted most on-campus research activities to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect members of our community. Since then, leaders across campus have implemented protocols to resume research while adhering to necessary safety precautions and governmental orders. In mid-June 2020, the University began the gradual, phased resumption of on-campus lab-based and non-lab-based research. A full resumption of research activities is expected during the 2021 – 2022 academic year if the state of the pandemic and the health of our community allow.


Take Action

  • As we continue the reintroduction of on-campus research and activity, principal investigators, researchers, and scholars are required to develop a research resumption plan in accordance with University guidelines and divisional implementation plans. In order to facilitate operational coordination and regulatory compliance associated with research resumption, all research resumption plans should be submitted through an online form. The research resumption plans will then be routed directly to departmental chairs and deans for review and approval. The research resumption plans require a personnel list Excel template to upload in the online form.

    To clarify, the University is not using any of this information to centrally determine eligibility for research resumption. All research resumption plans will be reviewed and approved by the division. Upon approval, specific directions and information will be sent to you directly by your dean.

    1. Save the completed research resumption plan to your computer with the principal investigator/researcher name in the file name (e.g., “Last Name_Research Resumption Plan”).
    2. Go to the web form that can be accessed here.
    3. When prompted in the online form, upload your research resumption plan, as well as the required personnel form. The personnel form should identify all individuals who will perform research and related activity on campus under your plan. A template is available for convenience here.
    4. Click the Submit button.
    5. If you have any questions or issues with the online form, please contact the system team assistance by emailing aura-help@uchicago.edu.
    6. Deans and department chairs will receive an email with the submitted data, research resumption plan, and other attachments for review and approval in accordance with each division implementation plan.
    7. Principal investigators/researchers will receive an email when their research resumption plans are either approved or denied by their dean.
  • It is anticipated that you will need to make adjustments and updates to your original RRP. Please complete this simplified form and upload any related attachments to provide these updates. Upon completion it will be routed to your Chair and Dean for review and approval of your Modification.

    • COVID-19-related supplies are available for units to purchase via two internal BuySite catalogs. The first, “General Use C-19 Supplies,” includes items such as face coverings, hand sanitizer, and surface cleaning supplies. The second catalog, “Research Resumption-Lab Use Only,” contains the same COVID-19 general use supplies as well as a few products currently in short supply that are needed for lab-based researchers.
    • Departmental BuySite requestors should coordinate with their unit leadership and follow the directions below:
      1. Log into BuySite and select one of the COVID-19 “Internal Supplies” catalogs.
      2. Click the magnifying glass. (Important: Do not enter any information in the search bar.)
      3. Select from the list of available COVID-19-related safety supplies.
      4. Use your regular FAS account number for your purchase. (Note: Guidance from our auditors indicates that COVID-19 FAS accounts established for units should not be used for these purchases.)
      5. Submit the requisition as you normally would in BuySite.
      6. Once the order is fully approved, it will be routed to the Facilities Services Inventory Team for delivery. Our goal is to deliver the supplies within 1-2 business days of the unit placing the order, subject to demand.
      7. Please note: There are shortages and other supply chain disruptions to many COVID-19-related supplies nationwide. Thanks to the University’s supplier relationships, including the partnership with the Medical Center, we were able to purchase bulk quantities of the items listed in the catalogs to secure product and leverage pricing. We ask that departments only order the current amounts of supplies they need to ensure adequate supply for everyone returning to campus
  •  Review and submit the online attestation.

    1. Review your division/school’s implementation plan here and research resumption roles and responsibilities here.
    2. Develop your research resumption plan (RRP) using your division/school’s required form.
    3. Follow the steps below and described further in the “Take Action” section. You will need to:
      1. Submit your RRP through the University’s webform. This will direct your RRP and additional information to your Department Chair and Dean for review and approval
      2. Complete a current attestation for researchers.
      3. Order any necessary PPE to ensure adequate supplies of are available for your research team. You are encouraged to order PPE through BuySite.

    You must strictly adhere to your RRP, plus any guidelines established by the University and your division.

Research Guidance

The information below may assist you as you develop your research resumption plans.

  • With guidance from University of Chicago Medicine and public health experts as well as input from leaders across campus, we’ve developed the  Guide to Resuming In-Person Activities  to provide you with information and support for returning to the workplace. In it you’ll find details about the University’s health and safety requirements, guidance for adhering to social distancing requirements while in offices, cubicles, hallways, elevators, and other spaces, wellness resources, and more. The guide is updated frequently as new information and resources become available. Read the guide .


  • The Leaders and Managers Guide to the Resumption of In-Person Activities has been developed specifically for leaders and managers with policies, tools, and recommendations, including health and safety protocols and guidance on using campus space safely, to help you plan and prepare for your employees’ return to campus. The guide is updated frequently as new information and resources become available. Read the guide.

  • To access divisional implementation plans, log into this Box folder using a valid CNET ID. Plans will be added to this folder as they are approved and updated.

  • Please consult the latest University protocols and guidance before making any travel plans.

    Resources are available for travel planning, including details on field research safety.

  • Beginning Winter Quarter 2021:

    1. An undergraduate is no longer required to have at least one year of prior experience in the PI’s laboratory; and
    2. The PI must identify who will serve as the undergraduate’s direct student supervisor and document (e.g., via an email) the supervisor’s agreement to supervise the student.

    The other research resumption requirements and guidelines are unchanged and, as a reminder, include:

    1. Adherence to the universal masking, hand hygiene, and other COVID-19 related public health practices within the laboratory.
    2. The undergraduate’s completion of a current attestation
    3. Completion of relevant lab safety training (e.g., biosafety, chemical hygiene, laser or radiation safety training, general lab safety) which can be found at ORS training.
    4. At this time, minors are not permitted in the research labs.

    Note: It is still the case that undergraduates who are not enrolled in the College are not eligible to participate in on-campus research activities via the “Educational Assignments” process, which will remain suspended until further notice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Research planning group has developed and provided criteria and guidance to University Divisions and Schools in restarting and continuing research operations in their units. This is an ongoing effort as conditions and government policies require updated policies and processes. The group also serves as the monitoring body to oversee the resumption of research activities.

  • The following principles guide the committee in considering the phased resumption of research activities:

    • The health and safety of all individuals must be the primary focus of all activities,
    • Research resumption will need to occur in stages,
    • Resumption will be based on the prevailing conditions of the University, healthcare system and governmental restrictions, and
    • Plans will need to anticipate the prospect of cyclic changes, including the sudden need for research ramp-down.

    The Research Resumption Working Group is working closely with deans and faculty on implementation plans for their respective units. The committee continues to develop centralized guidance for future phases of research resumption.

  • Name Unit
    Aaron Dinner Physical Sciences Division
    Conrad Gilliam Biological Sciences Division
    Courtney Davis Curtis Office of the Vice President for Operations and Chief Financial Officer
    Daniel Arber Biological Sciences Division
    Emily Landon Biological Sciences Division
    Ethan Bueno de Mesquita Harris School of Public Policy
    George Langan Biological Sciences Division
    Jennifer Ponting University Research Administration
    John D’Angelo Facilities Services
    Joselyn Malamy Biological Sciences Division
    Joseph Kanabrocki Office of Research and National Laboratories
    Josh Beck Social Sciences Division
    Juan de Pablo Office of Research and National Laboratories
    Judd Johnson Biological Sciences Division
    Karen Kim (chair) Office of the Provost
    Katherine Baicker Harris School of Public Policy
    Laurence Hill Office of Research and National Laboratories
    Mary Naset Communications
    Melissa Sherwin Office of the Provost/Ci3
    Michael D. Hopkins Office of the Provost
    Michael Ludwig University Research Administration
    Paul DeLuca Emergency Communications and Security Operations
    Russell Herron Office of Legal Counsel
    Smita Singh Office of Legal Counsel
    Stuart Rowan Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
    Victoria E. Prince Biological Sciences Division
    Sascha Ebeling Humanities Division
    Michael Foote Physical Sciences Division
    Giulia Galli Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering
    Tom Ginsburg Law School
    Sydney Hans School of Social Service Administration
    Brenda Johnson University Libraries
    Emilio Kouri Social Sciences Division
    Diane Lauderdale Biological Sciences Division
    Shan Lu Physical Sciences Division
    Joseph Masco Social Sciences Division
    Robert Shimer Social Sciences Division
    Pietro Veronesi Booth School of Business
    Stephen Weber Biological Sciences Division

    Note: Italics signify faculty members.

Additional Information

Building Issues

Facilities Services

Submit an online service request

General Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

Email safety@uchicago.edu or visit safety.uchicago.edu.

Laboratory Safety and Cleaning

Office of Research Safety

Email researchsafety@uchicago.edu

PPE/Supply Acquisition

Procurement Services

773.702.5800 or submit a question online

Research with Human Subjects

Institutional Review Board

Biological Sciences Division: Millie Maleckar, mmalecka@bsd.uchicago.edu

Social Service Administration: Kari Walsh, kewalsh@uchicago.edu

Social and Behavioral Sciences: Cheri Pettey, cpettey@uchicago.edu

Other

Office of Research and National Laboratories

Email researchinnovation@uchicago.edu