Working Together to Protect our Community and Advance our Academic Mission

Research

In mid-March, the University temporarily halted the majority of 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, the University began the gradual, phased resumption of on-campus lab-based and non-lab-based research. 

Researchers returning to campus are required to adhere to safety measures. As we continue on-campus research in subsequent phases and prepare for the Autumn Quarter, we remain focused on the health and safety of all members of the community and continue providing support for the pursuit of the original, impactful research and scholarship that is a hallmark of our institution.

Policies and guidance for research resumption were created in partnership with each school and division, and follow the outlined process:

Take Action

Submit Your Research Resumption Plan
Amend your Approved Research Resumption Plan

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 and submission it will be routed to your Chair and Dean for review and approval of your Modification.

Order PPE
  • 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
COMPLETE YOUR ATTESTATION

 Review and submit the online attestation.

Complete Your Required Training
  • All researchers and their personnel are required to complete an online training prior to returning to campus. Trainings may be accessed with a valid CNET ID. You must click on and complete the attestation on the “read this first” document prior to launching the training. After watching the training, you must exit the video and successfully complete a quiz. Only one training is required; please complete the one designated to your research area:
    1. Laboratory-based research: Log in and select the training titled “COVID-19 Controlled Resumption of Research Activities.”
    2. Non-laboratory-based research and personnel training: Log in and select the training titled “COVID-19 General Safety Training.”
FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH UCAIR FOR COVID-19 ISSUES

Members of the University community who have concerns about potential noncompliance with health and safety requirements related to COVID-19 can share their concerns (anonymously, if preferred) through the University Accident Incident Reporting (UCAIR) system. Concerns that are reported through UCAIR will be shared with the relevant University office or department so they can be aware of and address the underlying concern where appropriate. 

Examples of COVID-19-related issues that should be reported through UCAIR include: 

  • Concerns about face covering/PPE usage 
  • Concerns about social distancing and space density
  • Concerns about cleaning and disinfection
  • Concerns about individuals who should not be in contact with others on campus; for example, if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19 or are subject to mandatory quarantine
  • Any other COVID-19-related public health concern

This is an expanded role for UCAIR, which is the system currently used for reporting accidents/incidents or safety concerns on campus. During the pandemic, UCAIR will also serve as the system for anyone at the University to use to report and elevate concerns about COVID-19 health and safety violations. UCAIR should NOT be used to report any potential COVID-19 exposures or confirmed cases. For these types of reports, email C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu.

 

Research Guidance

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

Research Resumption Timeline

RESUMING RESEARCH: PHASES FOR LABORATORY RESEARCH

The University has defined six phases for the resumption of laboratory research on campus:

  • Phase 0: Shut down except for maintenance of critical on-campus resources.
  • Phase 1: Illinois stay-at-home order in place. On-campus research and scholarship are limited to less than 10%, with expectations that the majority of work remains remote.
  • Phase 2: On-campus research and scholarship are increased to approximately 25% occupancy of laboratory spaces, with expectations that the majority of work remains remote. Plans for rapid return to Phase 1 if needed.
  • Phase 3: On-campus research and scholarship are increased to 50% occupancy of laboratory spaces with remote work recommended when possible, including all seminars, group meetings, and conferences.
  • Phase 4: Adaptation of normal levels of on-campus research and scholarship providing a remote-work option.
  • Phase 5: Return to full research operations, with new awareness and hygiene practices as the norm and remote work utilized as needed.

RESUMING RESEARCH: PHASES FOR NON-LABORATORY RESEARCH

The University has defined six phases for the resumption of non-laboratory research on campus:

  • University Research Phase 0: Shut down except for maintenance of critical on-campus resources.
  • University Research Phase 1: Illinois stay-at-home order in place. On-campus research and  scholarship are limited to less than 10%, with expectations that the majority of work remains remote.
  • University Research Phase 2: On-campus research and scholarship are increased to approximately 25% occupancy at any time* with expectations that the majority of work remains remote. Scholars may retrieve items from library and offices. Some on-campus research involving human interaction in the medical center may resume. Some off-campus research and scholarship may resume with approved resumption plans. Contingency plans to allow for a rapid return to Phase 1 are in place.
  • University Research Phase 3: On-campus research and scholarship are increased to 50% occupancy at any time. Off-campus research and scholarship increases. Remote work is preferred when possible, including all meetings, seminars, and conferences.
  • University Research Phase 4: Adaptation of normal levels of on-campus research and scholarship providing a remote-work option. On-campus research involving in-person interaction with healthy human subjects resumes under approved resumption plans.
  • University Research Phase 5: Return to full research operations, with new awareness and hygiene practices as the norm and remote work used as needed.

*Resumption is limited by whether building is open and prepared for occupancy.

Process for Research Resumption
  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.  Specifically 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. As a condition of RRP approval, you and your research team will also need to:
    3. Complete the COVID-19 safety training and attestation for researchers.
    4. Order any necessary PPE to ensure adequate supplies of are available for your research team. You are encouraged to order PPE through BuySite.
    5. Once your RRP is approved, your division/school will grant building key card access and other required permissions to enter buildings.

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

Research Resumption Roles and Responsibilities
Guidance For Non-Laboratory Research
Divisional Implementation Plans

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.

Travel Safety and Security

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.

Questions

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

 

 

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the focus of the Research planning group?

The Research planning group has been asked to develop and provide criteria and guidance to University Divisions and Schools in restarting research operations in their units. This will be 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.

Who is in the Research planning group?
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
Kathleen A. Cagney Social Sciences Division
Laurence Hill Office of Research and National Laboratories
Mary Naset Communications
Melissa Gilliam Office of the Provost
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
Christopher Woods Oriental Institute

Note: Italics signify faculty members.

What are the guiding principles for the Research planning group?

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 is also developing centralized guidance on future phases of research resumption.

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