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Research Updates: Ramping Up Research Activities

Published June 26, 2020

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DATE:            June 26, 2020


TO:                 Faculty, Staff, and Student Researchers


FROM:           Simon Kim, Ph.D.

                        AVP for Research & Sponsored Programs


SUBJECT:    Research Updates: Ramping Up Research Activities


On May 19, 2020 ORSP offered guidance for research and sponsor-related activities by implementing a “phased” approach for all research on campus. This approach aligns with Federal, State, and Local government guidelines as well as the University’s broader “Return to Work” and “Return to School” planning. Strict requirements will remain in place to maintain the safety of the workplace, and any movement between phases will happen cautiously and gradually. We will continue to monitor public health information and, should negative indicators develop, we will dial research activity back down. We expect a very gradual and thoughtful increase in the number of CSULB personnel carrying out in-person research. In addition, restrictions on research requiring travel will also be in place.



ORSP plans to ramp-up research activities through the implementation of four phases. For more information on this phase approach, please visit the ORSP website.

  • Phase 1 represents access restricted to essential personnel and research only.
  • Phase 2 represents a degree of relaxed access, as permitted by Federal, State and Local guidelines with priority given to time sensitive research activities.
  • Phase 3 provides increased relaxation on permitting new research to be initiated and opening up most research activity, but maintaining social distancing and limiting human interaction guidelines in place.
  • Phase 4 is a return to business as usual with full campus and research activities resuming.


ORSP is now transitioning into Phase 2 and is providing the guidance listed below.  


Human Subject Research

  • All human subject research activities that can be done remotely should continue.
  • In general, in-person human subject research activities (including in-person recruitment, interview/focus group, collection of biological samples, etc.) remain to be paused until further notice from the Director of Research Integrity & Compliance.
  • For any request for exceptions, an amendment must be submitted for the IRB to review, with (1) compelling scientific justification as to why the benefits of such in-person interactions outweigh the potential risks of COVID-19 infection, and (2) sufficient description on the methods to mitigate the risks.   
  • No in-person interactions can start/resume prior to the amendment being approved by the IRB.
  • Please follow the instruction details of the IRB Response to COVID-19 Challenges, Phase-2, posted on IRB website, on April 17th, 2020.
  • Consult with the Associate Dean for Research or Research Liaison for any further questions.


Laboratory Research

  • Faculty must develop a recovery plan specific to their research program.
  • For essential research, a request must be submitted and approved by the Department Chair, Dean, and Provost before proceeding.
  • For nonessential research, a request must be submitted and approved by the Department Chair, Dean, and AVP for Research before proceeding. It is highly unlikely that such approval will be granted in the current circumstances.
  • All faculty conducting laboratory research must maintain social distancing; regulate maximum occupancy; preserve good hygiene practices; wear personal protective equipment; and implement cleaning and disinfection procedures.
  • Consult with the Associate Dean for Research or Research Liaison for any questions.


Field Research

  • Faculty request for field research must be approved by the Department Chair and Dean.
  • Approvals depend on local and regional health guidelines in the counties/states or specific offsite locations where field research is to be conducted.
  • All field research must follow current travel restrictions and required approvals as indicated by Federal, State, and Local government guidelines and the University.
  • Consult with the Associate Dean for Research or Research Liaison for any questions.


 Requirements Regarding Face Covering

  • Per California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Guidance dated June 18th  and University policy, researchers are required to wear a face covering in indoor areas at all times, except when alone in offices, mechanical rooms, telecom rooms or within walled cubicles.  Workers must also wear face coverings outdoors in all instances where they are not able to maintain a 6-foot physical distance from other persons. 


cc:        Jane Close Conoley, President

            Brian Jersky, Provost and Senior Vice President

            Scott Apel, Vice President for Administration and Finance

            Academic Deans

            Associate Deans for Research

            George Alfaro, Director of EH&S

            Kimberly Fodran, Chief of Medical Staff