You are here

RESEARCH UPDATES: Guiding a Phased Approach to Ramping Up Laboratory Research Activities

Published May 20, 2020

csulb logo

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, LONG BEACH

OFFICE OF RESEARCH & SPONSORED PROGRAMS (ORSP)

 

DATE:           May 19, 2020

 

TO:                 Faculty, Staff, and Student Researchers

 

FROM:           Simon Kim, Ph.D.

            AVP for Research & Sponsored Programs

 

SUBJECT:     Guiding a Phased Approach to Ramping Up Laboratory Research Activities

 

On March 19th, 2020 Governor Newsom issued a “Stay at Home Order” and strengthened mandates to encourage social distancing and limit human interactions in a crucial measure for slowing the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) implemented guidelines indicating only essential research personnel, essential experiments, and essential sponsored activities were allowed to continue on campus. As of May 8th, Governor Newsome implemented his Stage 2 Resilience Roadmap, i.e., plan of a gradual easing of the stay-at-home order.

In response to these updates, ORSP is offering guidance for research and sponsor-related activities by implementing a “phased” approach for all research on campus. This approach will align 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.

PHASED APPROACH

ORSP plans to ramp-up research activities through the implementation of four phases.  

  • Phase 1 (Current Phase) represents access restricted to essential personnel and research only. For more information on this phase please visit the ORSP website.
  • 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.

This plan is also flexible enough to enable the swift ramp down of research to an earlier phase in response to changing circumstances. Below ORSP has developed a table that provides criteria that will be required in each phase and the time frame of each phase. This table will be updated as the authorities provide guidance and in collaboration with the Universities broader orders to resume to normal activities.

PHASE

CRITERIA

TIME PERIOD

1

RESEARCH CONTINUITY ONLY

  • Research and program facilities are closed, except where research and personnel are deemed essential. Implementation of strict social distancing and limited human interactions in place.
  • Must request permission or authorization to be on campus for an extended period of time. No research materials taken home except for laptops, hard drives, books.
  • All research that can be done remotely should continue.

Current

2

RESEARCH EFFORT INCREASED TO 35% *

  • Maintain social distancing and regulate max occupancy per building (e.g., 115 sf/person).
  • Plans must be approved by Dean’s Office.
  • Allow research for experiments close to completion, or deadline driven, whose pause or deferral would lead to catastrophic delay or loss of research results.
  • Animal experiments where a delay would result in euthanasia or loss of a colony.
  • Prioritize access to campus facilities for graduate students and senior undergraduates close to completing their degree/term of appointment.
  • Prioritize research for completion of grants with end dates within 3 months (where funding agency has not granted leniency).
  • Field research: Approvals depend on current restrictions for travel.
  • Plans for sudden return to Phase 1 in place.
  • Allow access to single occupancy offices 1-3 days/week for work that cannot be done elsewhere.

TBD

3

RESEARCH EFFORT INCRESED TO 75% *

  • Maintain social distancing and regulate max occupancy per building (e.g., 115 sf/person).
  • Plans must be approved by Dean’s Office.
  • Resume research and program activities where social distancing and limited human interactions can be demonstrated, but limited to 75% of normal capacity.
  • Field Research - further expand on case by case basis (depending on local conditions/restrictions at field sites, travel restrictions, ability to travel safely and ability to social distance at field sites).
  • Prioritize access to campus facilities for graduate students and senior undergraduates close to completing their degree/term of appointment.
  • Allow access to single occupancy offices 3-5 days/week.

TBD

4

RESEARCH AT 100% EFFORT

  • Consider removing all COVID 19 SOPs.
  • Allow all lab, program and field research activities.

 

TBD

 * "% research effort" is a combination of number of researchers and hours worked. Faculty to define what this means for their lab as part of their written social distancing plans. These plans to provide a research density at lab and building levels which mitigates risk.