Resumption of research activities

May 15, 2020

This message was sent to faculty and postdocs at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dear Colleagues,

This email provides information to support planning for the full resumption of essential, critical and time-sensitive research activities and laboratory operations as part of Phase 1 of the University’s adaptive phasing plan. As we move through Phase 1 and beyond, the overarching goal is to ensure the health and safety of faculty, staff and students.

Beginning May 18, 2020 – with the approval of your Chair, Dean and the VPRI, and the completion of required training – the research activities and operations as defined below may resume:

  1. Essential: Animal labs, protection of cell lines, fly lines, germ lines, and growth chambers, and access to vital computers and documents.
  2. Critical: COVID-19 related rapid-response research activities, e.g., COVID-19 testing, 3D printing of ventilator components, and PPE making and -Omics Core Labs.
  3. Time-sensitive:
  • Data collection or experiments close to completion in which a pause would lead to catastrophic loss of research results,
  • The work of early career stage researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, particularly individuals close to completing their degrees/terms of appointment,
  • Field research, with priority for seasonal data collection,
  • College/School and Department Core Facilities that cannot be operated remotely.

To support the approval process, an online Restarting Research and Laboratory Operations Form must be submitted. A confirmation of approval or non-approval will be returned for each form submitted.

For those who previously completed the Research Continuity Form and received approval for continued activities and operations, a simplified process is available. When you access the online Restarting Research and Laboratory Operations Form, you will indicate prior submission and approval, and be directed to this simplified, alternative process. Based on prior approval, you may continue research activities and laboratory operations or, if applicable, resume full operations.

In all cases, the completion of online COVID-19 trainings will be required of all working in research settings and laboratories prior to returning to work or continuing work. Two trainings, General COVID-19 Training for University Personnel and COVID-19 Training for Research Laboratories and Creative Activities, will be available through Web Campus on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Note: An additional Supervisor’s Training for COVID-19 is being developed by the HR Department and will be available soon. More information is forthcoming.)

All research personnel will be required to wear facial coverings, maintain social distancing of six feet or more, regularly wash hands and disinfect all high-touch surfaces. If your research can be conducted from home, then please do so. Keep in mind, all nonessential employees are to continue to work remotely until further notice.

For further background, please see our Principles and Framework Guiding a Phased Approach to Restarting Research and Creative Activities. The following additional resources have been developed to further support this transition and will be provided to you through the online training:

  • Lab Restart Checklist
  • Daily Health Check form
  • Lab entrance signage and sign-in sheet

It is our goal that all other types of on-site research, scholarly and creative activities will resume on campus on June 1, 2020. The reactivation network for research with human participants is currently being developed, and a restart date for such activity will be communicated at the earliest.

Of course, plans and timelines will be subject to change if warranted by increases in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates and resulting guidelines issued by the Nevada Governor and NSHE Chancellor.

Thank you for your support of the goal to ensure health and safety as we resume this important work.


Mridul Gautam

Vice President for Research and Innovation
Ross Hall, Room 201
(775) 327-2363