Process for Resuming Research

For Stage 1 of resuming research at Brown, as announced by Provost Richard M. Locke on May 18, individual faculty must submit a written work plan consisting of two parts. In Stage 1, research is eligible to be resumed in Brown-controlled laboratories only if the research cannot be conducted remotely and the research is governed by a research resuming work plan that has been approved in accordance with the process outlined below. Resources and links to submission materials are below. Any questions please email [email protected].

Key Resources:

- Resuming Research Guidance - updated 5/21 - Please read this entire document carefully before submitting your request. 

- COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy 

- EHS Checklist

- Lab Density Google Sheet

- Google Form to Submit Justification and Lab Density Google Sheet
 

Step One

Part One - Justification 

Part One is a 1-2 page narrative description of the research work to be performed and justification for resuming work. For already approved essential or COVID-19 related work with no changes to your work plan, you can resubmit your previous narrative. For already approved essential or COVID-19 related work with additions or changes, please submit an updated description and justification. These materials will be shared with your chair, the building subcommittees, OVPR and EHS. The description and justification must include the following sections. The file must be named DEPARTMENT/CENTER_PI LAST NAME_JUSTIFICATION:

  • Description of the research to be done.

  • Justification for resuming work in the research space.

  • List of personnel who will work in the research space.

  • Lab Safety Plan

    • Description of the social distancing plan for your research space consistent with the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy. You can find a checklist to help you consider what to include in your lab safety plan on the EHS website.

    • Safety plan for any personnel who will work alone.

    • Contact Tracing plan (log, shared google sheet, etc.).

    • All plans submitted to OVPR requesting to resume in-person, on-campus human subjects research activities during Stage 1 must include these minimum requirements.

  • Any additional information related to safety for the research space.

Part Two - Lab Density Google Sheet 

Part Two is completion of a Lab Density Google sheet. Chairs and Research Continuity subcommittees will use these lab density plans to ensure that safe building population densities are not exceeded. Approved lab density plans will be shared with all the building occupants. 

These two documents (Justification and Lab Density Google Sheet) will be submitted via Google Form.

Step Two

Department Chairs and Center Directors will review the plans in their areas to ensure coordination among labs in their department and to adjudicate conflicts among access requests. Chairs and Center Directors will notify OVPR via [email protected] when their department/center aggregate lab plan is ready for review.

Step Three

The Research Continuity Building Subcommittees (see Appendix A in the Resuming Research Guidance for membership) will review the plans for all labs in their assigned buildings to ensure proper floor by floor and overall building density for work shifts. Research Continuity Building Subcommittee leads will notify OVPR via [email protected] when their building plan is ready for review.

Step Four 

A committee chaired by the Vice President for Research, and including representatives from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Management, University Human Resources, the Department of Public Safety, Office of General Counsel and others with expertise and responsibility in health and safety will review each department and building plan for conformity with social distancing and other safety requirements. The Vice President for Research will present recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, who will have final approval on each plan.

If a plan is approved, OVPR will notify the appropriate chair or center director. Researchers approved to work in labs will be required to sign the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy Acknowledgement Form and complete any required training associated with the Policy. Access to campus will not be permitted prior to official notification from the Office of the Vice-President for Research and signing by each individual researcher of the Acknowledgment Form.

EHS and OVPR will maintain copies of all approved research resuming work plans.

Deadlines

  • Principal Investigators (other than in the School of Public Health) who wish their plans to be reviewed in the first wave of plan reviews must submit their plan via the Google Form by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Friday, May 22, 2020. All plans received by that deadline will be reviewed first, with the goal of an initial set of approved labs being able to resume operations the week of June 1, 2020.

  • School of Public Health PIs who wish their plans to be reviewed in the first wave of Public Health plan reviews must submit their plan via the Google Form by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26. All School of Public Health plans received by that deadline will be reviewed first, with the goal of an initial set of approved Public Health labs being able to resume operations the week of June 8, 2020.

  • Subsequently, all plans will be reviewed on a rolling basis in the order they are received.