Office of the Provost
Reminders and resources for spring research activity
As we start a new semester, we’re reaching out with a few reminders and resources to keep in mind regarding research programs and labs. In short, the regulations in place for the fall semester remain largely unchanged for the spring.
As the University has shared previously, please keep in mind that COVID vaccination does not change or eliminate any state, UConn, and/or UConn Health requirements. Requirements, such as mask usage and social distancing, will remain in place until we communicate otherwise.
Below is a list of current procedures and resources related to research activities, such as student research participation, safety plans, and travel.
- Safety plan: Each research program/lab must maintain a COVID Safety Plan that details how personnel density will be minimized, general and special requirements to disinfect/clean equipment and work areas, identification of activities that can continue to be done remotely, and requirements for any specialized PPE. Safety Plans do not need to be submitted for approval, but should be retained by the area with documentation that all personnel have been trained on and have signed off on the plan.
- COVID training: All on-campus personnel must complete relevant COVID trainings (Returning to Research and/or Returning to Campus) and documentation retained by the research program/lab.
- Travel: Travel remains heavily restricted, based on federal and state guidelines. Additionally, quarantine requirements must be followed, in keeping with state guidance. More information can be found in the Provost’s Office FAQs, as well as HR’s Travel Guidance and the State of Connecticut’s website. Some scenarios (such as fieldwork, K-12 education research, etc.) may pose unique challenges and will be addressed individually with school and college leadership, OVPR and the Provost’s Office.
- Undergraduate student research: Students may participate in research activities, following state, UConn and/or UConn Health requirements. More information is available from the Office of Undergraduate Research at their website.
- Scholarly publications: UConn Library is following modified protocol to access materials from their collections. Please be sure to reference their website for the latest information.
- Vaccination: At this time, we are in the first sub-phase of Phase 1b, which includes only individuals who are aged 75 or older. As we progress through the sub-phases of 1b, UConn will continue to work with the state to define eligibility, and Human Resources will notify employees directly when they are eligible for the vaccine. More information is available at HR’s COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Information page.
- COVID Testing and reporting:
- Faculty and staff: Employee baseline testing for spring 2021 was conducted Jan. 4 through Jan. 22. Surveillance and potential exposure testing will continue through the semester. For more information on employee testing and reporting, visit hr.uconn.edu/employee-covid-testing and hr.uconn.edu/covid-19-hr-faqs.
- Undergraduate and graduate students (including graduate student employees): Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) provides testing and medical information for students. Please visit studenthealth.uconn.edu/updates-events/coronavirus.
- COVID-Focused Work Balance Task Force: The Office of the Provost has convened a task force to consider many of the challenges COVID poses for faculty and academic staff work-life balance for the spring semester. The group is currently gathering information on the range of impact; if you would like to share your thoughts, you may send them to Vice Provost Michael Bradford, email@example.com.
- Other resources: General resources from the state, UConn and UConn Health can be found at the following links:
We appreciate all your efforts to modify your research program to work within restricted guidelines. Your scholarship and discoveries are a critical component of fulfilling our mission as a top research university. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to share them with our offices.
Radenka and Carl
Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs