This site provides guidance on SBS Implementation of RII's Research Restart Plan, which facilitates phased restarting or commencing of research that was paused in light of the COVID19 pandemic.
SBS implementation is led by SBS Associate Dean for Research (ADR) Jane Zavisca.
Both university and external conditions related to the pandemic are changing rapidly. Many UA policies and guidance relevant to research restart are subject to change (e.g. PPE and hygiene training, protocols, and provisioning; field research guidance; travel restrictions and authorizations; campus research facility reopening schedules such as labs, libraries, and museums).
What's New (updated May 27, 2021)
- The University of Arizona entered Stage 5 of the Research Restart Plan on May 24, 2021.
- RII research restart checklists are no longer required (as of May 24). The SBS checklist supplementary form is also no longer required.
- UA policies on both domestic and international research travel have been revised to simplify approval.
- IRB is running a significant backlog for human subjects approvals due to the high volume of requests. There will be further delays over the summer during transition to an electronic IRB records system. Hence researchers are strongly advised to submit protocols ASAP for summer research.
Formal approval of a coronavirus mitigation plan (via the RII checklist system) is no longer required. This does NOT mean a return to pre-pandemic working conditions. Researchers are still expected to develop such plans so as to minimize risk of contagion to themselves and others in the course of conducting research.
Research conducted in UA facilities should follow UA's return-to-campus protocols on masking and distancing for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals.
Off-campus research should be conducted in such a way as to comply with regulations of the relevant local institutions and authorities.
For any project involving risks and mitigation requirements beyond basic measures of masking and social distancing, or in community settings with high-risk populations, a separate, detailed written COVID19 risk mitigation safety protocol should be written up in advance of conducting research. Consult RII's field research guidance document for suggested mitigation strategies for off-campus settings and during research-related travel.
As a reminder, travel pre-authorization is mandatory for ALL university travel by employees, students, and DCCs for any academic or business purposes undertaken in the scope of UA employment or study. This is true regardless of funding source and even if expenses will not be paid by by the university. Non-compliance may result in the traveler not being reimbursed, or in disciplinary action when placing the University or community at an increased risk during the pandemic.
Domestic Out-of-State Travel (outside of Arizona, within the United States)
- Domestic travel is approved by the Department Head/Director (DHD). Such approval is documented via the DHD's signature on the travel authorization routing.
- Travelers should review the updated FSO Coronavirus Travel Authorization Policy and Procedures (especially the sections on Domestic-Out-of-State Travel and Supplemental Travel Policy), and the latest CDC Guidance on Domestic Travel during COVID-19.
- Note the FSO travel policy includes guidance on travel precautions based on vaccination status that travelers should take into account. DHDs should confirm that the traveler has reviewed the policy, but should not ask about vaccination status when approving travel.
- The traveler should document pandemic conditions and restrictions at the research site(s) as well as along the travel routes, and attest in writing that they have verified they can conduct the research desired at the time of travel. The DHD should confirm such documentation prior to approving travel.
- Should the planned sites be in a substantially different phase of re-opening or a community that is at risk, additional documentation, criteria, and restrictions for travel approval may apply. Contact ADR Jane Zavisca for further guidance in such cases.
- To initiate the request for UA Global travel approval, travelers should complete the registration forms in the UA Global Travel registry. If the UA Global Travel office determines that the travel may entail high or extreme risk, further review by ITSOC and DHD/Dean will be required. In such cases the UA Global travel office will reach out directly to the traveler, DHD, and dean. Otherwise, the registry status will simply be updated to indicate registration is complete.
- Travelers should review the updated FSO Coronavirus Travel Authorization Policy and Procedures (especially the sections on International Travel and Supplemental Travel Policy), and the latest CDC Guidance on International Travel during COVID-19.
- International travel must also be approved by Department Head/Director (DHD). Such approval is documented via the DHD's signature on the travel authorization routing. Note the FSO travel policy includes guidance on travel precautions based on vaccination status that travelers should take into account. DHDs should confirm that the traveler has reviewed the policy, but should not ask about vaccination status when approving travel.
- For general guidance on safely restarting workplace activities, see the University return-to-campus protocols.
- For assistance with placing orders for needed PPE or sanitation supplies, contact your unit's Building/Space Manager.
- For guidance on COVID-19 related human subjects research (IRB) considerations, see the Checklist & Guidance Documents Section of the RII Research Restart Website. Linked documents include Guiding Principles for Restarting HSR, a Verbal Consent Script on COVID-19 risks, and a Participant Wellness Screen Flowchart. For further questions, contact the Human Subjects Protection Program, email@example.com.
- For other research-related considerations, please review the guidance and FAQs on the RII Research Restart website. If your question is still not answered and you need further assistance, contact SBS ADR Jane Zavisca at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For non-research related questions about COVID19 and campus reopening, consult with your Department Head or Director.