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This page contains information ​for faculty and other researchers about UT and CNS' phased approach to resuming research operations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 21, 2020, the Office of the Vice President for Research announced that UT will begin a multi-phase plan to increase research activity on- and off-campus. For now each research project will need to be approved individually.  The approval process will run through the colleges. PIs who wish to perform research in this next phase will need to request approval through the Assoc. Dean of Research. Requests will be evaluated in consultation with the CNS department chairs.

You will see that each Research Phase in the restart plan specifies a target Workforce Number, which refers to the maximum allowable percentage of researchers on-site. Research has been operating currently according to the plan's Research Phase 4. We are transitioning to Research Phase 3. Research Phase 3 caps the Workforce Number at 30%-40% of the total research workforce. Visit the Research Restart FAQs page (link below) for clarification on calculating your Workforce Number. Please do not resume projects that cannot be stopped again on short notice. We should anticipate the possibility of returning to more restricted research phases, should COVID-19 infections rise again. 

CNS is accepting PI requests to resume Phase 3 research activity only. Even if you have a current research exemption, you still need to request approval for this new phase of research activity. Note: Requests to restart Fieldwork Research should be submitted via a separate form, linked below.

Refer to the steps, links, and resources below to learn more about research activities permitted in this phase and to find useful templates for resuming research in your lab.


Steps to Request Approval to Restart Your Research

Step 1

Develop a Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) document describing how your laboratory will conduct research safely. This document must be uploaded as part of the approval process. Think about how your lab's workflow will have to be adjusted to achieve appropriate social distancing. Think about the instruments, equipment, gas lines, specific experiments, etc. in your lab that will need special attention as we ramp research back up. Develop procedures for cleaning and disinfecting your space. The university has produced a PI Research Restart Toolkit (see below) that contains UT policies and best practices for resuming research activities in your group or laboratory.

Step 2

Gather and prepare all applicable information and documents required for submitting your request, including but not limited to, research personnel contact information and EIDs, Biosafety protocol numbers and similar, core facility requirements, operating procedures, etc. Review the CNS Research Restart Request Guide (see below) before you begin completing the online request form. The guide provides information required for your submission. 

Step 3

Complete the appropriate form(s) for your research restart request. There are separate forms for lab research and fieldwork. CNS will review your request(s), contact you if additional information is needed, and notify you of approval. 







Links and Resources


Outlines all of the information you will need to complete the CNS Research Restart Request Form.


Policies, best practices, and a checklist for resuming research operations in your lab.

Current Phase: 4. Phase 3 will begin on June 1, 2020. Includes table of each Research Restart Phase.
Answers to frequently asked questions regarding research restart.

Resources and procedures for planning the restart of your research operations


template to capture critical information for contact tracing

Visit VPR's Research Restart page for more information and resources.