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

On September 11, 2020, the Office of the Vice President for Research announced plans to allow some forms of human subjects research to resume on campus and to increase the workforce density cap to 50% beginning September 23. The increase on workforce density applies not only to human subjects research but to all research groups currently authorized to conduct on-campus research under RL3. Read the full announcement here. Additionally, the Office of the Vice President of Research announced that beginning October 14, 2020, undergraduate students may resume on-campus research with the approval of their supervising Research Level 3-approved principal investigator (PI). Please note that these announcements apply only to investigators who are RL3-approved. If you are not currently approved, please follow the instructions below to apply for RL3 approval.


If you are NOT currently approved for RL3 activity, email CNS_SRI@austin.utexas.edu for information about submitting a RL3 request.


If you are currently approved for RL3 activity but need to adjust your cohort composition (including adding undergraduates), please email CNS_SRI@austin.utexas.edu to receive a link to revise your cohort selection. If you decide to reorganize the personnel in your cohorts, any researchers reassigned or added to an existing cohort must quarantine themselves for 10 days prior to returning to campus in their new cohort.

All researchers in the same building or complex will need to follow the same cohort schedule. This applies even if you do not wish to bring back additional members of your group and instead choose to maintain your lab as a single cohort at less than 50% workforce density. Cohort model details and schedule for your building are available on the CNS Cohort Models webpage. 

RL3 caps the Workforce Number at 50% of the total research workforce, which refers to the maximum allowable percentage of researchers on-site. 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 levels, should COVID-19 infections rise again.

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

begin or reactivate human subjects research

Three requirments must be in place before you may reactivate or begin face-to-face interactions with study participants:

  • You must have approval through the CNS Associate Dean for Research.
  • You must have IRB-approval for the activities you will conduct. If your study procedures are already approved, no further notification to the IRB is necessary for reactivation. 
  • The study must fall within the scope of the currently approved Human Subjects Research Restart Tiers (A, B, and C). Details are available here




Links and Resources


Outlines all of the information you will need to complete the CNS RL3 Restart Request Form.


Outlines all of the information you will need to complete the CNS RL3 Personnel Request Form.


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


Current Level: 3. Limited research activity has resumed on site.


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.