Policies and Protocols

A set of principles and procedures is guiding the development, review and approval of plans to resume research operations in labs during a gradual return to laboratory-based research.

After pausing most research in March, the first stage of a gradual and controlled return to research operations conducted on campus was launched in June 2020 with a focus on Brown’s extensive portfolio of laboratory-based research. The university is currently in second stage of the process.

A research continuity committee of faculty and staff, chaired by Brown’s vice president for research, developed principles and procedures for Stage 2 of resuming work in research facilities. This document details the principles that are guiding the development, review and approval of plans to resume research operations in labs, as well as the criteria that is guiding the response to requests to resume activity. Social distancing and reduced density of research personnel in University research spaces will continue to be required until public health guidelines allow for changes in practice.

The review of all submitted plans involves representatives of multiple departments and offices, including department chairs, building representatives, Environmental Health and Safety, and Facilities Management. The process culminates in recommendations from the vice president for research to Brown’s provost and executive vice president for finance and administration for final review and decisions.

Anyone who can perform their research remotely is continuing  to do so. By minimizing the number of people in Brown buildings, this will allow adequate access with social distancing for those whose research absolutely requires work in Brown facilities. Researchers approved to work in labs as part of an approved Resumption of Research plan must complete training titled “Social Distancing and Return to Campus Guidelines for Employees” and sign the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy Acknowledgement Form.

Questions and suggestions regarding any of these matters may be directed to the appropriate office or an email address established for questions regarding Brown’s return to campus research, [email protected]

Last updated August 20, 2020. Information on this page may be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.