COVID-19 Update: Guidelines for Reopening Research
05/01/2020, 12:30:01 PM
From the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston. View this message in browser.
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Dear Research Faculty,

As previously advised, we have been working on guidelines and processes for the safe reopening of the research enterprise, in accordance with President Khator’s message on April 30. As we implement the President’s directive to allow the resumption of research operations on Tuesday, May 5, it is necessary that we take every precaution necessary to ensure the health and safety of our community of staff, students and faculty, which is our overarching goal.

Access to Campus

We took important steps to implement guidelines to protect the health and well-being of students, staff and faculty who conduct research in university space. Please visit our Reopening Research page where guidelines on how to work safely on campus are provided. We have also included specific sections on Human Subject Research and Animal Research.

Before you can return to your labs and other research spaces, here is what you need to do:

  1. Complete online training. The COVID-19 Return to Work training is located in AccessUH in the TAP online training module. This is mandatory for everyone coming on campus.
  2. Conduct a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19. Review and acknowledge the Protocol and Certification for Employees Working on Campus document in the AccessUH TAP training module, which explains what you need to do daily to assess your health. This is mandatory for everyone coming on campus.
  3. Submit the Access Request Form. This form will be routed first to your college to verify who will be on campus and in what space. Once approved, we will inform pertinent units, such as Environmental Health and Safety and Facility Services, so that an adequate number of staff are on campus to provide appropriate supply, maintenance and other services. If you do not have approval from your college to return to campus, you will be unable to return at this time.

As President Khator has made clear in her email, restarting research activities is voluntary, not mandatory. All PIs are required to obtain consent from students and employees to work in university space before requesting access. We want to make sure everyone feels safe, and if anyone has concerns about their own or others' safety and well-being regarding the implementation of our reopening plan, they should know that their voices will be heard.

Once on campus, you must comply with the guidelines set out on the UH and DOR websites to reduce the risk of spread of the virus. In particular, social distancing and wearing a mask will be required, and everyone must verify their health condition before coming on campus. Individuals must stay at home if they experience any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Faculty Café

We are offering bi-monthly 50-in-5 Faculty Café sessions on University Research Explained that focus on available funding opportunities in response to the coronavirus crisis. The second online session on this topic is scheduled for Friday, May 8, 1 p.m.–2 p.m. Please mark your calendar and register for the event.


Best regards,

Amr Elnashai, FREng  
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Amr Elnashai | VP for Research and Technology Transfer | | 713-743-4736

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