FOCUS ON: Safe Buildings. Safe Research Spaces. Safe People.
These three elements guided the return of researchers and supporting personnel to campus.

Assess and implement safety measures in 100+ buildings

One of the first steps in returning to research operations was to ensure public spaces in all buildings on campus adhere to campuswide COVID-19 safety standards.

  • Increased safety signage added in facilities to identify maximum occupancy numbers, with marked spaces to maintain social distancing and enhanced disinfection, such as dispensers of hand sanitizer.
  • Researchers and supporting personnel are encouraged to work in shifts if needed to ensure physical distancing.

Open research spaces in phases, building by building

Principal investigators have submitted Research Space Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that outline the plans by the researchers to:

  • Maintain 6 feet of separation between people in the space.
  • Minimize contact time between people using the space.
  • Minimize cross-contamination (including practices for shared equipment) within the space.
  • Identify engineering controls that may be added to increase occupancy in the future.
  • Encourage all researchers and supporting personnel to work in shifts if needed to ensure physical distancing.
  • Additionally, restarting certain research activities may require obtaining enhanced PPE needed to conduct on-campus research (or expand critical research currently being conducted).

Ensure safety of researchers

Precautions and protocols for all research activity will be much different than they were prior to COVID-19, as will many of our behaviors.

  • As much as possible, remote research work is encouraged for tasks like literature reviews and data analysis.
  • Researchers with the highest vulnerability for severe illness or complications from COVID-19 who must be present on campus to conduct or support research activities will be given additional workplace accommodations.
  • Those who are not particularly vulnerable and cannot conduct their work remotely can return to campus or expand on-campus research after the COVID-19 Research Space SOP is approved and training is complete.
  • Graduate students should discuss with their major professor or committee if research goals have been interrupted due to COVID-19; it may be determined that project deliverables and/or research objectives will need to be adjusted.
  • Research that requires on-campus, face-to-face interactions with human subjects may proceed only after COVID-19 safety modifications have been integrated within study protocols and approval has been granted by Purdue’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).