Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities
Dear Bruin Community:
On March 15, 2021, I announced the launch of Phase 3 of the UCLA Research Ramp-Up process. Since that time, over 900 Phase 3 Research Operational Plans (ROPs) have been completed through the DocuSign review process. Over these last few weeks, my office and others have received questions about undergraduate students, field research activities, and research-related travel. I’m pleased to share that the UCLA COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force (CRRTF) has further expanded the activities allowed during Phase 3 as indicated below:
Undergraduate Student Researchers (USRs)
- If the COVID-19 infection rates remain low for the week of April 5, each PI is permitted to include up to a maximum of four USRs on their ROP so long as space density limits are maintained and the four USRs will rarely, if ever, be in the lab at the same time. New USRs up to the four-USR limit can be added by ROP amendment (PDF). Final permission (after the COVID19 tests for the week are analyzed) to approve these amendments will be made on April 12.
- USRs who were approved in summer 2020 to work in an on-campus laboratory are permitted to continue this work, even if more than four USRs were on last summer’s approved ROP for a single PI, but these individuals count towards the four USR maximum per PI.
- PIs, along with their chairs and deans, should consider equity, diversity, and inclusion when selecting the cohort of USRs to allow in the laboratory.
- USRs and non-research volunteers are still not permitted in clinical spaces.
- USRs, as well as everyone else involved in onsite activities, are required to complete the symptom monitoring survey prior to arrival and participate in the weekly COVID-19 testing.
- Visit our ROP FAQ (PDF) for more information.
Fieldwork and Research Travel
- ROPs may now be submitted for fieldwork, research travel, and community-based research and creative activities, provided such travel adheres to CDC and local public health agencies’ guidelines and is essential for the conduct of the research/creative activity.
- Conferences, workshops, and meetings are not considered essential activities at this time.
- All fieldwork and community-based research/creative activities that can be conducted remotely should remain remote.
- Review the Guidelines for Fieldwork and Research Travel (PDF) for additional information to include in ROPs for these activities, noting that a separate field safety plan (DOCX) must be filed with the department and the EH&S Field Safety Specialist at email@example.com.
We are all encouraged by the ongoing decline in new COVID-19 infections paired with the increase in vaccinations administered on campus and across the community. With the hope that such trends continue, I anticipate that the CRRTF will consider relaxing additional restrictions, for example plans regarding non-student volunteers and students from other universities, allowing for further progress towards our return to more normal operations in the future.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities