Research operational plan process coming to a close

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities

Dear Bruin Community:

Almost a year ago, I announced our intention to ramp-up research activities following a two-month period of dramatically curtailed research due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and resulting city and county Safer at Home orders. 

Today, I am happy to announce that, effective June 1, 2021, the Research Operational Plan (ROP) program we launched with the move to Phase 2 of our ramp-up plan (PDF) is no longer required for research and creative activities, both on-campus and in the field; ROPs are also not required for research-related travel.

PIs are able to populate their activities with researchers (e.g., staff, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students, high school students, volunteers, visiting scholars) as they deem necessary, so long as they continue to comply with all mandates from the CDC, California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and Cal/OSHA, including, but not limited to, those concerning personnel density, masking and distancing. I am pleased to be able to remove this layer of additional review.

The elimination of ROPs means that personnel density limits and the restrictions placed on undergraduate researchers in campus laboratories are now lifted. Unfortunately, travel guidance for individuals who conduct field research remains unchanged. As such, with the ROP program ending, it is vital that you communicate directly with your department chair and dean (e.g., via email) prior to making arrangements for field research and other essential travel. PIs participating in field research are still required to complete a Field Safety Plan (DOCX) for EH&S review and approval.

As a reminder, LACDPH has not relaxed its masking requirements and Cal/OSHA continues to require masking and six-foot distancing in all workplace areas at the present time. It is the responsibility of each PI to ensure that their activities are in compliance with these requirements. PIs are further responsible for ensuring that they have articulated safety plans with all personnel on their team.

I thank you for the patience you have shown this last year. Please submit any comments or questions to


Roger Wakimoto
Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities

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