Frequently asked questions
Campus research activities have currently ramped up from Phase 2 to Phase 3 (as outlined in UCLA’s research ramp-up guidelines).
All principal investigators who intend to initiate or continue research after March 15, 2021 — including laboratory-based research, and research and creative activities in North Campus — must submit a new Phase 3 research operational plan (ROP) listing all personnel and outlining strategies for maintaining a safe environment. Phase 3 ROPs must be approved by the appropriate department chair, dean or dean’s designee. (All Phase 2 ROPs were voided on March 31, 2021, and original ROPs can no longer be amended.)
New Phase 3 requirements for laboratories and studios, research activities, clinical trials, human subjects research, fieldwork, travel, community-based research and the involvement of undergraduate students in research have been outlined in communications from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research on March 15 and April 8.
Students and research: Undergraduate labs and research projects moving into Phase 3 of the research ramp-up must do so in a staged manner. The first stage allows for greater density on formerly constituted research operational plans for graduate students.
At this time, the campus is allowing no more than four undergraduate student researchers to work in person in a lab under a research operational plan. Participating students must receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their first day in the lab, engage in twice-weekly COVID-19 testing and complete a symptom-monitoring survey prior to each occasion they come to the lab.
Campus leaders are monitoring health conditions on campus and in Los Angeles County to determine whether it will be necessary to adjust the number of undergraduate researchers in each lab.
Under UCLA Policy 992, any research group that plans to conduct research with SARS-CoV-2 must obtain Institutional Biosafety Committee approval prior to beginning any such research. As part of the IBC review process, a full risk assessment would be conducted to ensure worker safety and agent containment.
All UCLA Research Administration staff are working remotely, and all offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Offices within UCLA Research Administration may be contacted through their individual websites:
- Contract & Grant Administration
- Extramural Fund Management
- Human Research Protection Program
- Research Safety & Animal Welfare
Certain research administration operations have been modified due to COVID-19:
- Monthly Research Administration Forum meetings are being held via Zoom.
- Protocols, proposals and awards involving COVID-19 studies are being expedited.
- Proposals are being submitted remotely.
- Awards are being processed remotely.
- Financial reports and invoices are being submitted remotely.
- Faculty compliance committees are meeting via Zoom.
Other operations have been suspended at this time:
- Animal Research Committee inspections and post-approval monitoring.
- Institutional Biosafety Committee meetings.
Research labs are expected to care for animals that are approved to be held in their labs and to conduct essential animal research. Research labs may contact the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine for help with these activities with the caveat that basic animal care and animal health are priorities.
According to the DLAM website, husbandry and animal health technicians are considered essential staff; the unit is staffed at 80% to 90% and is able to provide basic animal care and clinical care for all animals currently housed on campus. In addition, the division’s pharmacy remains open and can be reached at DLAMPharmacy@mednet.ucla.edu.
The DLAM website also provides tips for maintaining safe physical distance among research personnel and DLAM staff while animal research is underway. Before working alone in labs and procedure rooms, consider notifying your colleagues of the following:
- Where you’ll be (building and room numbers).
- What procedures you’ll be performing.
- When you plan to start work and when you anticipate finishing.
- How they can reach you in an emergency.
In addition, be sure to know how you can reach your colleagues in case you experience an emergency or other urgent situation while working alone. Additional information concerning laboratory animal research at UCLA may be found at the UCLA Animal Research Committee website.
- Research personnel reporting to campus must continue to follow public health mitigations such as physical distancing and wearing face coverings, complete the required symptom monitoring survey, and participate in regular COVID-19 testing and community screening as detailed in the UCLA COVID-19 Community Screening Protocol (PDF).
- Any researchers working on campus and not receiving regular email reminders about COVID-19 testing should sign up for UCLA’s Community Screening Program.
- UCLA Environment, Health & Safety’s website provides safety information for researchers, including guidance on physical distancing in research labs (PDF) and updates on chemical safety, biosafety, high-containment lab operations, and radiation and laser safety. The site also includes a link to a planning checklist for field research (PDF; sign-in required).
Questions about research during COVID-19 restrictions may be directed to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities at email@example.com.