Return to Campus Research

Updated June 24, 2020 with revised travel guidance

Return to Campus for Faculty and Staff

Syracuse University’s policies, protocols and recommendations for returning faculty and staff to campus are rooted in the health and safety of our campus community.

Our plans will continue to be informed by orders and guidance from the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York State and the federal government, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus will continue to evolve. Policies and plans will be updated as appropriate as new or additional information becomes available. The most up-to-date information for the campus community will always be posted at syracuse.edu/coronavirus.

Return to Campus Research

As conveyed in the return to campus guidance released on May 21, 2020, identified research faculty and staff needing to continue their research in on-campus laboratories may return to campus in Phase One starting June 3.

For updated information from Syracuse University Human Resources, see the Return to Campus Plan for Faculty and Staff. Please review this information for general Health and Safety Guidance and Protocols; Workplace Distancing Guidance and Protocols; and COVID-19 Symptoms, Risks and Procedures.

Environmental Health and Safety Services (EHSS) has coordinated with the Office of Research to provide Return to Research Guidance for campus use. Please utilize this document in planning for safe re-occupancy of laboratories. This document aligns with the Return to Campus Plan for Faculty and Staff and is intended to provide more guidance for on-campus research activities.

The success of the Return to Campus Research Plan depends on each researcher placing the safety of themselves and the people around them first, while conducting their research. All researchers are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols and guidelines outlined in this document.

**Updated June 17

All returning laboratory researchers are asked to review the Return-to-Research Guidance, and complete and submit the Return to Research Guidance Commitment Form. EHSS will track submissions of the Commitment Form, and PIs will be able to verify completion of the “Commitment” for each lab member using their online My Laboratory Profile.

PPE and Cleaning in Labs

  • The guidance on face masks and coverings was clarified by the University on June 2 and is reflected in the updated guidance document.
  • Face masks will be provided to faculty, staff, and students when they return to campus. 
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting supplies will also be available. If you have an immediate need for a face mask or disinfecting supplies, please contact EHSS at ehss@syr.edu.  
  • More information on PPE and Cleaning in labs is found in the Return to Research Guidance.

Human Subjects Research

  • The Office of Research Integrity and Protections/Institutional Review Board, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research, is developing Return to Human Participant In-person Research Guidance.
  • The document will incorporate state, local and institutional policies regarding COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines for in-person participant research taking place on campus, in the community, in the United States and internationally.
  • A link to the guidance will be disseminated to the Syracuse University research community as soon as it becomes available.  

***Updated June 24, 2020 to include the definition of Syracuse University travel and include New York State quarantine order

Specific Country Prohibitions: The University’s existing prohibition on University-sponsored travel to any CDC Level-3 international destination remains in place. We recognize that in some extraordinary circumstances, it may be highly problematic for some faculty to cancel or postpone travel to an otherwise prohibited international destination. For that reason, faculty may submit an appeal, in coordination with their dean, directly to the interim vice president for research. The VPR will make a recommendation to the provost, who is responsible for making the final determination and notifying both the traveler and the relevant dean. Please utilize the process below for essential travel.

Non-Essential Travel: The University’s existing prohibition on non-essential, University-sponsored travel remains in place. We continue to encourage faculty and staff to cancel or postpone any planned or proposed non-essential travel. Until further notice, travel to attend professional or educational conferences is defined as non-essential.

Travel Deemed Essential for an Academic or Business Purpose: Syracuse University has eased existing restrictions on travel deemed essential to an academic or business purpose of the University.

For faculty, researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, essential travel is defined as travel required to:

  • preserve the safety of a research subject and cannot be postponed; or
  • preserve the continuity and results of a research activity and cannot be postponed.

For the purposes of this guidance, researchers who are traveling more than 100 miles from Syracuse, NY within the context of their research responsibilities are considered to be on Syracuse University Travel. Please see the Syracuse University Travel Safety Policy for more guidance.

For faculty, researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, travel to attend professional or educational conferences is defined as non-essential. Faculty, researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students with questions about whether specific proposed travel is essential, or those seeking approval to engage in essential travel, should confer first with their department chairs.

Submit your application for Approval for Essential Research Travel, allowing at least 5 business days for such approvals. Deans (or dean’s designees) will make a recommendation as to the essential nature of the travel request and forward that recommendation to the interim vice president for research. The VPR will make the final determination and notify both the traveler and the dean or department chair making the request.

Once approved, research travel by a faculty member, researcher, postdoctoral scholar, or graduate student must be registered on the University travel registry system prior to the commencement of the trip. Researchers must apply for approval and register for each unique trip, even if the trips are repeated at regular intervals.

After you return to Syracuse following travel, researchers must follow any state guidance on quarantining before coming back to the university campus.

See full University travel guidance here.

Please see the Essential Research Travel Guidance for more guidelines.

Return to Research FAQs

***Updated June 11, 2020

As noted in the guidance from May 21, 2020, in anticipation of clearance from state and local health officials to resume campus operations, deans, senior vice presidents and other leaders have assigned faculty and staff from each of their respective schools, colleges and units to one of four campus return phases. Some of the factors used by leaders to make these assignments included the nature of employees’ job duties, seating arrangements and the ability to successfully perform work remotely.

Please consult your supervisor to determine the phase of your return to campus.

The disclosure process that facilitated research activities before Phase 1 of Return to Campus has now closed. Please speak to your Department Chair and Associate Dean of Research if you have needs to return to campus before you receive notification from your college that you have been approved to return.

Syracuse University requires face masks or face coverings for all students, faculty, staff and visitors while on campus and in the presence of others and in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. While we cannot address every individual scenario for wearing vs. not wearing a mask while on campus, we implore every member of our community to act with the safety of all in mind. If you are unsure about whom you might encounter and how close you will be to another individual as you work and move about campus, wear a mask.

More information can be found on the Human Resources Return to Campus FAQs.

Updated June 11, 2020

It is understandable to be cautious about returning to work on campus. The University has taken a number of health and safety measures for the safety of the campus community’s return to campus, including creating a phased in approach, providing additional communications, and offering face masks and other personal protective equipment. Once it has been deemed safe to return to working on campus, staff will be expected to report to work as directed.

If staff have additional concerns, they should discuss those concerns with their supervisor or contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or by email at hrservice@syr.edu. Please see more information on the HR Return to Campus FAQs.

Graduate students should contact Gabrielle Chapman, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, at ghchapma@syr.edu

 

Return to Research FAQs

***Added June 24, 2020

After you return to Syracuse following travel, researchers must follow any state guidance on quarantining before coming back to the university campus.