COVID-related Research Approval

for on-campus research

As was communicated on Thursday, April 9, 2020, the Deans of the BSD, PSD and PME, together with the Office of the Provost, have provided guidance for consideration of COVID-19 related research that requires faculty, staff or student access to University buildings currently under lockdown.

Below we outline steps for: (1) submission of proposals for expedited review and for obtaining clinical specimens from COVID-19 patients; and (2) implementation of approved proposals.

1. Submission of COVID-19 research proposals

  • If your COVID-19 proposal involves the collection of specimens from human subjects, you will need to confirm that you have IRB approval to do so or attest that you will obtain IRB approval prior to collecting any such specimens. 
  • If your COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2-related research proposal requires personnel entering any laboratory in the research buildings on lockdown, you must submit a proposal to Connie Lee ( for expedited review by the BSD faculty committee. Guidelines for these proposals are available here. 

2. Implementation of approved COVID-19 research proposals: 

Faculty with approved COVID-19-related research proposals or those utilizing specimens from patients diagnosed with COVID-19 should immediately contact the Office of Research Safety (ORS at to discuss the details of your proposed research so that their expert staff can help ensure appropriate expertise, training and support infrastructure. As appropriate, the ORS will work with the IRB, IBC and IACUC (if the research involves animals) to ensure compliance and to promote safety. Please note that a formal IBC protocol will be required for research involving any of the following activities (see attached chart for research activities and their required biosafety level):

  • Culturing/propagating SARS-CoV-2 (BSL3)
  • Administration of samples to animals (ABSL2-enhanced or ABSL3)
  • Performing genetic manipulation using recombinant/synthetic DNA (BSL2 or BSL3)