Research Resumption

BSD Implementation Guidelines

Effective August 3, 2020, we moved from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of research resumption across the BSD research laboratories. 

Each PI should work with their department chair or designated section/research chief to update their research plans using this Amendment to RRP form, and listing any new personnel who will require access to the research buildings on this excel essential personnel template. The plan should first be approved by your department before being uploaded to the University portal.

As we move to increase the density in our laboratories, the city and state are closely monitoring the increasing numbers of positive cases in the area. As a reminder, while we certainly hope that this will not be the case, we may be asked to ramp down the level of research in our laboratories again at any point in the future. This is something to keep in mind when planning long-term experiments.

As of February 1, 2021, the BSD is implementing the following modifications to our Implementation Plan for Research Resumption; all other guidance for Phase 3 remains in effect.

  1. Daily sign-in/sign-out sheets for each laboratory (whether they be paper or electronic) will be optional.
  2. The safety walk-throughs performed by either the Departmental Safety Officers or Laboratory Safety Contacts may be reduced in frequency to once weekly (from twice weekly).
  3. As announced to BSD faculty on December 29, 2020, an undergraduate is no longer required to have at least one year of prior experience in the PI’s laboratory in order to perform research and be approved on a laboratory’s Research Resumption Plan. The PI must identify who will serve as the undergraduate’s direct student supervisor and document (e.g., via an email) the supervisor’s agreement to supervise the student.

After your plan has been approved by your chair or section chief, please upload both the BSD Amendment to RRP form, along with the essential personnel excel template listing ONLY any new personnel being added in Phase 3 (NOT those already approved and included in your Phase 2 plan), to the University web-based research intake form under “Amend your approved research resumption plan” for approval. It generally takes 1-2 days for approval and for your new personnel to obtain building access once they’ve completed the safety training and attestation.

Guiding Principles for Research Return to Work:
In accordance with guidance from the Provost and the University's Research Resumption Working Group, the BSD has developed this guidance for research resumption. We are currently in UChicago's phase 3 in which laboratory-based research groups with approve research resumption plans are able to work on campus. During phase 3, a limited number of research personnel will be allowed access to the labs at any given time while we work together to ensure the safety of our researchers and our broader community and while we test and confirm the effectiveness of our safety and physical distancing practices.  

During UChicago phase 3 our top priority must be to maintain the health of BSD and University personnel and to avoid a rebound in SARS CoV2 infection rates. Our plans must align with State and City Public Health authorities. Considering the high ongoing rate of COVID-19 infection in Chicago and Illinois, a return to business as usual with full research operations is not possible at this time.

The University’s new safety training is required for each member of the lab and completion is necessary before building access will be granted.  This training includes two components:

  • Attestation: Must be renewed quarterly
  • “COVID-19, Controlled resumption of research activities” course for laboratory personnel   OR  "COVID-19 General Safety Training" course (for non-laboratory personnel working on campus)

These safety courses are available at 

Detailed guidance, forms and FAQs are included here and will continue to be updated.