CALS Phase 1 Research Reactivation Guidance

This message was sent to department chairs, college center directors and administrators on 5/27/2020.

Dear Chairs and Research Center Directors,

In support of the safest possible resumption of our work in campus laboratories and classrooms, the campus intends to execute a plan involving three phases. We now begin planning and implementation of Phase 1, designed as a gradual resumption of highest priority research work that cannot be done remotely. Campus guidelines for Phase 1 have been outlined by the OVCRGE. This document outlines CALS procedures, consistent with UW-Madison guidelines, for approving research requests by CALS PIs.

Just as closing the campus was a new experience, conservatively reactivating on-campus research is new and will take time to implement. This week we will begin planning for Phase 1, but reviews and approvals will require time and thoughtful consideration. We expect the planning process to extend into June and ask for your patience as many different parties collaborate to create safe plans for on-site research to occur.

Any work that can occur remotely should continue remotely. Requests are limited to research activities that can only happen on-site

At this time, we will not approve any expansion of research on our Agriculture Research Stations because additional activity would exceed current safety guidelines.

Because the specific activities and facilities vary so much across the college, CALS’ department chairs and college center directors will design and implement department-level research reactivation plans following guidance from the OVCRGE. The college highly recommends that departments and college centers each put together a research reactivation committee, composed of PIs and knowledgeable departmental staff, including the department/center administrator and building manager, as these two roles will be key in managing building use and communicating necessary HR and other business services information. Centers that function within a department should be considered in the academic department’s plan.

To allow the highest priority work to proceed with the least risk, department-level planning must include infrastructure considerations and work schedules. As such, departments/centers will need to identify, coordinate and, we expect, limit the research that principal investigators propose toward incorporating all activities into their departmental plans. Departments/centers must consult closely with CALS facility, safety and research staff to ensure college approval of research reactivation plans.

Bill Barker
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education

CALS Phase 1 Research Reactivation Checklist – May 27, 2020

Principal Investigators

  • All researchers should review the guidelines from OVCRGE and Environment, Health and Safety.
  • For research with previously approved research continuation plans, please upload approved plans to the OVCRGE portal by June 6, 2020. Approved research (“Phase 0”) may continue without additional approval steps. List your chair/director as a “collaborator” when submitting for proper routing.
  • For researchers proposing to resume work during Phase 1:
    • Complete or update the lab COOP plan.
    • Complete a research reactivation request.
    • Submit the research reactivation request and COOP plan to your department chair or center director for review and approval.
    • When plans are approved by your department/center and CALS, upload plans to the OVCRGE portal. Specify your department chair or center director as the “collaborator” for proper routing back to your approver. Your chair/director will notify you when you may submit through the portal.
    • Upon receiving notice from your chair/director of OVCRGE process completion, initiate Phase 1 research.
  • For PIs that do not plan to reinitiate research during Phase 1, alert your chair or director that you do not plan to submit a research request at this time.

Departments and College Research Centers

  • All researchers should review the guidelines from OVCRGE and Environment, Health and Safety.
  • Appoint a Research Reactivation Committee.
    • The college asks that departments/college centers establish a research reactivation committee, composed of PIs and knowledgeable departmental staff, including building managers and administrators, to set priorities and review research requests.
  • Committee evaluates PIs’ COOP plans and research reactivation requests in the context of overall department activity.
  • Committee creates an umbrella Phase 1 research reactivation plan for the department or center, with the chair/director having final approval authority.
    • Minimize the potential spread of the virus by managing personnel density, access and traffic within the facility.
    • Consult with Assistant Dean Doug Sabatke and Safety Coordinator Nick Genovese during the plan development.
    • Include the building manager and department/center administrator in the process.
  • Complete the umbrella personnel list template to include all personnel from Phase 0 plus Phase 1.
  • Submit umbrella Phase 1 research reactivation plan and personnel list to Julie Scharm at
  • Associate Dean Bill Barker notifies the chair/director with approval of the department umbrella plan.
  • Chairs/directors inform PIs that they can now upload their individual plans into the OVCRGE portal.
  • Chair or director receives notification when the PI has successfully uploaded research reactivation plans to the OVCRGE Portal.

CALS Administration

  • Bill Barker, Doug Sabatke, and Nick Genovese will review department/center umbrella Phase 1 research reactivation plans. Other associate deans will consult with them when appropriate on extension activities, human resources and business services.
  • Bill Barker will alert the chair/director when plans are approved at the college level.