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CALS Phase 2 Research Reactivation guidance

This message was sent to chairs and center directors on 7/1/2020.

Good morning everyone, As you know from communications from the OVCRGE yesterday afternoon, we’ve now entered Phase 2 of our Research Reactivation process today.  Phase 2 continues our incremental and experimental return to full research activity, both in the field and laboratory.

For CALS, the approval process remains the same as in Phase 1. All researchers must complete the CALS research request forms and update their individual lab COOPs as necessary. Following review and approval by the departmental chair and research reactivation committee, PIs should update their OVCRGE database entry. Please keep in mind the OVCRGE database does not figure into our review and approval process, for the data gathered are insufficient to allow departments to carefully integrate increased activity into overall departmental density/traffic control plans. PIs should only enter information into that portal AFTER review and approval by their chair/center director and attendant research reactivation committee.

There are several important developments of which you all should be aware in Phase 2:

  1. Undergraduates are now allowed to physically participate in research. Individual PIs may add undergraduates to their research requests and COOPs, and departments will review and decide whether or not the overall departmental plans can accommodate the resultant density and activity in buildings. Undergraduates must follow all applicable rules. There is no special request and approval process in CALS for undergraduates.
  2. Face to face human subjects research may resume, subject to review and approvals.
  3. Campus decided to further relax density restrictions from 350 square feet per person to 200 square feet per person. I want to be very clear that your department does not have to adopt this increased density metric if you feel it is unsafe to do so. Should you decide to further increase the density of personnel in labs, you must rework your departmental plans accordingly.

Progressing to Phase 2 as the pandemic worsens represents an important, albeit risky, milestone in our experimental return to campus. I urge you to be judicious in your decisions. Err on the side of caution and strictly prioritize health and safety of our Badger family. Please closely monitor all available information for campus, as well as the public health sites. As always, feel free to contact Doug Sabatke, Nick Genovese, or me directly should you have questions. Please be careful, be safe, and On Wisconsin!

Bill Barker, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs