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Division of Research - Wayne State University

UPDATE: Phased increases in on-campus research activities – next step forward

March 10, 2021

NOTE –  All current and planned increases in on-campus research activities are operationalized in accordance with a) “Principles and Guidelines for a Phased Ramp-Up of On-site, Laboratory-based Research Activities” developed and posted May 11, 2020 with specific action items from the Office of the Vice President for Research, b) the parameters defined by the Michigan Governor’s Executive Order 2020-90 – “Resumption of laboratory research activities” on May 15, 2020, Executive Order 2020-145: “Safeguards to Protect Michigan's Workers from COVID-19” issued July 9, 2020", and further guidelines provided from the Governor’s Office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services through the Gatherings and Face Mask Order” on March 2, 2021 (,9753,7-406-98178_98455-553387--,00.html) and c) all university policy and procedures to ensure the health and safety of all employees and the communities that we serve.

Key points

  • Increase in on-campus laboratory research activities – Laboratories authorized for on-campus research activities may increase current activity over the next two weeks by up to two-fold approaching a level of activity and personnel on-site by April 1, 2021 that is approximately 75% of that before the pause in research activity in March 2020.

Any increase in on-site research activity requires compliance with the operational parameters as established and implemented in the May 2020 “Principles and Guidelines for a Phased Ramp-Up of On-site, Laboratory-based Research Activities” including the following:

  • Social distancing of 6 feet
  • Use of face masks
  • Follow laboratory cleaning and disinfectant protocols
  • Completion of the Campus Daily Screener and use of the bar code for facility entrance
  • Follow current established operational protocols for the research facility including elevators and bathroom use, facility entrance and exit, and traffic flow within the facility

This guidance for phased increases in on-campus laboratory research activities only applies to individuals and laboratories that have previously received letters of authorization for on-campus research activities from the Vice President for Research (VPR). Unit directors and the associate/vice deans for research will provide initial oversight in their area for this next step forward in coordination with the VPR.

  • The addition of any new personnel to authorized on-campus research activities will be handled through currently established procedures with review of the proposed ramp-up plan revision by the unit director, associate/vice dean for research and the VPR.

Individuals and labs that are just beginning the process of ramping up their research activities on campus are required to submit a ramp-up plan per established procedures – see the following links:

  • Laboratories must be prepared to reduce on-site activity as needed given the evolving pandemic situation and in accordance with university guidance and local, state and federal directives.
  • Current operational parameters for studies involving vivarium activities and human subjects research remain in place.
  • On-site operations at present and going forward may involve individuals that have received COVID-19 vaccinations as well as individuals that have not yet had access to the vaccine. Individuals that have received the COVID-19 vaccine may or may not be capable of transmitting virus and this is an area of active investigation.

It is imperative for all individuals, whether they have or have not been vaccinated, to continue to practice all operational standards with respect to social distancing, the use of facemasks, cleaning protocols and other key principles for on-campus activities as established over the last year.

We also encourage all individuals to obtain the vaccine through the various mechanisms that may be available in their community, through the Wayne State Campus Health Center, or through their health care provider as appropriate and in accordance with eligibility criteria.

  • Each of us must continue to take ownership and personal responsibility to assure the continued success of this process with the focus on a healthy and safe environment.
  • Additional guidance on the use of designated meeting rooms and for any on-campus gatherings will be provided soon. 

While we continue to be in a period of transition, these steps forward are a reflection of the increasing stability with the management of the overall pandemic situation, the operational responsibilities that the research community has implemented and maintained for a safe working environment, and the essential and critical work involved with respect to technology advancement, education and service in the community.

As always, thank you for your consideration and engagement and please let us know any items that we may have missed or that need to be addressed as we go forward.



Be sure to regularly check the following links for updates and awareness of university initiatives and operations:

WSU Covid-19 web site                                            

Research operations at Wayne and coronavirus 

Campus Health Center     

Health and Safety Guidelines for Campus Activities  

Wayne State University COVID-19 Dashboard


Contact Information for Questions and Additional Information

Operational logistics:  Timothy Stemmler, Ph.D., Assistant VP for Integrative Biosciences,, Office: (313) 577-5712, Cell: (248) 860-7244         

General questions:  Julie O'Connor, Director of Research Communications, Office of the Vice President for Research,, Office: (313) 577-8845, Cell: (734) 748-4207

Direct line for concerns regarding safety and operational health: Research Integrity and Safety Office – Phil Cunningham, Ph.D., Associate VP for Research Integrity,, Phone:  (313) 577-9064, FAX:  (313) 577-0384

Campus Health Center: (313) 577-5041 (accessible around the clock). Information on COVID-19 infection and symptoms may be found at