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Division of Research - Wayne State University


On-campus research laboratory activities moving forward

May 27, 2021


Dear Colleagues –

As we pivot forward from the COVID-19 pandemic challenges over the past 14 months, we have set revised operational parameters for on-campus laboratory research activities as listed below. These are planned for initial implementation effective June 1, 2021.

Please see the note from President Wilson on May 24, 2021 providing full considerations and guidelines for university plans and on-campus activities overall as we go forward.

Given the vaccination platforms and access in place, the engagement of all with responsible actions for safe and effective operations on site and the continued downward trends in the infectivity rates anchored with the increasing percentage of individuals receiving full vaccination, we expect laboratory research activity to move toward resumption of the same level of research activities as before the pandemic over the next few weeks.

 Operational parameters for on-campus research laboratory activities moving forward:

  1. The documented authorization of on-campus research activities by the Vice President for Research as established in June of 2020 as part of the operational structure during the pandemic is no longer required for Wayne State University employees with a OneCard ID and may be coordinated at the department level as appropriate and in accordance with established university guidelines for on-site activities.  
  2. Until further notice, the authorization requirement and standard process for laboratory research ramp-up review as established in June of 2020 will remain in place for individuals external to Wayne State University without a OneCard ID and who will be working in a laboratory as part of a collaboration or training activity.
  3. The use of facemasks and appropriate social distancing parameters will continue until further notice in accordance with university guidelines for general on-site operations.
  4. All Wayne State University employees, staff, research laboratory members and students coming to campus must continue to complete the Campus Daily Screener until further notice and the standard bar code scanners will remain in place for operations and facility entrance/access as currently established.
  5. Campus visits by equipment service personnel or guest scholars require completion of the modified daily screener template as coordinated and documented with the host individual laboratory and/or department office.
  6. All individuals coming to campus are strongly encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, which are readily available through the Campus Health Center ((313) 577-5041).
  7. The Office of the Vice President for Research has now extended the resumption of research to include human participant research classified as "without potential for direct benefit" and that are conducted at Wayne State University sites and/or in established health care facilities.

The Human Research Protection Program will re-review participant risk on a case-by-case basis and this determination will be conducted through the submission of Appendix N - Resumption of In Person Human Participant Research Plan and PI Attestation.

To facilitate the IRB risk evaluation process, Appendix N should include specific operational parameters in place for Covid-19 mitigation including, but not limited to, masking, social distancing, vaccination of study personnel interacting with study participants, consideration of the duration of in-person contact with participants, and an established scheduling structure for coordinated participant visits and cleaning procedures between participant visits. 

It is anticipated that beginning July 1, 2021, this platform for review and evaluation for studies classified as “without potential for direct benefit” will be extended to include non-affiliated study sites with appropriate additional operational considerations.

Please refer to the IRB website for additional guidance or contact the IRB office by email, or phone (313) 577-1628.

  1. The use of conference rooms will be operationalized in a phased manner as we move through the summer period in accordance with university guidelines and facility specific considerations.
  2. Various research support and administrative offices will begin to transition to on-site operations over the summer in accordance with university guidelines and requirements. Support platforms will remain fully operational during this transition period. Please continue to check the COVID-19 Research Operations website for any support office specific operational considerations.

To report concerns regarding any aspect of the resumption of research activities and compliance with WSU Covid-19 policies, please use the WSU Internal Audit Anonymous tip form at and/or contact the WSU Integrity Officer, Phil Cunningham (, 313-577-9064). 

Finally, let me take this moment to convey my deepest appreciation to the entire research and campus community for their engagement, support and guidance during this journey over the past 14 months.   

In addition to the personal responsibility for safe and effective operations at the local site, there has been a tremendous effort across campus from numerous divisions, units and support staff to enable safe and effective operations during this period.  We are all indebted to the commitment of these individuals for all that they have done to assist, enable and facilitate on many fronts during this period and as we go forward.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or the VPR team if you have any questions. Please do let me know if there are any items that I may have missed and any suggestions or thoughts as we go forward.



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

WSU Covid-19 website                                            

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

General questions

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

Antonio E. Yancey, Associate Vice President, Research Administrative Operations,  Office: (313) 577-1411

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)