Restarting Research in Phase 2 – What You Need to Know

In an email sent to faculty and staff this week, President Daniele Strupppa announced Chapman University has received approval from the OC Health Care Agency to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 in restarting research, as outlined in the Research Continuity website.

A 20-member task force of faculty, staff, and administrators developed a comprehensive Phased Approach to Restarting Research and Creative Activities providing detailed guidance that complies with the State of California and OC Health Care Agency requirements to ensure health and safety. In addition, the plan aligns with the health and safety measures outlined in the CU Safely Back plan including physical distancing, surveillance, public health interventions, face coverings, and sanitation.

To clarify what the restarting of research in Phase 2 entails, Vice President of Research Thomas Piechota gave answers to the following questions:

What is included in Phase 2 activities? 

Phase 2 activities include other non-essential research activities requiring Chapman facilities or having significant time sensitive components (both having low risk for virus transmission). This includes:

  • Research in the areas covered by the State of California Essential Workforce Sectors.
  • Laboratory-based research with low density of populations in facilities
  • Research engaging students who are close to completing degrees where these activities are part of a degree requirement in the areas noted above by the State, and are not part of laboratory classes
  • Expansion of human subject research where risk can be mitigated to minimal level and no direct benefit
  • Field data requiring collection during a given season (i.e. summer). Approval will depend on restrictions in locality keeping in mind travel restrictions
  • Animal experiments that can be performed by a single researcher in relative isolation
  • Activities that are still able to meet all sponsor requirements
  • Limited use of offices and of campus libraries using social distancing protocols for scholarship which cannot be completed remotely

When will Phase 2 activities start? 

The initial phase of the plan to transition from Phase 1 (current phase) to Phase 2 with limited expansion of research activities will take place on June 22nd.

How do I request approval for Phase 2 activities? 

If faculty researchers think their activities align with Phase 2 requirements noted above, they will need to submit an Assessment and Site-Specific Plan that assess the readiness of COVID-19 health and safety conditions and plans for mitigating any impacts. Specific guidance is also provided for laboratory research, field research, human subjects research, and animal research. These will be reviewed and approved by the cognizant dean and Vice President for Research.

Where can I access information for Research Continuity? 

Complete information including guiding principles, phase descriptions, guidance and templates for assessment and site specific plans are posted on the Research Continuity webpage. A Town Hall for Restarting Research and Creative Activities will take place on Thursday, June 18 at 10 a.m.