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Effective April 5, 2021, UCI research labs may cautiously transition to Phase 3 research. The most important divergence from Phase 2 is that in Phase 3, there is no UCI-defined % occupancy limit. In its place, PIs must plan their space usage to ensure 6-foot physical distancing between personnel at all times.  If you have a research laboratory at the UC Irvine School of Medicine campus or UCIMC in Shanbrom Hall and plan to do research, you will need to complete the Research Activities Plan-Phase 3. On opening the Qualtrics form, in addition to basic identifying questions, you are asked to complete information about Research Space & Physical Distancing. Please revise, as necessary, the limits from your Phase 2 plan to reflect updates based on Phase 3 ramp-up, i.e., new room-by-room occupancy limits you are requesting that permit 6-foot physical distancing. Provide explanations where necessary, e.g., how many people will occupy a single bay in specific rooms.

At the end of the form, you will be asked to read and agree to the following:

  1. I have reviewed the Framework for UCI Phased Research Activities on the UCI Research Continuity website which describes Phase 3 research in detail.
  2. While Phase 3 encompasses all research activities that personnel can perform safely, I am committed to consistently following required and voluntary safety protocols and protective measures to mitigate virus transmission.
  3. I understand that while Phase 3 research eliminates the population density requirement, I will adhere to a research space population density policy of at least six (6) feet between occupants.
  4. I will continue to maintain the calendaring system I created for Phase 2 to facilitate the new Phase 3 population density policy.
  5. I understand that all lab personnel must continue to complete wellness check-ins on the days that they will be working on site.
  6. I will discuss with my laboratory personnel the importance of adhering to a lab plan that will ensure the new Phase 3 population density policy.
  7. I will familiarize myself with and adhere to the latest visitor policies.
  8. I understand that I must follow all CDC guidance; state and local public health directives; the Cal/OHSA distancing requirement of at least 6 feet between people, which remains in effect regardless of vaccination status; and all UCI Executive Directives (especially the directive on face coverings), the Framework for UCI Phased Research Activities, and other UCI-issued requirements and guidelines (e.g., from EH&S and UCI Health.)
  9. I am aware that EH&S spot checks will continue as a key component of Phase 3.
  10. I understand that all work that can be performed remotely should continue to be performed remotely and that the move to Phase 3 apples only to laboratory research personnel and not to administrative staff who work under the guidelines of Human Resources.
  11. I am aware that as we move forward, a reversion to Phase 2 might become necessary.

Following this attestation, you must save your Phase 3 plan as a PDF that you will email to your department chair/unit head for review. After chair/unit head review and approval, send a PDF of your plan along with evidence of approval to Emily Dawidoff, at, who is maintaining folders for all plans.

 For Human Subjects Research, please also note the following additional important considerations for Phase 3:

  • Phase 3 includes all research activities (including all human subjects research and undergraduate student research) that personnel can perform safely by layering and consistently following required and voluntary safety protocols and protective measures to mitigate virus transmission (“Research Activities”).
  • Research Activities may occur in or at UCI owned, operated, controlled or managed facilities, space, locations, sites and natural reserves (“In-Person Research Activities”), or at a location, facility or site not owned, operated, controlled or managed by UCI (“Remote Research Activities”).
  • The following types of invited guests and visitors may perform or participate in In-Person Research Activities without Authorized Official approval:
    • Human subject research participants, as well as one family member or caregiver to physically assist them and/or help them understand the instructions of research staff
    • Outside translators for human subject research participants if no UCI-employed translator is or will be available
    • Representatives of industry sponsors to conduct oversight responsibilities and sponsor business associated with industry-sponsored clinical trials, but only for those activities that they must necessarily perform on-site and in-person
    • Regulatory agency officials and representatives of accrediting bodies or organizations
    • Non-UCI researchers at natural reserves managed/operated by UCI
    • Non-UCI research collaborators when collaborative activities cannot be performed remotely and must be performed face-to-face in the same research space
  • All personnel performing In-Person Research Activities, including invited guests and visitors must follow the Cal OSHA physical distancing requirement of at least 6-feet between people, with the following exceptions for human research:
    • Personnel performing In-Person Research Activities in clinical space designated by UCI Health provided that they follow all safety protocols and protective measures implemented by UCI Health to comply with the requirements under section 5199 of the Cal OSHA Emergency Covid Regulations
    • Personnel performing human subjects research where momentary in-person interactions at a distance of less than six feet are unavoidable
    • Life or safety emergencies or other situations in which physical distancing would create a hazard or impede an individual from receiving essential safety training or care
  • Phase 3 eliminates the 30% population density requirements associated with Phase 2.

Please also note that ALL clinical studies are now allowed during Phase 3. View allowed clinical study types in the table located here.

For all research labs (basic or clinical), please also note the following:

  1. If you do not have a Phase 2 ramp-up plan, you will need to complete the Phase 2 Ramp Up Plan and Phase 3 addendum. Please contact with any questions.
  2. Even if you do not plan to amend your occupancy from Phase 2, you are still required to submit a Phase 3 addendum so that you agree and attest to the Phase 3 policies.
  3. If you have existing exceptional approvals to the 6-foot distancing policy for specific activities as part of your Phase 2 plan, you may continue these. If you are requesting new exceptions, include the requests in the text box in your Phase 3 addendum, and explain safety procedures to minimize risk.
  4. Please be aware that increased occupancy of labs will also mean increased occupancy in corridors, elevators, break rooms, etc. Be courteous to your colleagues, refrain from eating in research buildings, and wear your mask at all times inside.
  5. Read the UCI School of Medicine: Research Insider emails on Tuesday evenings for updates and clarifications to Phase 3 activities, visitor policies, and other aspects of research and COVID safety.

For general questions about Phase 3 addendum submission, please contact Emily Dawidoff at

For specific questions about basic science research, please contact Vice Dean for Basic Science Research, Geoff Abbott at

For specific questions about human subjects and other clinical research, please contact Vice Dean for Clinical Research, Daniela Bota at

Your efforts and sacrifices have prevented COVID transmission in our labs and permitted us to continue Phase 2 activities and now move to Phase 3. At this important juncture, it is critical that we continue to remain vigilant and follow all safety guidelines, especially with the possibility of another wave beginning around the country. Please continue your excellent work in keeping us safe and productive as we increase lab occupancy and ramp up our research activities at UCI. 

Safety Steps & Guidance for Anyone Who Believes They Have Been Exposed:

IF YOU (FACULTY, STAFF, POSTDOC or STUDENT) feel any of the Working Well described symptoms of COVID-19or if you have concerns about contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, please follow these steps:

FACULTY, POSTDOCS OR STAFF ON THE UCI CAMPUS: contact UCI Occupational and Environmental Health ( Here is the process: on the website, you will be directed to fill out a form, you will later be contacted and given an opportunity to provide information. If you pass the threshold to be tested, you will be directed to a physician who will interview you and recommend, or not, that you be tested. We have been told these responses occur within 24 hours. IF YOU ARE IN THE MEDICAL CENTER, CONTACT OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH (714-456-8300). Steps will also be initiated for contact tracing as necessary.

STUDENTS ON THE UCI CAMPUS: contact student health (949-824-5304) and ask to speak with the triage nurse.

Notify School of Medicine Assistant Dean of Administrative Operations, Carl Smith ( of your concerns so that any necessary steps can be taken for sanitizing potentially contaminated areas. 

Remember you are taking care of your research community when you follow these steps.

Report a Lab Safety or Compliance Concern | Your Report Can Be Made Anonymously:

There are 3 ways to file a report:

  1. To report a lab safety or compliance concern, please go to Environmental Health & Safety At the end of the report, you can opt to omit your name and contact information so that your report is made anonymously. 
  2. You can also call the EH&S front desk at 949-824-6200 and make a report. This report can be made without revealing your identity. 
  3. You can email

Please watch both the UCI Office of Research Ramp-Up website as well as the SOM Office of Research website for updates as they become available. 

EXCEPTIONS: If you are in Beckman Laser Center or Gross Hall you will follow those building specific protocols (which have different forms but are similar in principle). Sprague Hall has adopted the SOM Qualtrics form, but will report plans to the Cancer Research Institute (Waterman/Driscoll) for building approval, as well as department chairs for approval. Cancer Center/CRI have adopted specific codes of conduct within building spaces.

Archive:  Research ramp up phase 2