Reopening Research at UWM

(Last updated: August 4, 2020)

The decisions and processes to reopening research labs and spaces at UWM are based on guidance from the State of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin System, and UWM Emergency Operations Center in consultation with UWM University Safety & Assurances (US&A), Campus Health, and Legal Affairs.

Reopening research spaces must consider the ability to establish and maintain clean and safe spaces, including individual research spaces and common areas, staffing, space density, and the traffic patterns of campus buildings as well as the campus overall. To best protect the health and safety of all members of the UWM community, the reopening of all research facilities and conducting of field work will require Safe Operations Plans and appropriate administrative approvals. Thus, each lead researcher must complete a UWM Research Operations Safety Plan before reopening their lab. This plan must be approved by US&A and the researcher’s Dean.

Developing Your Research Operations Safety Plan

1. Review Guidance Materials

Please review the following documents, which will guide you in the process of applying to reopen your facilities.

  1. Framework for Reopening Research Facilities: Outlines the criteria and procedures for reopening research spaces and restarting research activities.
  2. Research Startup Safety Checklist: Guides researchers through the process of preparing their space and staff for reopening.
  3. UWM Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Guidelines
  4. Guidelines for Field Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Outlines the process for restarting field research while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 disease transmission and protecting the health and safety of personnel conducting research activities at field sites.

2. Complete the UWM Research Operations Safety Plan Template

After reading the above documents, use this template to develop your Lab Safety Plan, which is required before permission can be obtained to reopen individual research spaces. Plans will be submitted and routed through this template system.

3. Obtain On-site Employee Work Status

Each member of a research group working on-site must be designated as an On-site Employee.

    For each member of your group who will be on-site, complete all columns except I, J, and K on this spreadsheet, and forward it to your Dean or Division Head. In Column L (Director), list your Dean (will apply to most researchers) or Director (if you are not in an academic unit). In Column O, include the work schedule/pattern you anticipate needing to resume your research project(s), e.g., hours per day, days per week, is it necessary for the days to be consecutive, number of weeks, etc.
    1. Read On-Site Essential Employee Work Practices (PDF) on the Safety and Health Programs website.
    2. Complete and submit the form acknowledging that you have read the document.