Research Reopening

(Last update: 04/23/2021) Starting 04/26/21, lab occupancy raised to 50% or less.

This page serves as a source for guidelines and rules pertaining to college-wide post COVID-19 reopening of research activities. Please review each section with paying special attention to your building/department guidelines since those are usually derived from wider guidelines of parent administrative unit.

Scroll down to review CCNY, CUNY, and government guidelines and supporting documents..

4/26/2021 Update - Research Ramp Down Guidelines

Please review slides from December 2020 research town halls to learn how resurging COVID pandemic affects college reopening efforts. 

The 7-day average positive COVID-19 testing rate in New York City  has fallen below 5%, with a positivity rate of 4.45% reported on 4/21/21.   As a result, beginning Monday, April 26, 2021,  research lab occupancy may resume at a level of 50% or less

Undergraduate Researcher Guidelines (Summer 2021)

Beginning Summer 2021 undergraduate researchers funded as part of an organized research activity (grant funded, start-up, fellowships etc.) will be allowed to access campus to perform research.  If you coordinate a funded summer undergraduate research program or plan to fund an undergraduate researcher over the summer, please review the guidelines below.  You should also submit a research restart plan or an updated plan including the names and signatures of the undergraduate students.  Once the plan is approved, the students will be able to request campus access.  The procedure is detailed below.

  • No researchers under the age of 18 are permitted.
  • Undergraduate researchers funded as part of an organized research activity (grant funded, start-up, fellowships etc.) are the only undergraduates allowed in the lab.
  • The occupancy limits must be maintained.  Currently the occupancy level is at 25% and only two persons per lab space (room) at any time are allowed.  Building occupancy levels may rise by summer.  The college continues to discuss options and updates will be available once finalized.
  • All undergraduates must be supervised when in lab and are not permitted to work alone.  Supervision is by the PI, graduate or post doc students.  REMINDER:  The City of New York Fire Department requires that all non-production chemical laboratories have a C-14 holder present at all times during operation.
  • Researchers external to CUNY are required to complete the Independent Researcher Agreement (IRA) form. 
  • All research that can be performed remotely should continue to be performed remotely.

Campus Access Protocols:

CCNY enforces strict COVID-19 safety and security rules dictated by CUNY, New York City, and New York State.

Protocols for returning on campus vary based on your role and needs. Please choose appropriate category below and follow the steps to regain access.

PI reopening lab after COVID shutdown

1. PIs wishing to restart research should continue to submit a research restart plan or updates to the current plan.

2. Plans will be reviewed by RRRB.  If approved the PIs will receive an email notification with instructions to complete the Campus Access Request form

3. Approved researchers should submit the following as “Supervisor” in the Approval Section of the Campus Access Request form.

New researcher joining a reopened lab

Approved Research Reopening Plan
 

1. PI completes reopening plan update, providing justification for addition and explanation of how scheduling will be adjusted to accommodate the new researcher. New researcher must sign the updated plan and the document must be submitted using Google form.

CCNY email (@citymail.cuny.edu, @ccny.cuny.edu) account is required for subsequent steps. The exact procedure for setting up email addresses is different for tax-levy and non tax-levy employees.

- Tax-levy employees will have their email activated by the college HR as part of the on-boarding process.
- Non tax-levy employees (RF, 21st Century Foundation, etc) must be entered in CUNYFirst as a Person of Interest. Please see https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/hr/cunyfirst-person-of-interest-poi-instructi… for details.

When in doubt, please consult with CCNY administrators assisting with hiring process.

Science: Cindy Gonzalez ( cgonzalez@ccny.cuny.edu )
Engineering: Valerie Rutstein ( vrutstein@ccny.cuny.edu )
Psychology: Kendra Wrigh ( kwright1@ccny.cuny.edu ), Shama Mital ( smital@ccny.cuny.edu )

2. Following update submission, new researcher should request access to campus using the CCNY Portal. List the PI of the lab in the justification and the following must be listed as “Supervisor” in the Approval Section of the Campus Access Request form. Any other listed supervisors will result in request rejection. The RRRB will cross-check the request for access with the reopening plan update and approve if in line. 

Please note that permanent/semester long access lists are updated on Mondays and Thursdays. Please account for this delay when applying.

3. Wait for CCNY approval email before attempting to come to campus.

4. Download the Everbridge app on your smartphone and answer questions via the app on each and every day they come to campus. Employees unable to use the app on their personal phone can visit NAC entrance to complete the screening.

CCNY employees not involved in research

1. Check with your supervisor to make sure that you are authorized to visit CCNY.

2. Log in and complete online access form. Feel free to review form instructions for using the system. Please note that permanent/semester long access lists are updated on Mondays and Thursdays. Please account for delay when applying.

3. Download the Everbridge app on your smartphone and answer questions via the app on each and every day they come to campus. Employees unable to use the app on their personal phone can visit NAC entrance to complete the screening.

Please inquire with your dean and immediate supervisor if you have additional questions about the process.

Visitors/Vendors not affiliated with CCNY

1. Check with your CCNY contact to make sure that you are authorized to visit CCNY.

2. Complete online access form

3. Frequent visitors will receive an email from CCNY ( covid-screener@ccny.cuny.edu ) with instructions how to set up the Everbridge COVID-19 screening app. Please complete daily health screening survey before arriving at CCNY. Visitors without the app must report to NAC entrance to complete screening.

 

Guidelines and supporting documents

 

CUNY

Research is essential to the University mission, fundamental for CUNY’s capacity to advance discovery and innovation, and is important for our regional economy. In early March we were guided by public health and safety considerations and followed regional, state, and federal guidance to pause on-site research across CUNY except for essential and COVID-19 related research.

We will continue to prioritize the welfare of our CUNY community as we plan for gradually phasing in on-site research at University-owned and leased properties, and may need to step back along the way as public health and safety considerations evolve. Our expectation — similar to regional institutions like New York University and Stony Brook University — is that we will be able to begin phasing in more on-site research as New York City’s reopening enters its second phase, per New York State’s On Pause reopening framework, subject to meeting college, University, City, and State standards and obtaining the required approvals to do so. To this end, we are currently planning to resume research activities following a 4-stage framework.

Stage 1 – Plan and prepare to phase in on-site research, with an eye toward Stage 2 research priorities. Plans include establishing clear research priorities and CUNY approval processes per City and State guidance, working with relevant researchers, to discern space, equipment, and personnel needs for safety, developing health and safety protocols, and establishing communication and health monitoring plans.

Stage 2 – Expand on-site access to research, priorities including: externally funded and deadline-driven work (regardless of researcher rank or tenure status), research by graduate students who are near degree completion, untenured faculty research, and/or research requiring season-specific sample collections. Plan and prepare for Stage 3 priorities.

Stage 3 – Expand on-site access to tenured associate and full professors, and graduate students and postdoctoral research associates. Plan and prepare for Stage 4 priorities.

Stage 4 – Expand on site access to undergraduate students

Prior to their implementation, plans for each stage in this framework must be approved by the corresponding bodies designated by The City University of New York to ensure compliance with City and State reopening standards.