UWM Research Operations Safety Plan
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.
As UWM prepares for the Fall 2020 semester, the Research Reopening Plan has been updated to reflect (1) the changing usage and occupancy patterns that will occur with on-site instruction, (2) the development of building-level use and occupancy plans, and (3) updated safety guidance from the UWM Emergency Operations group and various professional organizations. Recognizing that these factors will result in different levels of research activity across UWM’s research facilities, this plan provides a more flexible approach to restarting research as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact UWM’s activities. The approach to phasing human subjects research has also been substantially revised.
1. Before preparing and submitting your Research Operations Safety Plan, please carefully review these guidance materials:
- Fall 2020 Research Reopening Plan. Notable changes include required on-site work plans for units and Employee Training and Attestation for all UWM employees returning to work on campus. Guidelines also address Human Subjects Face-to-Face research. UWM is currently at Level ORANGE for Human Subjects research, which allows face-to-face interactions with low-risk populations in the same room that maintain social distance (greater than 6 ft.) or which require close (within 6 ft.) or direct contact for a limited duration (<15 minutes).
- Research Startup Safety Checklist: Guides researchers through the process of preparing their space and staff for reopening.
- Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Guidelines.
- 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. After reviewing the above documents, develop your Research Operations Safety Plan using this electronic system. If you see LOG IN TO APPLY above right, click on that and login using your UWM credentials; if you see APPLY click on that to prepare and submit your Research Operations Safety Plan. The system will send you automatic confirmations and other direct communications during the process of your application being reviewed. You must receive explicit approval from your Dean's office and US&A before you can resume field- or campus-based research.
3. Complete UWM Employee Training and Attestation. All UWM employees are required to complete UWM’s Employee Training and Attestation. This training is provided by UWM University Safety and Assurances and includes a training video, on-site work practices guidance, interim COVID-related health and safety rules, and a symptoms monitoring tool. Information is provided on practices for dealing with suspected and confirmed COVID cases and exposures.Each member of a research team must complete this training no later than the first day they return to the workplace. This requirement also applies to UWM research-related staff who need to come to campus for one-time, short-term access to their facilities.