Occupancy Guidance for Research Space and Group Meetings

In the current phase, Phase 3, occupancy is limited to approximately 50% of nominal laboratory, studio, and core facility capacity at any given time. For situations where a density standard is difficult to apply, this standard translates to approximately 200 feet2 per person and six feet spacing in the laboratories, studios, or core facilities. Specific requests for variances to these guidelines should be directed to your appropriate Associate Dean for Research.

All campus researchers are expected to adhere to the University's Gatherings Policy, which can be found here.

Research Group Guidelines

Research group meetings are often held for the benefit of trainees, most of which are receiving credit for the research conducted. Such group meetings are allowed and should be treated as classes. When scheduling such group meetings, guidance is as follows:

  • Use spaces designated as classrooms when possible.
  • When not using classroom spaces, be sure to plan where the speaker should be located relative to seated participants.
  • Use Facilities and Design Operations (FDO) established occupancy limits for the space as a maximum. See further considerations below.
  • Limit the length of group meetings to less than 75 minutes when possible.

In addition to the guidance above, it is suggested that the following be considered when convening research group meetings:

  • Size of the space (see the following guidance).
  • Number of occupants.
  • Last and next use of the room (buffer between meetings).

Occupancies for conference rooms and classrooms were determined in the early summer by FDO using the six foot spacing. The Research Reopening Committee has additionally considered aerosol transmission in research laboratories and research office spaces. Thus, occupancies for research offices are much lower than similar spaces previously established by FDO. These lower limits are posted and supersede earlier posted limits.


For additional guidance, please communicate with your Department Chair and, if needed, a relevant member of the Subtask Force on Research Laboratory Operations. Members include Jim BrockmoleSteve CorcelliMelanie DeFord, and Mark McCready.

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