Reopening Principles

The plan for the phased reopening of on-campus laboratory research and studio-based creative work is guided by the following five principles:

  1. Notre Dame is committed to a gradual ramp-up of research and creative work that will unfold as public health conditions and University support services permit.
    • The University's protocols are designed to keep individuals safe, even if someone has been directly exposed to a COVID-19 positive person.
    • Notre Dame recognizes that scholarship and creative endeavors are an integral part of the University’s Mission and the University wishes to restart these enterprises. However, Notre Dame will not compromise health and safety in pursuit of expediency.
  2. The health and safety of the research community and human subjects are paramount.
    • The gradual ramp-up of research will be strictly guided by protocols that protect the health and safety of Notre Dame's faculty, students, and staff. Research priorities are secondary factors at this time and some research areas might ramp more slowly than others due to unique safety considerations.
    • All research-related activities that can continue remotely at a home-based work station should do so.
    • For travel-based research, conditions must be healthy and safe for travel to the destination site and at the destination site for the duration of the stay. 
  3. Notre Dame will adhere to local, state, and national directives and implement social distancing.
    • The governmental directives should be viewed as minimum standards. The University may adopt more stringent guidelines to protect researchers.
    • Travelers must follow local, state, and national directives for travel at both the origin of travel, as well as at the travel destination and any intermediate locales. 
    • The University should be prepared to scale back reopening plans, including associated travel, if warranted by public health considerations and revised government directives.
  4. Trainees (i.e., graduate students and postdoctoral scholars) should not feel compelled to work on campus or engage in research-based travel if they are uncomfortable doing so. 
    • Trainees will be given a choice to opt-out.
    • The University will establish structures for research personnel to report unsafe conditions.
  5. Notre Dame will implement a fair and transparent process to approve the resumption of research and creative work both on campus and in the field.
    • There must be a compelling case that research activities are urgently needed.
    • Detailed plans for physical distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitation, and safety will be required.

In addition to these principles, a list of general research continuity protocols exists to help answer questions researchers may have about critical laboratory and facility functions or the impact to ongoing or forthcoming research projects as a result of a crisis. 

Need more information?

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

Click to report a reopening of research concern