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Ramping Up Research Activities Starting on June 8, 2020

May 28, 2020

The improving pandemic conditions allow the Office of the Provost to begin to ramp up on-campus, field-base, and clinical (medical and non-medical) research, scholarly, and creative activities ("research"). To safely ramp up these activities we have generated Guidance for Ramping up Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities to guide investigators/scholars as well as academic and administrative units.

In crafting this document and the accompanying resources we utilized the following guiding principles.

  • Minimize risks to ensure the safety and well-being of the Drexel community, including the faculty, staff, and students who make up our research workforce as well as research subjects that participate in these activities

  • Utilize an evidence-based risk management and mitigation approach to the COVID-19 challenge

  • Timelines based on public health guidance, and best practices informed by ongoing experience at Drexel and other academic research institutions 

  • Agility is required given the considerable uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic; rapid return to more restrictive activity is possible and should be anticipated and planned for based on need

  • Establish new and improved best practices that instill an enhanced culture of individual accountability and safety that also comply with public health guidelines

  • Clear and regular communication regarding expectations, guidance and decision-making processes as they change over time

This guidance outlines a 3-phased approach for the resumption of research activities from our current research Ramp Down phase. Transitioning between these phases is designed to allow safe management of population density requirements with the cumulative increase of activity.  It is anticipated that changes in guidance and processes may be required, given new information related to COVID19 and our own experiences.  We plan on transitioning to Phase 1 on Monday June 8th. 




Ramp Down

Phase 1 

Phase 2

Phase 3

On campus Researcher Population


Less than approx. 33%

Less than approx. 66%

100% new normal

Remote work

Most activity remote

All that is possible

All that is possible

When reasonable

“research” activities

Critical only

Critical + prioritized



Faculty / Staff / Post-docs

Essential only




Grad/Med Students

Essential only




COOP Students

Essential only







No with case by case exceptions 


Mitigation (e.g., PPE / Physical Distancing / Cleaning)

 Required -Follow CDC guidelines


Given the diverse range of research activities across the University, Colleges / Schools / Departments, the guidance uses broader research categories to characterize all of these activities. These categories are:

  • On-campus activities that require access to specialized equipment, facilities

  • Field-based activities that require data collection in specific locations (on-campus, off-campus)

  • Clinical activities such as medical and non-medical research activities that include human subjects that cannot be accomplished by phone or video conference

A number of resources are available now and others are in development to aid in ramping up research activities including but not limited to health and safety guidance. 

Drexel’s Guidance for Ramping up Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities have been developed the Drexel University Research Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee under the oversight of the Office of Research and Innovation. This guidance benefited from the invaluable input of a number of stakeholders including the Graduate Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee, Graduate Student Association leadership, Post-doctoral Association leadership, Facilities, Environmental Health & Safety, the Faculty Senate Committee on Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, Fall 2020 Task Force, the Associate Deans for Research, Deans and the Provost’s Office.

With the initiation of the ramping up processes, please feel free to reach out to us directly with challenges, concerns and suggestion by emailing,