Gilman Hall

Image caption:

Research Return to Campus

Phase 1 guidance on the resumption of on-campus research activities at Johns Hopkins University

The research workgroup of the JHU 2020 Planning task force shared the following draft report on May 19. Comments and questions can be shared via the JHU 2020 Planning feedback form.

Introduction and executive summary

This document represents a draft of recommended guidelines for a gradual, phased approach to reestablishing the full breadth of research activities at Johns Hopkins University. These guidelines are based on detailed recommendations and analysis from the 2020 Research Workgroup, led by Denis Wirtz (Vice Provost for Research). During the past month, the Workgroup engaged in intensive planning, and received significant input and review from research faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and school leadership.

In preparing this draft, the Workgroup deliberated on the many facets of research carried out at the University, and consulted broadly with stakeholders. The result is a set of general considerations related to the conditions necessary to allow the safe return to campus of increased numbers of researchers and support staff.

The Johns Hopkins University’s overall plan for resumption of on-campus activities is structured in phases. There are three main phases, which conceptually parallel those in the State of Maryland’s plan, the Roadmap to Recovery. This draft document was prepared in advance of the University’s move to Phase 1, which will occur only as state and local regulations and our own assessment of the public health risks on our campuses allow. These draft guidelines are intended to elicit community feedback, and will be revised based on that feedback and review by the deans.

The focus of this document is on near-term measures—those enabling movement of research activities into Phase 1 of the University’s plan. While it is based on current knowledge, we anticipate that its guidance will evolve along with our understanding of the status of the pandemic and our experience in the safe resumption of research activities. Although there is a consensus from our peers that certain types of research, such as laboratory research and core activities, can be conducted in a manner that poses low levels of risk, we plan to resume research activities gradually so that we can be certain of our capacity to employ the protective measures that will be necessary. We thus caution that not all research labs will be able to open at the same time, nor will all labs be able to open with the same capacity.

Of importance, the resumption of on-campus research activities in Phase 1 will be limited only to those activities that actually require a person to be on campus/in the lab. Any and all research work that can be accomplished at home via telework should continue to be done at home, and persons should only be on campus for the time periods necessary to accomplish required on-campus work.

This document focuses on resumption of research activities. It is meant to integrate seamlessly with other University guidance, divisional planning efforts, and critical cross-cutting University functions to safely support full resumption of research and other activities on campus, including facilities; Health, Safety and Environment (HSE); health and wellness (including testing and contact tracing); human resources; information technology; transportation; and security. Those issues are at most touched on here, and will be covered more fully in companion documents, including as needed to move into Phase 1 research activities.

Our guidance in the following pages is organized into top-line findings and recommendations, followed by detailed recommendations organized into thematic sections: Health & Safety; PI Preparation; Lab Personnel; Libraries, Archives & Museums; and Clinical & Human Subjects. The principles laid out here apply to all University locations (e.g., Homewood, East Baltimore, DC, JHACH), noting that all actual operations should reflect local guidance and conditions. This is a living document and as such will be updated as we receive feedback; it will also be subject to alteration based on developing circumstances, changed or increased understanding of the virus, and governmental and public health guidance.

Download the full report Share your feedback