Engineering Phase 3 Research Restart

UCI’s Phase 3 includes all research activities, but UCI still strongly encourages researchers to work remotely when possible. There is no population density requirement, but instead establishes a research space population density guideline of at least six (6) feet between occupants, which is based on current applicable CDC guidance and Cal OSHA physical distancing requirements.


SSOE Relevant Phase 3 Protocols

  • Engineering Laboratory Protocol For Phase 3 Research Operation – April 5, 2021: SSOE rules that must be followed at all times unless an exception is approved through the Phase 2 or Phase 3 approval process. These protocols must be posted in each laboratory.
  • Personnel Information Required for Approved PIs/Center Directors – July 27, 2020: Phase 2 and Phase 3 approved PIs/Centers need to provide up-to-date personnel and location information to SSOE that is used for planning purposes.
  • Engineering Training Protocol For Phase 2 Research Operations – September 10, 2020: SSOE protocols that updates the Phase 2 Engineering Laboratory Protocol to allow for one-on-one training between 2 people within 6ft and/or room <250 sq ft. Phase 3 updates will be provided when guidance about vaccinated people is provided by campus.
  • Engineering Research Visitor Request Form for Approved Research – October 4, 2020: Following Chancellor Gillman’s directive on invited guest/visitor, SSOE’s form for allowing non-UCI employees to be on campus to do research. For Phase 3, vendors/technicians as well as “Non-UCI research collaborators when collaborative activities cannot be performed remotely and must be performed face-to-face in the same research space” do no need Authorized Official approval using this form. SSoE asks that you send information about these visits, such as time, location, persons, and reason for visit to Lori Greene, legreene@uci.edu, for our records. Approved PIs/Center Directors should provide vendors with the UCI vendor guide (quick links) and are responsible for ensuring that research collaborators follow the compliance measures per their Phase 3 approval.


SSOE Phase 3 Approval Process for Engineering PIs and Center Directors – April 5, 2021

Faculty PIs and SSOE Center Directors who plan to have personnel, including themselves, come to campus to do research in a laboratory or office setting or do allowable off-campus research must have Phase 3 approval from SSOE, following the 2-step process below. This approval is an agreement between the PI and SSOE Authorizing Official, Associate Dean Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, and it is the responsibility of the PI to ensure the safety and following of protocols by all personnel doing research under their supervision.

  1. As “Plan Owners,” the PI/Center Director must complete the SSOE’s Phase 3 Research Safety Plan Form agreeing to UCI and SSOE protocols with opportunities to request exceptions. Updates to personnel and research locations can be done after approval, via an email to legreene@uci.edu
  2. Plan Owners must complete, check all “required” boxes, and sign the SSOE Phase 3 Authorization Form. Please email to legreene@uci.edu for approval routing. This form must match what was submitted in the SSOE’s Phase 3 Research Safety Plan Form.


Summary of Changes from Phase 2

All Phase 2 PIs/Center Directors are automatically approved for Phase 3 and no additional authorization is needed. Updates to your plan (e.g., max occupancy, locations) can be made via your Phase 2 Safety Form link (email Lori for link if you don’t have it) and an updated Personnel Form. In Phase 3, 6 ft distancing and face coverings are still required in any indoor UCI space except in a private office with the door closed, per Chancellor Gillman’s Face Covering Directive. SSoE will provide updates to this guideline in relation to vaccinated people when information is provided by campus. Please note, if campus returns to Phase 2, SSoE research activities will ramp down to Phase 2 requirements and protocols.

  • Research Space & Physical Distancing: Only one person at a time may occupy any enclosed space less than 150 sq ft. Occupancy of larger spaces will be determined by the approved PI/Center Director following safe distancing practices for that space where persons at all times can maintain at least a 6 foot distance. General recommendation is 1 person per 120 sq ft. Scheduling is still required for high-use areas. Please update your posted max occupancy sign to reflect any changes.
  • Research Space & Physical Distancing: A posted calendar outside the lab door is no longer required. Vinyl tape is no longer required.
  • Research Space & Physical Distancing: One-on-one or small group discussions can occur if persons maintain a 6 ft distance at all times. All group research meetings must continue to be done virtually.
  • Disinfecting Surfaces, Equipment & Instrumentation: Each laboratory must have protocols for lab cleaning. Lab cleanings must occur before and after usage of a space. Scheduled cleaning times are no longer required.
  • Compliance Monitoring Measures: PI/Center Directors will periodically confirm with group/facility personnel that they will continue to comply with Phase 3 safety measures. Weekly video meetings are no longer required.


UCI Phase 3 Additional Requirements

  • Training for employees: All on-site employees are required to view a training video entitled “Returning to Campus,” which explains what COVID-19 is, how it is transmitted, the steps we’re taking to reduce potential exposures, and what you can do to protect yourself and others. The video is available through the UC Learning Center and can be searched by title using the Find a Course function. PIs need to receive attestation of completion from each person in their lab prior to them coming to campus. Contact Christian Ritter (crritter@uci.edu) if you need to look anyone up in the UCLC transcripts or have questions about EH&S training in general.
  • Working Well Daily Health Check-in: As part of Phase 3’s Personnel Hygiene & Self Screening process (4c.2) Campus HR has implemented a Working Well Daily Heath Check-in process that will allow all UCI workforce to conduct daily check-ins prior to coming on Campus. If you have not received this already, more information found here: https://uci.edu/coronavirus/app/index.php