COVID-19 Return to Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities

COVID-19 Return to Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities


In an effort to ensure a safe return to research, scholarship, and creative activities as part of a return to campus process at Sonoma State University, protocols and documents have been designed to comply with the COVID-19 CSU Guidance for 2021-21 Academic Year Planning in the Context of COVID-19 (see CSU Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Considerations). This program of implementation maximizes participant safety, minimizes risk of infection, allows for monitoring of compliance with protocols and procedures, and provides opportunities for effective contact tracing should an individual become infected with COVID-19.

Key Elements

  • Return to research, scholarship, and creative activities will be led by Principal Investigators (PI), Project Leads (PL), and Instructors who will oversee the activities of specific approved projects they propose. They will be responsible for training, guiding, and monitoring the activities of students, volunteers, and/or other research participants under their supervision in accordance with Sonoma State’s Project Planning Checklists. 
  • Planning Readiness will be evaluated for each project/course and each campus space used to engage with that project or course. 
  • On-going documentation will provide for monitoring of continued safe practices and allow for contact tracing.
  • All participants conducting project in-person activities are voluntarily participating and are not being required or coerced to conduct in-person research, scholarship or creative activities.

Guide to Documents

  1. Essential Project Request Form (pdf)
  2. Essential Project Planning Guidelines (pdf)
  3. On-Campus Project Planning Readiness form (pdf)
  4. COVID-19 Personal Log (for monitoring – provided once projects are approved)
  5. COVID-19 Room Log (for monitoring – provided once projects are approved)

Protocol for Implementation of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities

Project activities that follow Essential Project Planning Guidelines and Sonoma State University Return to Campus Guidelines and Expectations will ensure current best practices for a safe return to campus for projects and courses that engage in research and creative activities.  

The key elements of this plan include:

  1. Beginning in Summer 2020, faculty complete and submit the COVID-19 Essential Project Request form for a project that they propose to supervise. In completing the form, PIs and PLs must complete an On-campus Project Planning Readiness Evaluation for each room they propose to use for the project or course:
  • They must describe appropriate COVID-19 training and mitigation procedures in accordance to campus guidelines.
  • They must ensure that all participants will be doing so voluntarily and are not required to participate in in-person activities. 
  1. Review and approval of these requests will be handled quickly and digitally and include the department chair or unit director, school dean, the Office of Academic Programs, Environmental Health & Safety, and Business Operations. 
  2. Documentation of in-person research, scholarship, and creative activities will be maintained. This system will allow for monitoring of compliance issues (i.e. density of users; social distancing) and provide a mechanism for contact tracing should an individual present positive for COVID-19 symptoms. Documentation must be kept in real-time.
  • Each individual will maintain a COVID-19 Personal log detailing the dates, times, and locations of their activities on the project.
  • Each research or creative activities space will have a posted COVID-19 Room log that must be filled out by every user of the space as they enter or leave the spaces (i.e. labs, core facilities).
  • Common use or core facilities will have a designated point of contact supervisor (POC) responsible for scheduling and monitoring of compliance with established protocols.
  1. Each day, prior to participating in research or creative projects, each individual is required to perform a personal health and temperature check. These will not be collected, but individuals must log that they have completed these checks. This confirms that they do not exhibit signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19 (see Guidelines).
  2. PIs and PLs must arrange to provide appropriate PPE, provisions, supplies, and approved disinfectants to all team members in coordination with University resources.
  3. PIs and PLs are responsible for arranging disinfection of workspaces and equipment before and after engaging in project activities. These measures will be described in the On-campus Project Planning Readiness Evaluation for each space used for the project/course.  
  4. PIs and PLs are responsible for regularly checking email and the COVID-19 Academic Affairs Info Hub Web link for updates to project procedures, as these procedures and policies are likely to change with changing conditions. 
  5. Plans for sudden return to Phase 1 remote operation must be in place at all times.
  6. Violations of appropriate practices will result in a hierarchy of consequences.
  • first offense - a warning
  • second offense - hard ultimatum on proper practices
  • third offense - revocation of access to project activities

Communication Plan

  1. Academic Programs will maintain a website dedicated to COVID-19 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities that will provide up-to-date information on:
  • Forms and materials for project initiation
  • Updates on current phases of implementation
  • Related CSU guidelines and policies
  1. Academic Programs will send email notifications to all PIs and PLs to ensure timely notification regarding updates to processes, procedures, and implementation of monitoring.  Notifications will occur as necessary. 

Additional Considerations:

  • All activities will comply with County and State regulations. 
  • Campus Contact Tracing will be conducted by County of Sonoma.
  • Assumption that projects have additional project-specific approval (appropriate permits, IACUC, Radiation Safety, IRB, Environmental Health and Safety Office)

If there are any questions, please contact Derek Girman in Academic Programs (