University of Southern California


General Research Guidance

As of March 23 from Office of the Provost:

We are currently in Phase 3, while continuing to adhere to physical distancing, PPE, and testing guidelines. Community and field‐based research is now allowed if it goes through approval. For more information, please see our table on Phases of Research Under COVID-19 (USC Single Sign On required for access).

Researchers are urged to go to campus only for necessary work and continue to do work remotely when possible. All researchers must follow the general research guidelines on this page in addition to the rest of the information on the COVID-19 Research Continuity section of this website.

Returning to Campus

Trojan Check

All USC on-site employees and students need to use Trojan Check, the daily symptom check and campus access platform:

Reporting Non-Compliance

Any non-compliance to safety policies (physical distancing, facial coverings, PPE, hand washing, etc.) in other researchers observed by an individual (student, postdoc, staff and faculty) may be reported directly to the individual’s PI or the Vice Dean for Research. If an individual prefers to remain anonymous, they may report their concern by calling the USC Help and Hotline at (213) 740-2500 or (800) 348-7454; or by filing a report over the web.


USC can now include students who have been: working on essential on-campus research (since the restart), working in person to approved activity, and/or providing in person instruction as a teaching assistant on the list of personnel to be vaccinated in the current 1B2 category.

These students can be included on essential employee list and/or provided with university employment verification letters. If students are not working to provide an essential service or approved activity, they are not eligible for vaccination at this point.

This includes PhD students, MS students, and undergraduates.  Regarding undergraduates, this applies only to those who have already been approved to work on campus based on the existing Undergraduate Research on Campus Rules (USC Single Sign On required for access).

If conditions continue to improve, we expect to take additional steps towards reopening this summer: Resuming work in laboratories for undergraduates, taking into account all appropriate physical distancing and safety protocols. This includes summer programs for non-USC undergraduates.


Volunteers (local or otherwise) are required to be under a research plan and must follow local health safety rules including evidence of a flu shot and completing the TrojanLearn module to access the campus as stated above.


Budget restrictions are now removed for summer travel for research conferences (assuming that at the time of the travel current county restrictions have been removed). Los Angeles County Public Health guidelines may still be very restrictive for international travel; please continue to consult travel advisories from CDC, California Public Health and LA County Public Health.  Individuals must still comply with quarantine rules.  Travel is always subject to LA County restrictions.  Faculty are advised to book fully cancellable airline tickets and accommodation. The university will not reimburse canceled research travel costs.

Situation Type of Expense Can the Expense be Charged to my Sponsored Project?
A project-related conference is cancelled Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight and/or hotel  Eligible to be charged to the award, as allowable, allocable, and reasonable
 A project related conference hosted by my federal sponsor is cancelled Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight and/or hotel  Eligible to be charged to the award, as allowable, allocable, and reasonable
 A project related conference is held in a restricted country, according to CDC Level 3 Countries Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight, hotel and/or registration. Eligible to be charged to the award, as allowable, allocable, and reasonable
A project related conference is held, but the USC participant decides not to attend. Non-refundable cancellation costs for flight, hotel and/or registration. Prior approval from the sponsor is required.

Please note: If an airline and/or hotel offer credits in lieu of a refund, the costs associated with the flight and/or hotel cannot be direct charged to a sponsored project.

Office of Research Contact Information

Core Facilities

DC Office of Research Advancement

Department of Animal Resources (DAR) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Department of Contracts & Grants (DCG)

Environment Health & Safety (EH&S)

Office for Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS)

Office of Research Integrity

Stevens Center for Innovation

USC Libraries