General Research Guidance
Current Phase: 2 at up to 50% capacity. (see phase table – login with your USC email)
Research can cautiously scale up to 50% capacity following the detailed process and rules outlined below and guidance given to the deans. Scaling up from 30% to 50% must be approved through each school’s established approval process. PIs should contact their vice deans of research for the details of the scale-up process. Schools and PIs should reach out to EH&S and/or FMS with any needs or concerns relating to scaling up to 50% in their research environments. Very limited and strictly overseen undergraduate research on campus is allowed under the rules explained here (login with your USC email). Volunteers (local or otherwise) are also required to be under the 50% research plan and must follow local health safety rules including evidence of a flu shot and completing the TrojanLearn module to access the campus. All USC researchers are expected to follow Student Health guidelines about symptom reporting and testing, and are strongly encouraged to get free flu shots through USC.
The schools with approved school-level ramp-up plans (see below for details) have been notified, and they are, in turn, notifying the PIs with approved PI/lab/group-level plans (see below for details) about the process for returning to campus.
Researchers returning to campus should schedule deliveries as required. Additionally, areas returning should also contact mailing services to inform them of how to proceed with internal mail delivery (resume delivery or continue holding for pick up, etc.); the email contact for this is Mail7777@usc.edu or they can contact the Mailing Services manager Nita Pilate at (213) 821-1238.
Access all USC Restart Guidance Documents and Checklists on Sharepoint. (login with your USC email).
School-level and PI-level Research Ramp-Up Plan Guidelines
To ramp-up research, each research-active unit/school has:
- Developed a school-level plan that observes the guidelines and the provided template, including developing and communicating plans for PPE distribution and research space use (including access permissions and scheduling, occupancy constraints, and disinfecting), for approval as communicated.
- Established and following a process by which each research-active PI has a lab/group-level plan that is reviewed at the level of their department and then school, to ensure comprehensive adherence to all the policies and safety practices.
- All researchers (as all USC employees) must complete the TrojanLearn module on COVID-19 prior to returning to campus.
- All researchers must check into the campus check‐in system if design to do work on campus, to complete the wellness check to get permission, and then reserve access to the specific building and time period.
- Individuals with symptoms suggestive of COVID‐19 should not come to work/campus.
- Individuals at high risk for adverse outcomes from COVID‐19 (e.g., due to age, comorbid conditions, etc.) should consult their care provider prior to coming to work.
- All visitors should be called out in each school’s Restart plan and reviewed/approved accordingly.
- During Phase 2, any non-USC visitor approved for campus entry should complete this form (login with your USC email) on a daily basis and file it with the host department. Each visitor will also be required to register and make a building-specific visitor reservation via iVIP.
- Full implementation of campus-wide check-in will be operational in Phase 3 and include a version of Trojan Check. Information on that system will follow when ready.
- Visiting vendors are required to follow campus health safety procedures. Observed non-compliance should be reported to USC Procurement.
- Physical distancing of six feet or greater to be observed at all times (except when closer physical proximity or contact is dictated by required clinical research procedures). CDC guidelines indicate spacing of less than 6 feet constitutes excessive exposure. This requires sequential use of elevators, corridors, bathrooms, and any other public small spaces.
- Common areas should have signage indicating maximum occupancy allowable to maintain distancing rules.
- Entry into and egress from buildings should be done singly and frequency should be limited to maintain distancing.
- Schools/units may consider limiting the number of hours on campus per researcher, to limit space sharing / de‐densify, as well as simplify food and other complex/risky activities.
- Masks/facial coverings as appropriate provided by the University or school must be worn at all times, except when physically isolated in a private space (e.g., closed private office not used by others and not having any visitors).
- Other PPE (gloves, disposable gowns, face shields, shoe covers) may be indicated in situations that increase risk of exposure/transmission in some contexts.
- All researchers wash / disinfect hands hourly, and disinfect all surfaces before and after each use.
- All researchers observe and comply with the safety signage in all areas of campus.
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.
Any travel must be part of the individual PI/lab/group-level plans that are approved by the school’s vice dean of research (in some cases also the department-level review and the dean, depending on the school’s process). Such travel would need to be of critical need, such as required by the funder or relevant to COVID-19 research, etc., in order to qualify for exception status.
Question about research continuity plan: contact department chair/division chief.
Question about core facility’s operations or status: contact the Core Facility Manager.
For a review of Core Facilities during COVID-19, see this presentation: USC Research During COVID-19.
Department of Animal Resources (DAR)
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-442-1689
For a review of Animal Research during COVID-19, see this presentation: USC Research During COVID-19.
Department of Contracts & Grants (DCG)
Please visit the DCG Contact Directory for contact information.
For a review of Contracts & Grants during COVID-19, see this presentation: USC Research During COVID-19.
Environment Health & Safety (EH&S)
email@example.com or 323-442-2200
EH&S has created an online COVID-19 Resource Center.
For a review of Environment Health & Safety during COVID-19, see this presentation: USC Research During COVID-19.
Office for Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS)
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-821‑1155
For a review of Human Subjects & Field Research during COVID-19, see this presentation: USC Research During COVID-19.
Office of Research Integrity
email@example.com or 213-821 7297
Stevens Center for Innovation
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-821-6062
1. For general inquiries and requests, email email@example.com
2. For consultation request: https://uschsl.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_di1fbQJYL4QsxXD
3. For NGS data analysis request: https://uschsl.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8GHy25wi20UsL2Z
4. Whenever necessary, Zoom meeting will be arranged between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday.
This link explains the process for requesting physical materials from the USC Libraries.