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
- Use the USC Campus Restart Phase 3 Guidelines and related Appendix Materials to create your Restart Plan (USC Single Sign On required for access).
- PIs and research administrators should review all COVID-19 Safety Measures with their groups to ensure compliance with all the measures on this site.
- Continue to maintain highest safety practices in all in-person activity and use remote work methods whenever possible.
- Any faculty, staff, or student with any symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should refrain from coming to campus and should promptly contact USC Student Health for testing.
- Any faculty, staff, or student who has traveled outside of Southern California cannot come to campus until after completing the required quarantine for 10 days upon return according to LA County’s Safer at Home mandatory directive on travel.
- 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.
All USC on-site employees and students need to use Trojan Check, the daily symptom check and campus access platform:
- Complete the appropriate Health, Hygiene and Safety online module, accessible through Trojan Learn.
- We encourage all USC employees to sign up for a vaccine through myturn.ca.gov to book a vaccine appointment as soon as one is available. Appointments are also available through the City of Los Angeles website. New appointments are added regularly as vaccine supplies become available. As required in the University’s vaccine policy, please submit your vaccine record (after any dose) in MySHR, or the declination form (if you choose not to be vaccinated).
- Complete the influenza compliance (see information for students and for employees); receipts, attestation, and exemption forms may be uploaded in the “Downloadable Forms” section of the MySHR (My Student Health Record) Portal.
- Complete the required COVID-19 testing (Pop Testing 3.0) for the week (or twice weekly, for undergraduate students).
- The Trojan Check sign-in screen will indicate if your compliance is current or the reason(s) it may be deactivated.
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.
- All visitors to campus should be called out in each school’s Restart Plan and reviewed/approved accordingly.
- Any non-USC visitor approved for campus entry should complete this form (USC Single Sign On required for access) 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.
- Visiting vendors are required to follow campus health safety procedures. Observed non-compliance should be reported to USC Procurement.
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
- 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.
DC Office of Research Advancement
- email@example.com or 818-732-9350
- For a review of Funding Landscape & Opportunities during COVID-19, see this presentation: USC Research During COVID-19.
Department of Animal Resources (DAR) and 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
- For general inquiries and requests, email email@example.com
- For consultation request: https://uschsl.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_di1fbQJYL4QsxXD
- For NGS data analysis request: https://uschsl.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8GHy25wi20UsL2Z
- 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.