CECS Research Town Hall

The CECS Research Lab Committee (RLC) hosted a virtual Town Hall webinar to share information with faculty regarding plans and required procedures for the reopening of research labs in CECS.

The Town Hall (video and presentation links below) took place on Friday, June 5. Topics covered included:

  • An overview of the process for the development, review, and approval of CECS lab plans
  • The detailed process used to prioritize labs and the waves for reopening
  • The logistics, infrastructure, and protocols that are required for researchers returning to their labs

There was also a question and answer session at the conclusion of the presentation. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section is included at the bottom of this page and will be updated periodically.

Other resources you may find useful:

Frequently Asked Question

There was a short turnaround time for submissions to request the resumption of either field or lab research. Will there be another opportunity to submit requests?


The assumption is that if you didn't submit a request during the initial planning for the reopening of labs, your students and research weren't subject to timing pressures (e.g., graduation, sponsor deadlines, risk of losing funding, etc.).

You may submit a request for inclusion in the planning going forward, with the understanding that the earliest likely time for returning to your lab will be in Wave 4.

CECS Lab Space Usage Request Form

CECS Field Research Re-engagement Request Form

When will research labs open?

CECS research labs will began reopening on June 8, 2020, with Wave 1 of 4.

Wave 1 was limited to Monday through Friday, one shift per day (8:00-4:00). The number of researchers eligible to return to the labs in Wave 1 will be limited to 30% of the building's lab capacity at any one time, based upon the square footage in each lab and the required 144 square feet per person.

Subsequent waves will be scheduled based upon the safety and performance metrics for Wave 1 and approval of CECS plans by the U-M Office of research.

Is there any documentation to guide my return to the lab?


A laboratory reactivation manual has been developed to help you to understand the procedures and documentation needed to safely return to labs.

UM-Dearborn Research Lab Reactivation Manual Rev. 1

Can I substitute someone if they have taken COVID-19 training?

In general NO, you are not allowed to substitute researchers in labs, even if they are trained. There are some very limited exceptions to this rule that would need to be considered and approved by the CECS Research Lab Committee. You may submit your request by emailing the committee at CECS-ResLabMan@umich.edu

Does a faculty member need to be physically present when their lab opens?

Currently, faculty need to initially be physically present when the lab opens for the EHS checklist walk through and with your graduate student when they are in the lab.

We are working to modify this requirement to allow graduate students to work in the lab without the faculty member being present. We will notify you if we are able to implement this change.

However, even if the requirement changes and the faculty member isn't required to be physically present, they will still be responsible for monitoring the student work, including remote monitoring. 

What should I do if I decide to wait till the end of the waves to return to my lab?

If you filled out the Lab Space Request form and have decided to wait until after Phase 1, please contact Eric Kirk (erk@umich.edu) to let him know.

With limitations on the number of people allowed in the building at any one time, if you are not going to use your return slot, it can be allocated to another researcher.

When do you anticipate that testing human participants will begin again?

A majority of in-person human research led by U-M has been paused since March 14 in order to protect employees’ health and safety, and so the university will reactivate this activity through a tiered approach, in accordance with state regulations. The order and timing of these activation tiers is based on the proposed research benefits provided to individual participants, balanced with the risk for COVID-19 community transmission.

Beginning June 22, research studies that are classified as Tier 0 or 1 can apply for reactivation to the Human Research Activation Committees charged by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

We anticipate study teams to be notified within one week on their activation status. Applications for studies classified as Tier 2 will be accepted July 13. Learn more about the U-M human research reactivation tiers.

Please refer to our Research Re-engagement webpage for further details as it relates to human research re-engagement, including more information about the COVID-19 risk stratification process, human research activation checklist, human research training module and new FAQs. 

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