UB Research Ramp-Up

Published May 19, 2020

Updated September 2, 2020

UB’s researchers are passionate about their work and about the university. Thanks to our Principal Investigators, UB conducts premier research, attracts signature talent, leverages federal grant funding, and transacts licensing and technology transfer, all of which are critical to UB’s position as a top-tier research university. They, like all of us, anxiously but cautiously await the ability to return to their work on campus.

It is in the same spirit that UB labs and research facilities closed – that of maintaining the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff – that they will eventually reopen. However, while the closure of non-essential research facilities occurred seemingly overnight, the same will not be true as we ramp up research activities at UB.

Research Ramp-up Guidance & Resources

Updates from the Office of Research and Economic Development

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Dear Principal Investigators, I write to confirm and clarify that the SUNY guidance provided Monday by UB HR applies to research labs on campus.

  • Physical distancing is only required by unvaccinated individuals
  • Masks are only required by unvaccinated individuals

I am also glad to inform you that this means Lab Operating Plans and Plan Updates are no longer required.

All employees are asked to upload their vaccination information to UB Human Resources to be exempted from weekly surveillance testing, and acknowledge the Workplace Health and Safety Provisions for Employees by signing on with their UBIT to an electronic form (which is available here).

Mask wearing and social distancing are expected if an individual is not vaccinated. It is important to remember that many individuals may continue to wear a mask for their own personal comfort.

Thank you all for your patience throughout the COVID 19 Pandemic. Do not hesitate to contact my office should you have questions or concerns.

Monday, August 24, 2020 
Undergraduates in Labs - Fall Semester

Dear Colleagues: For the fall semester, the OVPRED is revising the university’s Research Ramp-up Phase 2 guidelines with regard to undergraduate students in research labs.

For the 2020 fall semester, the OVPRED will not prohibit the presence of undergraduates in research labs. However, undergraduates can only be present if:

  • PI’s revise their Lab Operations Plans to reflect the presence of undergraduate students, this should include how UGs will be trained and supervised; and
  • Revised Lab Operations Plans are approved by their Department Chair and Associate Dean for Research; and
  • All necessary health and safety guidelines are met (e.g. minimum density of staffing, social distancing, wearing of masks, working remotely when possible, etc.)             

Please note that all work that can be done remotely, should continue to be done remotely. 

Do not hesitate to contact my office should you have questions with regard to this revised policy language.

Friday, July 17, 2020 
UPDATE - Research at UB

Dear Colleagues, I hope this finds you well. Please see below updates from our office. Do not hesitate to contact me should you have questions or concerns.

Undergraduate Research Update

In order to accommodate Summer programs that involve research and/or training of undergraduate students in UB labs, the OVPRED is revising the university's Research Ramp-up Phase 2 guidelines. For time-sensitive or specially funded summer research programs that require undergraduate students to be present on campus and in research labs, PIs should update their Lab operation plans to include these students. All other Phase 2 guidelines for on-site research must still be met (e.g. minimum density of staffing, social distancing, wearing of masks, working remotely when possible, etc.). Updated PI operation plans should be signed by the student(s) and submitted to department chairs and ADRs for approval.

UB Research Ramp-up Phase Two Transition Update

OVPRED does not anticipate advancing to UB Research Ramp-up Phase 3 in the foreseeable future. This is primarily due to the fact that New York State continues to limit space occupancy to 50% capacity. Our Phase 3 is predicated upon a further easing of restrictions to up to 75% capacity, which is not expected any time soon.

In order to ensure that this does not inhibit research that requires a physical presence on campus, we encourage any PI that is not currently authorized to resume research activities to contact our office to facilitate their ability to resume on campus research in a feasible and permissible manner. 

Town Hall Recording

We appreciated all who participated and provided input through our Town Hall on May 15. We recorded the session for those who were unable to join.

UB Research Ramp Up Town Hall Meeting from May 15, 2020


  • Stanley Halvorsen, Executive Director of Regulatory Support, VPRED


  • Joseph Balthasar, Executive Director of Research Initiatives, VPRED
  • Lorraine Collins, Associate Dean for Research, School of Public Health and Health Professions
  • Gerald Koudelka, Associate Dean for Reserarch, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Timothy Murphy, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Representatives from our partnering campus offices:

  • Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
  • David Pawlowski, Biosafety Officer, EH&S
  • James Roorbach, Senior Emergency Planning Coordinator