Tools & Resources for Resuming Research & Creative Projects at PSU

Important Announcement 11/16/20

On Wednesday, November 18, the Governor's state-wide restrictions to slow the transmission of COVID-19 goes into effect. In Multnomah and other counties with high numbers of reported cases, these restrictions will last until December 16. As a result, RGS is placing a four-week freeze on all new requests to return research.

How will the new restrictions impact research at Portland State?

  • PSU will continue working at Research Operation Level 2 with the following alterations:
    • Beginning this week (11/16 - 11/20), Research & Graduate Studies is placing a four-week freeze on all new requests to return to research
    • RGS asks researchers not to start new projects during this period
    • RGS asks researchers to pause all face-to-face human subjects research that may be in progress; We encourage PIs to reach out directly to RGS via the research@pdx.edu email (not to the HRPP) if this pause is going to endanger the integrity of your research funding
    • Projects currently underway may continue as stipulated in return to research requests, provided they do not involve in-person interaction with human subjects
    • Please review your plans for a possible return to Research Operation Level 3 if pandemic conditions worsen
  • PSU’s current travel policy remains in place; it prohibits air travel and limits domestic travel to essential activities approved by a supervisor. Travelers must adhere to new state and county rules, including engaging in a 14-day quarantine upon arriving in another state and upon returning to Oregon from travel out of state.

Portland State University is providing limited access to campus resources (labs and studio spaces) as outlined in Level 2 of the University’s research operating levels.

Research & Graduate Studies has developed various tools and resources on the gradual approach to resuming research & creative activities on campus in a manner consistent with federal, state, and local guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19.

In keeping with the Instructions for Submitting a Request, Chairs (or equivalent unit leaders) must send a new email to research@pdx.edu for each submission, along with the link to the unit's spreadsheet. Please clearly label those new requests you wish to submit or include a note to that effect in your email to research@pdx.edu. Without these notifications, RGS cannot track your new requests.

RGS is accepting ad-hoc requests, following the same basic procedure we have in the past but without strict deadlines:

  1. Have faculty or students fill out rows on the current tab of the SPHS spreadsheet that you share with them to use--one row per person and per space access request
    Please note if access to one space entails access to other spaces as well--this is an important lesson learned this fall!
    Please do not leave cells blank or enter "see above" (instead use n/a or copy/paste or drag down info -- rows will be sorted and separated once added to the master sheet!
  2. Indicate if you approve in col. D: Chair Approval
  3. Share the link to the spreadsheet and instructions for me with an email to research@pdx.edu whenever you have a batch of requests ready for review.

Please remember: 

  • Work that can be accomplished remotely must continue in this manner.
  • We aim to begin with just 20% capacity, and prioritization of requests to resume research or creative activities will be based on our guiding principles.
  • Before the resumption of research activities, research operations plans must be developed with your Department Chair and RGS. Additional guidelines for faculty, PIs, and graduate students are available in this document
  • Anyone planning on conducting research (lab- or fieldwork) or creative activities on campus is also required to complete the COVID-19 Creating A Safe Work Environment training and accompanying Assurance Form available via D2L. Instructions for accessing the training are available here. Those who have not completed the training and assurance form will not be granted access to campus buildings.
  • RGS is currently approving undergraduate students' return to research and creative activities, provided they have previous lab training and complete the required training (see above), or a detailed plan that ensures RGS has approved a safe training experience.

Laboratory Door Signage

PSU has made great strides to standardized safety information provided outside of each laboratory door. Each lab door needs to make sure that their placard is up to date and that proper emergency contact information is provided on the placard. If your sign needs to be updated, please fill out the Lab Placard Information Collection Form and EHS will get you an updated sign. Other information provided on the sign that needs to be correct include:

  • Chemical hazard information
  • Other special safety conditions in the lab, such as radioactive materials, lasers, open IACUC protocols, biohazardous materials, etc.

If there are special and/or temporary conditions taking place in your lab space, please make sure you have an updated and current Research in Process sign affixed to each of your lab doors.

If you have any questions about laboratory door signage, please reach contact EHS.