Essential Research Activities

As of March 23, 2020, only research activities that have been determined to be essential by the college dean or center/institute director, in consultation with the VPR, can be conducted on campus. Essential research activities can only be carried out by personnel that are classified as mandatory with Human Resources. These personnel, as well as their time on campus, should be kept to a minimum and laboratories and facilities must have detailed protocols in place to maintain physical distance and to protect the health and safety of research personnel and the general public. No other personnel or visitors are permitted in research buildings, laboratories, or facilities while these restrictions are in effect.

Graduate students and post-doctoral researchers should not be classified as mandatory unless their work is critical to essential research. See the Graduate School guidance for further details. We ask PIs and mentors to be extremely judicious in classifying research personnel as mandatory and to keep the health and safety of our research community and the public as their foremost consideration.

Currently, all research activities conducted by University of Utah personnel on campus, at other university properties, or at other field or remote research facilities must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Priority clinical and pre-clinical research
  • Animal care or priority animal research
  • Maintenance of other live organisms (e.g. plants, fungi, non-vertebrates) and cell cultures
  • Maintenance of equipment or experimental infrastructure that will be damaged by interruptions
  • Research functions necessary for health and safety
  • Other urgent research activities if approved by the VPR

Individual approvals of other urgent research activities must be sent to the college dean or institute/center director, who will then forward the request to the VPR if approved at the college/institute/center level.

Keep up to date on COVID-19 related Research information at

If you have questions or concerns please contact the VPR office at