Important Information Regarding Conducting Research During the COVID19 Outbreak

Please click here for the current Research Expansion Plan.
All participants for winter research must sign and submit a safety acknowledgement.



Dear Colleagues:


Research is an integral part of the activities of Cal Poly. Yet, in line with guidance from the CSU Chancellor's Office, the Office of the President at Cal Poly and national and international experts in the healthcare sector, we must enact social distancing and other preventative measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our goal is to ensure the continuity of research while also protecting the health and wellbeing of faculty, staff and student researchers and our greater community. We strongly recommend the following guidelines for research: 


1) All Cal Poly faculty, staff and student research should be conducted via telecommuting or other online methods, whenever possible. If virtual research is not possible, the work must be discontinued or pursued via methods that are consistent with current social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines. 


2) Essential research functions such as animal care, equipment maintenance and safety of research participants or staff must be maintained at this time. This should be accomplished while also observing preferred practices of social distancing.


3) Most federal agencies have indicated that delays will be accommodated under current policies (many agencies allow for one-year extensions for extenuating circumstances), ORED will assist faculty with navigating extensions for non-federal research sponsors.


4) Where needed, we will seek alternatives to avoid considerable delays in thesis research completion, qualifying exams, graduate degree completion, senior projects and research that must be completed in a timely manner. College graduate coordinators should work with Dr. Elizabeth Lowham, interim dean of Graduate Education, and the Office of Research and Economic Development to develop a Plan B. 


5) Any exceptions to the above guidelines must be approved by the dean(s) of the college(s) hosting the research activity. 


In summary, some research activities must be carried out at this time; to do otherwise would jeopardize participants, animal health, university resources and/or have long-term adverse effects. Please contact the dean of your college to discuss concerns regarding research that may arise at this time. Your dean will work with you, the Office of Research and Economic Development and other entities as needed to assist with concerns. 


Please note that the Grants Development Office, Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Corporate Engagement and Innovation, Office of Student Research and Office of Graduate Education are all working remotely, but are available to assist with submission and processing of grants, engaging with corporate partners, supporting student research applications and graduate degree completion. Feel free to contact separate offices directly or through




Renee A. Reijo Pera, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development

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