News & Announcements


A Message to the Community on Our Ongoing Planning Efforts

May 21, 2020 - With the semester’s end and our moving, bittersweet virtual Commencement for the Class of 2020 only days behind us, we are writing to update you on our planning and preparations for the fall.  At this time, predictions for the fall of the pandemic’s progression and our society’s capacities for testing, contact tracing and treatment are sufficiently uncertain that we cannot say with perfect clarity what the fall semester will look like.

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A Phased Return to Research

Research is integral to our mission as a university and vitally important to our local, national, and global communities. In March, we discontinued all non-essential research for the health and safety of our campus, with narrowly defined exemptions including research that could have an immediate impact on the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now planning to resume research activities in three phases:·    

Phase 1: Increase priority research, enforcing restrictions on population density and continuing remote work.    

Phase 2: Expand research operations, increasing the population with physical distancing and continuing remote work.

Phase 3: Return to full research operations, benefitting from new hygiene practices and using remote work where possible.

In assessing the timing of these stages, we will be guided by our progress in minimizing risks to researchers, research subjects, patients, and the Penn community, while also mitigating adverse impacts on our world-leading research, especially promising research in its early stages and research in all areas related to COVID-19, which will continue to be our highest priority.

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Research Resumption Strategy Master Plan

As the University anticipates improvement in the trajectory of the pandemic, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research has begun planning to resume our research activity. The plan for the resumption of research was informed by several task forces and councils, representing input from all Penn schools. The document and associated resources will evolve as technology and tools that support research resumption are developed.


Research Activities and Operations

Updates from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, including announcements, continuity planning and more.


Safety Products, Guidelines and Resources

Extensive resources for laboratory scientists as well as staff and faculty from the Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Office. Includes info on masks, respirators, ventilators, PPE, cleaning, deliveries, construction, law enforcement and home office ergonomics.