New operational guidance for research is now available to offer Pitt researchers a proactive, flexible and resilient framework to enable research work as we all accommodate the circumstances of the pandemic.

Four Standards and Guidelines have been written to apply to each of the University’s COVID-19 Operational Postures to help researchers mitigate impacts throughout the duration of the pandemic. They are found on the COVID-19 Standards and Guidelines page.

These Standards and Guidelines offer guidance on:

  • Research Operations and Governance: These guidelines define Conduct of Research templates for use at the school level and Conduct of Research plans for individual principal investigators. The guidelines establish the requirement that every investigator’s Conduct of Research plan explains how their research activities will be conducted safely under all three of the University’s COVID-19 operational postures and how transitions between postures will be managed.
  • Research Operations Prioritization: These guidelines establish the principle that operational activities will vary by broad categories of research. For example, during the pandemic, clinical research will have different needs than will libraries or studio spaces. The guidelines define priority research and research support activities that will be allowed to continue under all three of the University’s COVID-19 operational postures.
  • Fieldwork and Research Travel: These guidelines establish the principle that local conditions will govern the Conduct of Research plans for investigators engaged in fieldwork and that the health and safety guidelines implemented in the field must meet or exceed those of the University of Pittsburgh. These guidelines further define some of the responsibilities of investigators in the field with respect to the health and safety of their research team.
  • Human and Animal Research Subjects: The guidelines codify the Institutional Review Board’s tiers for protocols based on direct benefit to research participants. They further identify situations when new petition or survey submission to the Board are required. Links are given to the DLAR documents governing operations of their animal facilities during the high-risk posture as well as the elevated and guarded risk postures.

These documents codify the work of the Research Restart Taskforce and its seven working groups, which involved more than 100 faculty and staff. The Research Standards and Guidelines can be found on the COVID-19 Standards and Guidelines page. For additional information and research guidance, please visit