Current Research Operations

Last updated: April 14, 2021, 2:30 pm

Since March 2020, in keeping with state-wide and local guidance, campus researchers have transitioned their research activities to majority-remote operation, with limited on-campus access allowed at lower density where essential campus access is allowed under public health orders.  Campus labs have been operating at up to Phase 3 density since November 2020, with access to tangible, essential on-campus resources allowed by permission. Starting with Phase 4 in April 2021, researchers across all disciplines can request access to their campus research spaces (labs, offices, research facilities) to conduct essential research that they are not able to successfully perform remotely. Occupancy in research spaces will remain limited, and will be overseen by Building Oversight Committees.

Update April 14, 2021:

On March 31, 2021 Alameda County and the City of Berkeley transitioned to the Orange (“Moderate”) Tier in the State Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  Given low rates of COVID-19 cases among on-campus researchers and rising availability of vaccines in the community, campus leadership has approved additional on-campus research access under a new Phase 4.  

Research can start to transition to Phase 4 starting Monday, April 19, once approved by your Building Oversight Committee (and JPCAB for non-lab spaces).  Phase 4 guidelines are available here.

What will be allowed under Phase 4?

  • Moving from density to occupancy.  Phase 4 will be handled differently than previous phases: rather than assigning density budgets or limiting spaces to % densities, maximum personnel in a space in Phase 4 will be determined by maximum occupancy based on actual space layout. 
  • Researchers may request access to their campus research spaces to conduct research that cannot be performed remotely.  The building must be approved and open for activity; occupancy in shared spaces is limited to 1 person per 125 square feet, as long as 6-foot distancing can be maintained.  Labs, core facilities, research units and departments will need to prepare operating procedures/plans for how they will manage their spaces safely within the occupancy guidelines.  SOPs/plans must be approved by Building Oversight Committees (and JPCAB for non-lab spaces) before they can be implemented.
  • In-person collaborative research activities will be permitted in small groups, with permission, for activities that cannot otherwise be performed remotely 
  • Researchers pursuing new human subjects research on- or off-campus must receive approval from the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) prior to resuming activities. 
  • Visiting scholars and graduate visiting researchers are permitted in Phase 4 as long as they are on formal appointments approved by the VSPA.
  • Updated guidelines for field research and research-related travel will be forthcoming.

6 foot distancing must be maintained, and facial coverings must be worn at all times while on campus. All on-campus researchers must maintain a green/cleared Campus Access badge indicating that all COVID-19 prevention requirements have been met, including campus training and COVID-19 testing. Guidelines apply to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.

Researchers coming to campus must be self-sufficient.  The majority of administrative and support staff remain working remotely through at least June 30.  No administrative staff can be asked or compelled to come to campus to support on-campus research.


COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

COVID-19 related funding opportunities are listed here.

You can find highlights of the COVID-19 related efforts of UC Berkeley's research community here.  

The university has also launched an online video series, Berkeley Conversations: COVID-19 to connect our leading experts with the public they serve, and each other.

Please see the UC Berkeley COVID-19 Resources website for general campus-wide information and updates.