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On-Campus and Field Research Restart


The McCombs School of Business is following guidance by the Vice President for Research (VPR) for on-campus research that has been restricted due to COVID. The VPR’s Research Restart policy primarily applies to research which requires researchers to be onsite in a lab or field setting for human subjects and other research or access a shared use facility (e.g., secure database and computational facilities). As of July 5, 2021, UT moved to Research Level 0.


Important aspects of Research Level 0:



Notify the Occupational Health Program (OHP) if you or someone on your research team has symptoms of COVID-19 or is tested for COVID-19. Students who test positive should contact BCCAL or self-report (if tested off campus) to University Health Services.


Below is general information on Research Restart related to Research Levels 1-5.



The VPR worked with the Associate Deans for Research to develop a multi-level phased approach to safely resume research. For a description of each Research Phase, please download the Resuming Research Operations at UT-Austin PDF from the VPR's COVID-19 site. For additional information about restarting research, you should download the PI Research Restart Toolkit PDF on the VPR's website.


Please download the Human Subjects Research Restart Plan. All human subjects research requires ADR approval for Research Levels 1-5.



Researchers who wish to restart on-campus or field research MUST complete the following form when UT is in Research Levels 1-5.

Complete the Research Restart Form


Overarching Goal

To keep everyone safe, while increasing research activity in a phased approach as safety becomes easier to maintain.

Required Steps for Human Participant Research when in Research Level 1-5

You must do the following in preparation to reactivate or begin face-to-face human participant interactions.

  1. Carefully review UTs Human Subjects Research Restart Plan and Research FAQs at VPR Human Subjects Restart website.
  2. Submit a McCombs Research Restart application. All in-person human-subjects research must have ADR approval before resuming.
    • Each application will need to address why research cannot be conducted remotely.
    • Each application will need to identify Benefit and Risk levels per defined categories in Human Subjects Restart Plan.
    • Each application will need to include a Risk Mitigation Plan. Specifically, you will need to specify a plan for how you will mitigate virus transmission risk if performing face-to-face human subjects research.
    • Ensure necessary PPE (Level 2 medical grade masks or greater) and social distancing for all human participant interactions.

Workforce Density/Occupancy Limits

During the Research Phases, there will be limits on the number of occupants or workforce density in research spaces. The purpose of workforce density/occupancy limits is to assure that proper social distancing is maintained within all research spaces/laboratories, and also throughout McCombs buildings.

The following criteria will be used by McCombs to prioritize projects:

  • Research by assistant professors.
  • Research by PhD students nearing completion of a degree.
  • Externally funded research that is time-sensitive (e.g., must collect post-intervention data, subsequent wave of data in a longitudinal study, or COVID-19-related data collection, etc.).
  • Non-funded research that is time-sensitive (e.g., must collect post-intervention data or subsequent wave of data in a longitudinal study, or COVID-19-related data collection, etc.).
  • Research continuation for existing projects.