Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 Updates

Information and resources for the CMU community

Scotty with mask: Tartans All In everywhere


Researchers who have a need to be on-site but have not yet submitted a plan are encouraged to work with their Associate Dean for Research (ADR). All projects and facilities will have to submit a pandemic safety and preparedness research plan (.docx) that will be reviewed and approved by the dean and VPR, in collaboration with the university COVID-19 coordinator and the Office of Enterprise Risk Management.

The deans of each college (working with the Associate Deans for Research (ADR) and department heads) are identifying projects/facilities to submit return plans.  Additional information related to plan submission is posted on the researcher resources webpage.

To make changes to an approved research plan, the plan owner should work with their Associate Dean for Research (ADR) to make revisions and submit to the OVPR. 

See more details on the researcher resources page.

Research teams returning to campus are ultimately responsible for ensuring they have the necessary PPE required for safe operation and will need to detail how they will ensure this in the pandemic safety and preparedness research plan.

Cloth face coverings are required at all times by everyone on CMU premises. Individuals may choose to provide their own cloth face coverings either by supplying their own or purchasing them and being reimbursed with supervisor approval and following normal purchasing policies and procedures.

Other types of PPE that individuals need as part of their pandemic safety and preparedness research plans may be procured using traditional supply chains/vendors. In addition, Enterprise Risk Management continues to coordinate with Procurement Services and Facilities Management & Campus Services (FMCS) to procure additional types of PPE (gloves, face shields, etc.).

Contact to inquire about availability and procurement of PPE, facial coverings and related supplies.

This will vary from facility to facility based on what the current division of responsibility is between CMU Facilities Management and Campus Service (FMCS), departments and lab/facility “owners.”

As detailed in the required pandemic safety and preparedness research plan, all projects/facilities seeking to return to on-site operations must hold a consultation with FMCS to be advised on proper cleaning protocols and agree on the roles and responsibilities of lab personnel and/or others (including FMCS) in ensuring regular cleaning and disinfecting of active spaces. Details on these consults can be found in this back to work cleaning guidance (.pdf).

In most cases, while FMCS can assist with an initial cleaning, it will be most appropriate for a lab to continue to oversee its own routine (daily) cleaning.

In all circumstances, FMCS will continue an expanded cleaning regimen for common areas and can facilitate the procurement of cleaning supplies. Through August 31, 2020, FMCS will cover the related expenses. After August 31, the lab or department may incur a charge for cleaning supplies.

The processes described on the researcher resources page generally apply only to Pittsburgh.  Email for the most up to date guidance on relevant processes on other campuses.

At this time we are prioritizing and authorizing only those research activities that unambiguously must be done on CMU premises. It will be some time before any work that can continue remotely in nearly the same manner as on-site will be approved to return to campus.

Those who have been approved for accessing campus on an occasional or periodic basis for the purpose of maintaining research environments or specimens and/or maintenance of equipment that enables remote work (e.g., re-booting servers or other equipment) may continue to do so WITHOUT needing to submit a plan.

Any previously approved COVID-19 related or other substantive research activities WILL need to submit a pandemic safety and preparedness research plan (.docx) detailing their continuing compliance with our current and future processes. They may continue their current work under their previously granted approval until that plan is complete and approved.

All graduate students (master’s or Ph.D.) may be included as personnel in approved on-site research plans.

Undergraduates MAY be included in a plan put forth by the dean’s office provided that (a) their on-site participation is critical to the progress of the project(s) (that is, the project(s) cannot otherwise progress without their on-site participation) and (b) the students are already in the Pittsburgh area.

No. A plan is not needed for these circumstances. If you have an urgent need to retrieve materials in order to continue working remotely, follow the one-time campus access request process.

Accessing on-site facilities for teaching and education purposes is not covered by these research processes. The Office of the Provost is overseeing the analogous teaching and educational processes. Please work with your department head and dean to identify the appropriate steps.

Visit the Libraries COVID-19 FAQ page for locations and operating hours.