CSU Return to On- and Off-Campus Research Operations

FAQs     Work Safety Plan     Employee Training & Consent Form     Symptom Tracking     Travel Authorization    Safety Information

Colorado State University (CSU) and the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with a centralized plan for gradually returning research and creative work to campus and off-site locations.

The initial phase will incrementally increase in-person operations beginning May 28 and will include an approval process designed to ensure safety and monitoring processes are in place for on- and off-campus research and creative works.

It is anticipated that 30 – 50% of the research workforce will return during the initial phase depending on facility constraints and the ability to maintain compliance with regional, state, and national safety guidance.

Research Request Form and Approval Process


The first phase of return to research operations will focus on projects identified as high-priority using criteria developed by the colleges in collaboration with the OVPR. Faculty are asked to work in close partnership with departmental, college, and university leadership to develop safety plans to return to in-person operations. All faculty must complete a Research Request form approved by their department head, college Research Associate Dean, and the CSU Pandemic Preparedness Team (PPT). No new work can begin until the laboratory plan is approved at each level and facilities are prepared for safe occupancy.

For questions about the Research Request form or to report errors, email: VPR_ResearchContinuity@colostate.edu


  • Initiate a NEW Research Request for each project to be conducted in-person. For multi-project requests, consult your RAD.
  • Once a new Research Request has been initiated, complete the form and submit. If you need to save the form to complete at a later time, use the SAVE button. 
  • To continue working on a saved form, go to the Kuali Build Home page to access the form. Do not initiate a new Research Request.
  • To revise a returned form, go to the Kuali Build Home page to access the form. Do not initiate a new Research Request.

Frequently Asked Questions

All investigators currently working on campus or wishing to resume on- or off-campus research operations.

All investigators requesting a resumption of on- or off-campus research operations must complete the Research Request Form. The completed form will be routed to the Department Head, Research Associate Dean, and the Pandemic Preparedness Team for approval following submission.

All personnel already conducting essential research on campus must complete a Research Request form. This form includes a safety checklist for review and acknowledgment by Principal Investigators and will be used to ensure proper safety measures are in place.

Examples of circumstances that qualify projects as high-priority include:

  • Seasonal data collection such as field and agricultural work
  • Experiments close to completion, or deadline-driven, whose pause or deferral would lead to catastrophic delay, loss of research results, or loss of funding (e.g. non-federal sponsors)
  • Animal, cell or plant experiments where a delay would result in euthanasia or loss of a colony, loss of a cell line, or loss of plants at critical growth periods
  • Time-sensitive access for graduate students and postdocs close to completing their degree/term of appointment
  • Research for completion of grants with end dates within 2 months – July 31, 2020 (where the funding agency has not granted leniency)

Investigators will need to provide a rationale for returning to work, the names of all returning personnel, and a safety plan. Depending on the department or college, there may be additional documents and information that need to be provided as attachments to this form. Talk to your Department Head or RAD for further instructions.

Work Safety Plan

Applications must include a safety plan that describes how activity on campus will be minimized and provide a rationale for activities to restart during the first phase of return to campus. The electronic safety request form will require you to upload your safety plan. For information on developing a safety plan please contact your college Associate Dean for Research.

Employee Training and Consent Form


To ensure research operations have safety measures in place and have adequate personal protection equipment, CSU employees identified by Primary Investigators on the Research Request form will be emailed a link to the Employee Training and Consent form. A signed acknowledgement must be completed and filed by the employee prior to return to in-person research activities. Instructions will be provided with the emailed form and can also be provided by your Associate Dean for Research.

Symptom Tracking


All employees returning to in-person work will be required to regularly monitor their health status using an online Employee Health Screening tool developed by the CSU Pandemic Preparedness Team. This tool provides instructions for anyone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and will initiate Larimer County prescribed public health interventions in the instance of a positive diagnosis.

Travel Authorization

All travel is currently restricted at Colorado State University. Travel may be authorized if it is considered essential. For projects involving travel, visit the CSU Return to Campus web page to complete the travel exception authorization.

Safety Information

Signage detailing safety procedures will be posted in all open CSU facilities. All employees must obey signage.

Additional safety guidance, including resources on wellness and prevention, can be found on the  COVID-19 Recovery page and at COVID-19 Resources