Skip to main content

COVID-19 Reporting Policy/Guidance

The Office for Research’s Return to Research Policy outlines the guiding principles to support a safer return to conducting research at Northwestern University during the COVID-19 pandemic. To best facilitate a smooth, phased transition of research to campus, it is critical that principal investigators, their teams, and research administrators work in collaboration to monitor and, if necessary, report any deviations from these carefully considered steps.

The Vice President for Research informed the research community about our return-to-campus strategy in a May 26 communication and further outlined these guidelines in the Return to Research Policy. As stated in our policy, proper social distancing and personal hygiene, enhanced cleaning protocols, and use of face coverings in all common areas are essential elements in the sustained success of our research operations as we meet the COVID-19 challenge.

Strict compliance with those practices and this policy is imperative and expected as a condition of returning to Northwestern’s campus. Doing so is vital to support the health and well-being of our research faculty, staff, and students — and to further the University’s research enterprise.

The Office for Research trusts that the Northwestern community will rigorously align with our guidance and be considerate of those working around them. To support these expectations, our office is assigning personnel to routinely monitor research buildings and laboratory space to ensure that the compliance guidelines are clearly understood and observed.

However, there also are several options for reporting noncompliance with our guidance.

Any concerns or complaints reported will be reviewed in accordance with current University procedures, including those described in the Faculty or Staff Handbooks. Patterns of noncompliance will result in escalation to department chairs, dean’s offices and/or central administration, if warranted.  Students are encouraged to consult the TGS-Specific COVID-19 FAQs for updates.