Can I continue with data collection for human subjects research?

Given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and our shared goal to reduce the risk of infection within our community, the Office of Research together with the Office of Research Integrity and Protections and the Institutional Review Board have determined that, for human subjects research deemed non-essential, data collection activities involving face-to-face interaction with participants must pause until further notice; this includes social, behavioral and educational research, as well as biomedical research. This is in keeping with the need to minimize personal contact. From a regulatory perspective, this is considered a temporary pause in human participant research activities for those studies impacted.

If a research activity involving face-to-face interaction with participants provides a significant health benefit, and is considered an essential research activity, then the activity may continue. However, such studies must be approved for continuation by the Department Chair, Associate Dean for Research, and Vice President of Research through the disclosure of essential research activities form, available on the Office of Research web page.

For non-essential human subjects research, data collection activities for any biomedical or social, behavioral and educational study that involves in-person, face-to-face interactions with participants – including faculty, staff, students and community participants – must be paused. Research studies that limit participant interactions to online or remote communication, telephone contact, remote monitoring, remote data collection or secondary data analysis may continue.

For more guidance on pausing your study, go to Considerations for Human Participant Protections Related to COVID-19.