COVID-19 Update: Reopening Research Status, Human Subjects Research and More
05/12/2020, 11:50:01 AM
From the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston. View this message in browser.
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Dear Research Faculty,

I am pleased to report that the reopening of the UH campus for research continues to progress without major challenges. We now have 1,250 individuals who were approved to return to campus. Last week, we had a Faculty Café session on COVID-19 funding opportunities from federal agencies, foundations, and corporations. For those of you who missed the event, please visit our COVID-19 Funding Opportunities page. We have marked all additions to the list of opportunities with ‘New’ and added a new section on International Opportunities. In the last VPR Virtual Office Hours, we had 88 participants and received pertinent questions that I address below.

Wearing Masks

The guidelines for Reopening Research require the use of face masks for those working on-campus in situations where they are in close proximity (within six feet) of others. This is a University of Houston requirement that was implemented two weeks ago. Please re-read SVP McShan’s email for specific requirements.

Building Access

All buildings on campus continue to be locked. If you returned to campus and you or your lab members need access to other buildings, for instance to access core facilities, you are required to complete another Access Request Form and let your associate dean for research know that those listed will need the building access added to their CougarCard. To facilitate adding building access to their CougarCard, please add the PSID number next to their last name in the list of personnel. We will work with the building coordinators to have those buildings added to their CougarCards.


Across the campus, the limit on occupancy in elevators is two persons. Even if there is no sign at the elevator about this limit, we ask you to limit the number of passengers in the elevator to two. Maintain social distancing and wear your mask when you are in the elevator with a second person.

Special Literature Collections

To access collections in the Libraries that are not available online, contact Christian Kelleher, head of Special Collections ( Note that the Libraries require that everyone needing access to library space wears a mask.

Human Subjects Research Guidance

Human Subjects Research during COVID-19 requires special attention. We still recommend that only remote human subjects research is conducted. There are limited cases where we can start to invite human subjects on campus for individual research visits; these subjects must be neither minors nor fall into any of the groups at high-risk for COVID-19 infection. Sanitization before and after each visit, the use of masks and gloves, and social distancing at all times must be part of the protocol for any visit. To provide further guidance, we are offering a Faculty Café session on Human Subjects Research on Tuesday, May 19, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. To receive the Zoom link for the event, please register.

Core Facilities

Since almost all core facilities are overseen by colleges, whether or not they are open during this phase of reopening research is a college decision. We added specific guidelines to our Reopening Research page for core facilities.

VPR Virtual Office Hours

We are continuing our weekly VPR Office Hours. The next session is on Friday, May 15 at 2 p.m. (please note the time). I hope you will be able to join us. I look forward to talking with you this coming Friday.

You can access the event through the Research & Innovation Teams site where you will also find channels for topic-specific questions you might have for our directors. I would like to encourage you to post questions prior to the event in our VPR Office Hours channel.

Questions and responses are visible to everyone at UH. If you have project- or team-specific questions that you do not want to share with others at UH, please contact our units directly. Area-specific email inboxes for DOR offices are listed on our COVID-19 Additional Resources page.


Best regards,

Amr Elnashai, FREng  
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Amr Elnashai | VP for Research and Technology Transfer | | 713-743-4736

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