VPR Announcement - Important Guidance for Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork

May 20, 2021

Subject:            Important Guidance for Off-Campus Research
To:                     All Yale faculty, students, and staff 
From:                Mike Crair, Vice Provost for Research & Steven Wilkinson, Committee Chair   
Dear Members of the Yale Community,

Yale has announced guidelines for summer educational activities and our planned reopening in the fall. These include vaccination requirements for both students, and faculty and staff. Under Yale’s current research reactivation and travel guidelines, all off-campus research and fieldwork during the pandemic and Yale’s Phase 3 reactivation must comply with additional guidelines and procedures. These guidelines also apply to undergraduate students doing research or field work this summer, if they are eligible to travel under the Yale College travel policy, which restricts travel to high-risk countries.

The Off-Campus Research & Fieldwork Committee (OCR&FWC) has recently modified its policies to take into account new CDC advice about the reduced risks of travel for fully vaccinated individuals. The main changes make a wider range of research exempt from review by the OCR&FWC. These include:

  • Broader travel permissions for fully vaccinated researchers doing research in the United States, whose research does not involve collecting biomedical samples or various other risks to the health of co-workers or research subjects
  • Broader travel permissions for fully vaccinated researchers carrying out individual research that allows social distancing (e.g. in archives, libraries, or some natural sciences fieldwork), if they are travelling to a country rated below risk level 4 by the United States Department of State

To determine if you need to submit an application for research or field work approval, please follow the guidelines for the Natural Sciences or Humanities and Social Sciences. Where applicable, the committee has also created a new self-assessment survey that allows you to assess whether your research or field work is exempt from further review or requires an application. The survey also provides useful links on health information, travel information, and vaccine status registration.

Our thanks to our OCR&FWC colleagues for their tireless work reviewing these applications and adjusting the guidelines as necessary in order to keep our community safe. If you have questions, you may reach out to Committee Chair Steven Wilkinson (steven.wilkinson@yale.edu).


Mike Crair, Vice Provost for Research

Steven Wilkinson, Chair of the Off-Campus Research & Fieldwork Committee