VPR Announcement - Safety Updates for Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork - Humanities and Social Sciences

November 24, 2020

Attn: Faculty, trainees and staff registered in EHS Integrator for Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork/Humanities and Social Sciences

Summary: Safety Updates for Humanities and Social Sciences Researchers from the Vice Provost for Research and the Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork Committee

Dear Researcher,

You are receiving this note because you have been approved for off-campus social sciences or humanities research in the United States or internationally under Yale’s phased research reactivation plan.

As the pandemic worsens dramatically across the United States and in some locations around the world, we write with a number of suggestions for the continuing safety of your research. Please take a moment to consider which of the below points best applies to your current situation.  

1. If you have not done so recently, now is a good time to review the ramp down plan that you submitted with your EHS Integrator application, see if it needs modifications, and decide under what conditions you will implement it. If you are a graduate student, we recommend checking in with your adviser. If you work in a research team, please ensure all members of the team are consulted.

2. Many Yale researchers were approved for outdoor-only interviews or other outdoor research activities in the summer months. As the cold weather arrives in much of the northern hemisphere, remember that moving these research activities indoors will require advance approval from our committee.

3. Yale has recently updated a number of its policies and recommendations that may be relevant to your research. These include:

4. Depending on your research methods and plans, consider incorporating enhanced protection strategies, such as:

  • Regular asymptomatic testing for you and other members of your research team.
  • Avoiding eating in groups and dining in restaurants - many recent cases of virus transmission have arisen from eating together and from social gatherings; consider take-out options instead.
  • Avoiding group gatherings -particularly in enclosed spaces.
  • Wearing masks in all public places and while interacting with others.
  • Wearing eye protection – it has been shown to mitigate risk of virus transmission.
  • Ensuring appropriate ventilation in indoor places. See CDC recommendations for suggestions relevant to your situation.

In addition to reviewing applications through EHS Integrator, the Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork Committee serves as a general resource for Yale researchers navigating the challenges of off-campus research during the pandemic. If you have questions or concerns about your research, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Michael C. Crair
William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience
Vice Provost for Research

Steven Wilkinson
Chair, Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork Committee

Doug Rogers
Chair, Social Sciences and Humanities Subcommittee

Joanne Meyerowitz
Chair, Libraries, Archives and Museums Committee