Research Ramp-Up Toolkit

Update on prevalence testing requirement (February 26, 2021):

Dear Research Colleagues,

As a follow-on to the message below, I write to share that experienced undergraduates who were approved for lab-based work will be permitted to return to labs effective March 1, 2021. This decision was informed by the drop in prevalence and after consulting with medical experts.   We will not require weekly prevalence testing for researchers but as a reminder, this does not apply to graduate students in your laboratory, they must continue to test weekly. If you would like to voluntarily test you may do so.

Please note that the testing protocols for laboratory employees and graduate students as communicated on February 18 remain in place. Please continue to emphasize all health and safety measures in your lab, including social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitizing.

Thank you,


Melur K. (Ram) Ramasubramanian, Ph.D.

Vice President for Research


There are only two groups that were required to do prevalence testing for spring 2021.

1. Student (both UG and Grad)--NEW: Vaccinated students starting 14 days from the date of their final dose they will be exempt from testing.  Records for students who have been vaccinated through UVA Health will be transferred automatically.  Students who have received vaccines from providers other than UVA Health should upload their vaccination record (“vaccine card”) through the Healthy Hoos Patient Portal starting March 1.

2. Anyone on a research plan.- Updated 2/26 No longer required. Testing is encouraged but not required unless you are a student.

Everyone else can test, but it is voluntary. We have paused the research testing, so you now are not required to test, but your students must still do so as part of the other requirement. If you would like to test visit the BeSafe webpage for times and locations.


Phase II. (We are in phase II) On-grounds density levels can increase as disease spread in the labs is deemed under control and effectively monitored, and/or management and treatments options are successfully advanced to acceptable levels set forth by the Commonwealth. At this stage, select graduate students and experienced undergraduates* can return based on school prioritization to the essential nature of the work.

“Experienced Undergraduates” are students that have worked in a researcher’s lab for at least two months pre-COVID. This restriction will be revisited later in the academic year.  Exceptions to this guidance can only be granted with Dean Office approval.  Interschool undergraduate lab assignments will only be granted with Dean Office approval from both schools.


Last updated: January 9, 2021

The following process is designed to help you plan and prepare for applying for a ramp up of your critical research in a timely, safe, and sustainable manner. 

See also Research FAQ's for research plan and prevalence testing questions.

Planning process for faculty PI

  • Please visit the Ramp-Up Guidance for safety guidelines you need for planning
  • “Phases” vary by area. For example the Commonwealth of Virginia is currently in Phase III. Research at UVA is in Phase I, while SBS IRB, as of July 1, 2020 Off-grounds research with human subjects requiring face-to-face contact is in Phase 2. It is important to look at the correct area to see what Phase it is currently in.
  • Make a list of your lab/research personnel using this Excel template for later entry into the web portal. Each person needs to be added individually by computing ID (THIS NEEDS TO BE UP TO DATE EACH WEEK)
  • Make a Lab Schedule using this Excel template
  • Create a lab safety plan for COVID using this template (You will need to upload this as part of the ramp-up plan)
  • Have all personnel complete the online training module in Workday: Return to Work on Grounds Training Module and if they are managers they also need to do: Return to Work on Grounds - Guide for Managers
  • Submit your plan and personnel list in the web portal: SEE BELOW
  • Need signage?  Visit FM webpage
  • Develop a daily work attendance log for all lab members
  • Order PPE or other supply needs: See Procurement COVID Supplies Guide

Still have questions? Email us at 

Health Attesting App

HOOS Health Check will help members of the UVA community remain aware of their health and any possible COVID-symptoms before they come to Grounds. This new tool will replace daily health attestations that UVA Health team members, researchers, and other groups on Grounds have used this summer. Students, faculty, staff, and UVA Health team members will complete a daily health check each day that they are coming to Grounds through the free HOOS Health Check app or the HOOS Health Check website. More details are available in FAQs on the Return to Grounds and Students on Grounds websites.

Plan Submission

Please Note this is a new application, here are some notes / helpful hints to make your submission easier:

  • Due to firewall issues, the submission application will NOT allow you access if you are connected to the VPN High Security Network. You will need to disconnect from the VPN client or use the UVA Anywhere access.
  • We are having some issues with various browsers- strongly recommend you use Chrome or Edge We are working on correcting the problems with Safari and Firefox.
  • Some Health System faculty report if you are using a Health System computer, which apparently has a double layer of firewall protection due to using patient sensitive data and HIPA compliance. You may need to use a different device or disconnect from the firewall.
  • After you submit the plan, you need to wait until it is either approved or declined to change it.
  • FAQ: Who is my supervisor for this purpose: The owner of the space - center faculty if they reside in center space- not academic supervisor.
  • Space on Grounds needs to be entered with the official name of your building. If you are in leased space indicate "non-UVA space" and then use the boxes to explain where the space is located (e.g. One Morton Drive, Blandy Farms, etc).
  • SBS IRB & Field Research: The application as written may not fit your circumstances.  The application seeks to gain information for allowing all types of research to occur on-grounds or at UVA leased/occupied spaces.  If you are applying to secure approval for conducting face-to-face interactions off-grounds please provide the following information in your application:
    • For the sections on Exclusive Space, Shared Space, Core Resources, please click “save” without entering any information.
    • Under the section titled Non-Grounds Spaces, please enter the country, state, city and a description of the research location for each site you will be visiting.
    • Under the section Physical Work Arrangements, please provide information concerning local COVID-19 prevalence, conditions, restrictions, policies, or laws that are currently in place.  Also describe each research location and physical-environment conditions to the best of your ability. Include a description of how the researcher intends to meet local policies, laws, restrictions and general best practices as related to COVID-19.

Access the online system HERE

If you have questions or problems, please email

Plan Approvals

To approve a plan - go HERE

This link is for supervisor or school dean approval. If you want to see the status of your submission, go back into the submission system and you can see the status of your plan.

The email notification system only works for NEW submissions. You will need to log into the system to check the status of your submission or see plans waiting for your approval.  For updated plans or resubmissions no notification to your supervisor or associate dean is sent. Consider sending them an email so they know to look for your submission.

How do I update my Ramp-Up plan?

Go back to the submission webpage, click on your plan, walk through steps-starting at the top- adjusting information as needed. The last step before you submit, “Request Notes” has a drop down and text box where you can indicate your changes. This will help the reviewer know what changed without re-reading entire application.

For FAQ, visit our Frequently Ask Questions page

Have questions about our lab? our process? your data? Please see this PDF.

See something? Say something!

If you would like to report a concern, please follow this link to the COVID Compliance Reporting.