COVID-19 Research Continuity

University leadership continues to monitor worldwide COVID-19 disease-related developments. Important information and updates for the broader campus are provided through NC State's Coronavirus Response website. Research and Innovation has put together a list of frequently asked questions about research continuity.

The university is approaching our research restart using a phased approach in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase I guidelines (5/18/20-6/7/20): Colleges will approve which projects are appropriate for restart. In the first phase of research restart, research spaces (labs and facilities) will not be allowed to be occupied beyond 35% of capacity, with a minimum of 250 square feet per occupant.

Phase II guidelines (6/8/20 - 7/12/20): All research restart requests will allow for a minimum of one person regardless of the size of the room. When there is more than one occupant in a room, research restart requests must allow for a minimum of 200 square feet per occupant. You may use up to 100% of your assigned research space (labs and facilities) provided the layout and equipment allow appropriate physical distancing among all occupants at all times. During this phase, there will be a max of 10 occupants allowed at one time regardless of the size of the space.

Phase III guidelines (begins 7/13/20): All research activities will be considered for return to campus but must be approved by the department, college associate dean for research and the Office of Research and Innovation. Research restart requests will allow for a minimum of one person regardless of the size of the room. When there is more than one occupant in a room, research restart requests must allow for a minimum of 200 square feet per occupant. Refer to the faculty guide for Phase III to help guide decisions and understand the process for returning to campus.

We are providing guidance on how to manage disruptions to normal research operations resulting from the precautions (including recommended physical distancing and reduced facility access) taken to avoid widespread COVID-19 communal transmissions. We have gathered some information below to assist in planning.

For undergraduate research guidelines please refer to this document.

For requests that fall outside of the Phase III guidelines, submit a special research exception request.

Office of Research and Innovation

  • Research and Innovation units continue to provide critical services remotely. Contact staff via email with inquiries.
  • Core facilities are resuming operations at a reduced capacity, please work through your colleges to gain access as part of the research restart process.
  • To submit research delivery exception requests, please refer to the information on this page.
  • Information about amending your human subject research (IRB) protocol to continue virtual research activities and submitting new protocols to the IRB please find can be found here.
  • Research and Innovation plans to maintain funding commitments, including internal seed-funding programs. We will continually reevaluate such programs as necessary and keep the campus community updated.


  • These interactive maps allow you to move around the map using your left mouse button and zoom using your scroll wheel. If you do not have a scroll wheel, double click to zoom in and control-double click to zoom out. The color map moves from blue (fewer) to yellow (more). Hovering over the building shows the building name, the approved maximum occupancy for research, and the unique PIs with approved exceptions in the building. Thanks to V. Petras from the Center for Geospatial Analytics for creating the maps.
  • Map of Approved Maximum Occupancy for Research. The counts are computed by identifying the rooms within the building with approved research requests and summing their maximum occupancy. This is the maximum number of people who should be in a building at any one time with approved research requests.
  • Map of Unique Principal Investigators. The counts are computed by identifying the unique principal investigators for approved research requests in a building.

All communications with external sponsors regarding project impacts from COVID-19 must be coordinated with the Sponsored Research office. Proposed communications should be routed through your college research central office representative and then through SPARCS per usual business practice for review.

The NC State University Libraries offers extensive research support services including literature searching; data and visualization services; and support for online research collaboration and open sharing of results. As research outputs circulate more quickly online, we consult with researchers on best practices for scholarly sharing (e.g., pre-prints, open access journals, data publishing), developing supplementary digital scholarship projects, and tools/workflows for distributed, open, collaborative scholarship. Our Coronavirus Response page describes the online collections and services available for researchers. If you need something else, just Ask Us.

Research-Related Questions During COVID-19 Response